Dave Gahan, current and founding member of Depeche Mode, says simply:
I get into big fights with my 16 year old son and he talks about the value of a CD and it being too expensive. And I always say to him, “You don’t think twice about going into a Starbucks and spending $5 on some crappy latte. But you won’t spend $10 on something someone worked on for 6 months?” I don’t understand that!
Yet another musician concerned with the poor quality of MP3s is Alan Wilder, formerly of Depeche Mode (currently recording as Recoil). In an open letter from 2008:
MP3 compression allows a smaller file to be created by excluding the musical information that the human ear is less likely to notice… The result – an unsatisfying, brittle, indistinct, hollow experience with no punch… younger listeners have grown so used to dynamically compressed music that the battle has already been lost. You see, it’s not just about audio quality. It is about craft, toil. It’s about art…
As for marketing and promotion, I want the first listening experience of one of my records to be exactly as I intend it to be heard. For that reason, no longer will I be offering up advance copies for charlatans posing as journalists… Considering the amount of advance promotion I get these days, it won’t make a blind bit of difference to the sales performance. Not that there aren’t any positive sides to fan-shared files. Clearly, people in remote parts of the world – Siberia for example – can potentially be exposed to my music this way, albeit not, as yet, at optimum quality. It’s not ideal but better than no opportunity to hear it at all.