Stick To Your Guns - This Is More breakdown
Close Your Eyes - Digging Graves
Close Your Eyes - new song
Stick to Your Guns - What Goes Around
Stick To Your Guns - Some Kind of Hope
What is your take on an organization like Come&Live! Which gives their artists’ music away for free and runs off of donations?
MS: The whole culture of free is exciting but it’s a scary world. It can blow up to everything before you know it. I was just thinking cynically the other night, if the culture of free really takes over and gets out of control, there will be no press outlets anymore or media outlets. Nobody will be able to make any money, there won’t be any Rolling Stone or New York Times or AP or Relevant, there won’t be anybody. All you’re going to have is a million music bloggers who have other day jobs. The culture of sampling, which was really what the music kiosks in chain stores were, were wildly successful then downloading hit and it became “Well, I want to hear the whole record first before I decide to buy it”. What happened was most people decided not to buy it and then the excuses started of “I don’t get paid enough, they’re on Interscope, the artists make so much money anyway etc”. The artists really got hurt and they’re really suffering now. We’re finding, as you guys probably hear of on your end, more and more musicians, not Britney Spears, not Lady Gaga, we’re talking bands who never made it on the cover of AP but sold 50-60 thousand units over a few records who are now needing to go get day jobs because the only way you make money is touring. When you have everyone touring because it’s the only way you can make money, it floods the market. There’s only so many nightclubs, only so much money everyone has every month to go see a band so if you really go talk to all the promoters they’ll tell you there are too many bands, to many shows. Everybody suffers.
The culture of free is actually destroying everything. The entertainment industry has been absolutely pathetic at how they addressed downloading. They should have pulled out Anthony Green, Aaron Gillespie, Stephen Christian and had them do PSAs online and in movie theater ads and commercials where they say “Look, we’re going to have to not tour. You’re not going to see us much anymore because every time your roommate goes and downloads are record and shares it everywhere, we don’t see any money and we can’t afford to tour anymore”. The label isn’t getting the money so there is no tour support. We’re seeing it with digital books now. The publishing companies are freaking out because there is now a black market for illegal downloaded books for Kindle. We already have problems where people scan cover stories or major features that show up in publications and put them up online so kids don’t have to buy anything anymore. Its one thing after another and soon there is going to be a massive collapse. What’s happening is all these websites are running around trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator and trying to gobble up everything and put these ad networks together and charge whatever amount of money so they can be one of the few websites left. Its very scary world and I don’t think that 95% of people who download music get it. I don’t think they understand that you have to support the artists.
Have you thought about that kind of thing for the future? It blows my mind that people waste their time scanning a magazine to put it online and share it with other people. How are you preparing for the future as things like this grow worse?
MS: I don’t think there is a way to fix it. When these things start up, you can try and stop it and go around to particular sites and tell them to take a record down but then another one pops right up. What you do is try and insulate yourself to it. The people that are pro-file sharing and downloading will sit there and say “Well, this is marketing and think about all the people who would’ve never known about your product or band”. Well, the bands could make money before and they can’t now. Your whole argument about branding doesn’t matter. You sit in your apartment b******* about how file sharing is okay when you have a day job somewhere else and you don’t have to worry about it. You go join a band, quit your job and join a band and talk to me in five months because you’ll be b******* too. That’s the problem is that a lot of the people running these file sharing websites don’t have to live off of the industry. Sooner or later we may end up like Europe where they’re coordinating with web providers and they’re shutting down ISPs. How else are musicians going to make their money? What are they going to do? I think it was one of the AFI guys who tweeted something about wanting to know the mindset of someone who watched us spend 11 months in the studio, working, writing music, putting it all together and they have no problem taking it within seconds and putting it up online for free. Who is that person? I don’t think the problem has been communicated correctly. It’s really sad to see the bands out there going under.