Megadeth bassist David Ellefson understands that the world of music is going digital, but is frustrated with the illegal file-sharing that comes along with that. Ellefson leaves nothing out in an interview with Metal Underground:

“Illegal downloading definitely hurts the music industry, without a doubt. The reason why is because lets say you walked into Best Buy, picked up a CD and walked out without paying for it. The sensors would go off and you would be arrested and probably thrown in jail! However, people seem to think because it is on the Internet, they can do whatever they want, and if they do not get caught then it is okay. The truth of the matter is just because you do not get caught does not mean it isn’t wrong. I just think that boils down to ethics and people doing the right thing. Sometimes human nature is that when we are left to our own devices, we won’t do the right thing and to often we will do the wrong thing. Younger people purchase the most music. Young meaning teenagers, early twenties, or thirties, but as people get older they buy less and less music because they are in to other things at that point in their life. I just think that sometimes as young music fans we like to think that it is nice to get something for free. We think if we have to pay for something we will not buy it. But, it costs somebody money and effort to make that song or record, and they deserve to be paid for it…especially speaking from an artists’ perspective. I think some fans assume that the artist is rich, so he shouldn’t care if someone just downloads his song. “Why is he complaining?”, they ask. At the same time, it is not about getting rich. It is about getting compensated for the effort and work you put into the songs you made. . . There are no free lunches in this world unless someone offers it to you. Unless they offer it to you, no one should assume it is free.”

Lead guitarist/vocalist/songwriter of Megadeth, Dave Mustaine, makes a distinction between fans who respect artists and the generation that doesn’t pay for the music, and illustrates the importance of creating better merchandise as a new “layer to the music” and as another source of profit:

“. . . ultimately, we don’t have a lot of places to generate revenue anymore outside of the live arena. With people just ripping and ripping and ripping stuff, we live in a generation that looks at getting songs over the Internet for free. There are people who respect bands and pay but there’s a whole generation that doesn’t pay. Once you embrace that and you’re okay with the idea of records being calling cards then you make a great record, you go out and tour and you give people what they want.”


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