Tuesday, May 8, 2007

For All You Haters...

So i was reading an interview by punknews.org with Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath and they asked him about the new record, The Sufferer and The Witness, being leaked 8 weeks early. His response is a great punk answer and it shows you that the bands really focus on getting people to the shows, haters take note.

"Your record leaked pretty early, any thoughts on that?

I think it leaked 8 weeks prior to its and for the most part no record goes to the release date without leaking anymore- it just happens. The only ones that don’t are records that no one gives a shit about anyway but when I first heard it happened - and it’s kind of like that day when you know it’s going to come eventually. The day it came it was like I remember talking to #2 from Anti-Flag and he said “Tim you know why it doesn’t matter that your record leaked? Because it’s such a fucking awesome record….”

I just want them to hear it. I was reading an interview with Ian MacKaye about downloading, and his quote was “I’d rather have 100 people hear my song than $100 in my pocket.”

That guy sets the bar right?

He totally sets the bar! And he’s right. Is it really worth that $100 in my pocket if 100 people didn’t hear the songs? I want people to hear this record- I think it’s an important record. Our songs are about way more than the schematics of record sales and marketing and all that bullshit. I want people to hear it, I want people to take the time to do all their internet nerd shit to actually find it. Check it out and come out and see us play.

But it goes to show you that even though it’s on the internet people are still going to pick it up. There are still people who want to own records who want the lyrics and everything and feel like supporting the band is important. I could’ve downloaded that new AFI album this morning pretty easily but I went out and bought it instead. I want the artwork, I want the lyrics, I want to see what crazy pictures there are of Davey in it now."

Here's the rest of the interview

Don't you find it interesting that the smaller bands, Rise Against for example, are outspoken about being okay with downloading their music? They understand that they're putting out a quality product and since its quality, you will hopefully pay for a ticket to the show, maybe even buy a shirt.

But the bigger bands, like Metallica for example, are outspoken against downloading saying how it hurts their bottom line.

James Hetfield, Metallica's lead singer, said, "There has to be someone who steps up and represents musicians." So recently, I joined Lars Ulrich, Metallica's drummer, in delivering to Napster the screen names of over 335,000 people who have pirated Metallica's music using Napster. We demanded that Napster prevent those people from copying any more of Metallica's works. Metallica was well aware that fans might not react well. "If this were a popularity contest," Ulrich said, "we might not have done this." [article]

Its not about the bottom line. Its about the music, and if artists can write one or two good songs and fill the rest of their album with crap filler songs and package it up and sell it to kids for $20 and feel like that's the right thing, they're wrong.

I feel like I'm test driving cars, I'm not gonna spend $20 on a band I've never listened to just to find out the album is crap. I'd rather download it for free, and if i think it's quality, I'll go to the show, I'll spread the music on compilations or through websites.

Maybe all this free downloading of music will force bands to actually start producing a quality product again, and stop ripping off the fans.


Benjamin said...

BMer: Even though you're short... well, you're right! I think we are all pretty fed up with "bottom" line "pop" drivel and drool that has our radios off and questionable downloads on. By the way I'm a big fan of the Chevelle trio, any thoughts?


BMer916 said...

Totally, how can big time artists complain about loss of sales when in theory, they write one or two Hits for a record and then a bunch of filler crap (see Gnarls Barkley/ Maroon5/ Britney Spears/ Metallica)?

I mean, once artists stopped producing quality albums and started just pushing out as many records as they could, the fan got screwed. So now we basically testdrive the music, and if we like it, we invest by going to shows, buying merch, spreading the word, and maybe even buying the cd.

Oh, and Chevelle, eh, a little too polished for my taste, but i can see what people like.

Isaac Michael Mohamed Chase said...

so ah, yeah, totally right on. on top of the artist argument, there is also an economic argument for file sharing and open sourced music. exposure is what really drives sales. bands like metallica dont need exposure because they are established. but the little guy does need that exposure. the music industry could be totally exploding right now if they were more open about file sharing. but its not exploding, even though we are seeing more music now that probably any time in history, new genres every day, new styles, new venues, new media all of that. kudos to rise against for having an attitude that promotes music rather than stifling it.

Anonymous said...


Written in '04, ignored ever since and just as true today.

BMer916 said...

wow, great article Brad, i might have to write an entry just on that study along

Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable said...

I think a lot of heavy downloaders are freako pack rats who often wouldn't normally purchase the music even if it couldn't be downloaded.

Part of that relates to quality, but part of it is just greed, or psychological abnormality (and I'm a Doctor and I know about that kind of stuff)

The big name companies are losing sales to other smaller name labels, not to downloaders, as the market in general has become more saturated. Still it probably looks better to investors if you can blame the 'lost profits' on college students.