After more than a decade in the major label system, Butch Walker is boldly proclaiming his independence with a new provocatively named web site. Up until late 2007, the singer, producer, and songwriter, who’s worked with some of pop’s leading ladies, Avril Lavigne, Pink, and Ashlee Simpson among them, was signed to Epic Records as a solo artist. In the late ’90s, Walker was on the Arista Records roster while fronting the band Marvelous 3. On Feb. 14, he plans to self-release Leavin’ the Game on Luckie St., a double live album, allowing fans to download all 24 songs for free during the first week. The set, which includes covers of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” and James’ hit “Laid,” will only be available digitally, but an accompanying DVD is scheduled to hit retail stores a few weeks later.

“Viva la freedom from cubicle music!” Walker declares in an official announcement going out tomorrow. “The record business is f—ed, but not for bands. It’s the most exciting, positive time for music, as rock and roll and indie pop have gone completely back underground. And to see artists be able to release albums whenever they want, for whatever they want, and not have to fear sending in their cover art, only to have the art department airbrush off the singer’s mustache (in fear of not selling to a certain demographic or f—ing statistic) is wonderful. Essentially, everything they have or haven’t done in the past, I will purposely do the opposite… And probably make my first paycheck.” In addition to his own music, Walker plans to release other projects, like 1969, a collaboration with guitarist Michael Guy Chislett from The Academy Is… and drummer Darren Dodd from the Let’s Go Out Tonites. No doubt supplemental income will continue to come from writing hits for other artists; most recently, Walker re-teamed with Pink to start work on her next album.

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