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Although his legendary band has hit the ‘top 10 rock’ charts on iTunes in multiple countries, Jon Bon Jovi isn’t very happy with the founder of the franchise, Steve Jobs:
Kids today have missed the whole experience of putting the headphones on, turning it up to 10, holding the jacket, closing their eyes and getting lost in an album; and the beauty of taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of still pictures and imagining it. God, it was a magical, magical time… I hate to sound like an old man now, but I am [he’s 49], and you mark my words, in a generation from now people are going to say: ‘What happened?’ Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business.
NOTE: Bon Jovi was clearly not making a statement on illegal downloading specifically, but rather the download/mp3 format and the way that music is consumed.
Bon Jovi has released 11 studio albums since 1984 (most recently in 2009). All of them were released on Mercury/Island Records (both are owned by Universal Music Group). Most hit #1 on multiple Billboard charts. Their third, Slippery When Wet, is certified diamond and one of the highest selling studio albums of all time.
Christopher Dudley, keyboardist of Christian metal band Underoath, 2008:
[Illegal downloading] depends on who the person is, I think. I don’t think there is anything wrong with downloading per say, but when downloading makes people not buy records, I don’t like that because obviously if I like a band, I’m going to want to go and buy their record. Not saying that just because I’m a band, but I’m going to want to support what they are doing. I just never really understood [people who say] ‘I like that band, but I don’t want to support them. I’d rather just take it.’
Underoath has released 7 studio albums since ’99 (the latest 4 hit various places including #1 on the Billboard 200, Top Rock, Top Christian). The first two were released on formerly independent label Takehold, the rest on Tooth & Nail Records and their divisions. EMI’s Christian subsidiary owns a 50% stake in T&N.
In 2009, legendary rock band Alice In Chains released their first album after a 14 year release hiatus and the death of their lead vocalist. “Black Gives Way To Blue” was leaked a full two weeks prior to it’s official release date. In a video interview, drummer Sean Kinney half-jokingly compares the leak to prison rape.
You know it’s gonna happen ’cause it’s part of [how the industry works nowadays], but you just hope it doesn’t happen too far in advance. It’s nothing unique, but we hadn’t been through it, ’cause we hadn’t made a record in 14 years, so I think that’s the initial shock… We were talking about it earlier- It’s like going to prison: You know you’re gonna get raped, but you’re not ready for it. You think you’re all prepared for it, but you’re not really prepared for how violent that rape is…
AIC has released 4 studio albums since 1987; the first 3 on Columbia, the latest on Virgin/EMI. (42, 6, 1, 5 on the Billboard 200 respectively; the 2nd their highest selling- certified 4x platinum). They’ve received 8 Grammy nominations and 3 MTV Music Video Award nominations (winning 1).
Paul Wall (Rapper/Shiny Teeth Enthusiast), in an interview about, umm, grills:
[The internet] was one of the main things for me as it will spread whatever you have going on. I could put a song on there tonight and you could be in Croatia and the song will be there in ten minutes. . . [Piracy] is promotion for any artist. I love it.
Paul Wall has been affiliated with the independent label Swishahouse since the end of the ’90s. His first major release was in 2005 on Swishahouse/Atlantic (#1 on Billboard 200). He recently was in a hip-hop group with Travis Barker, his latest release was in 2010 (#56 on Billboard 200), and his largest current venture is selling mouth grills.
Indie-rock outfit Eisley releases their third album – The Valley – today (March 1st). In true Pirate Verbatim style, here is some old news to go with the new news!
In a September 2009 blog, the band of siblings blogged about the importance of illegal downloading for music itself. In part:
“. . . No matter what people pay or don’t pay… music has held it’s value. The price tag has little to do with that value. Music is life… it’s not a luxury we hope to afford or even a commodity we need to help make life bearable. . . Do I think it should have a price tag? Yes. Do I agree with those British artists currently ranting about illegal downloads (hurting the little guys)? Sure. It hurts bands like Eisley but it also helps bands like Eisley. . . ”
Eisley signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2003 and left in 2010. At the end of the same year, they signed to Equal Vision Records, an independent label, who says: “We are entirely owned and operated with no outside financial support. We are however distributed by the Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA Music), which is a subsidiary of Warner Music Group.”
In 2007, Goo Goo Dolls singer John Rzeznik spoke firmly against filesharing.
More and more people actually spend a buck. I do it every day. It’s a buck. Please, just give us a buck. . . It’s wrong. I did this work and I deserve to get paid for it. What people have got to remember is it’s really fun to take down The Man but The Man will always be there. It’s the artists that are the last ones to get paid and we get paid the least of anybody in the chain. Our last record sold maybe 800,000 copies – we didn’t make any money. None. Not one penny from record sales. Imagine if we weren’t able to go out and tour and make money on tour. What would we have done? We would have had a gold record and go out and get jobs.
Fast forward three years and Rzeznik admits to using Limewire P2P services! Well, just once, he says, to find a song in which ultimately resulted in a cover on the “deluxe” version of their latest album:
Actually, I have to confess that I went to Limewire and found a copy of the original song [by Flesh For Lulu] because I couldn’t find it on iTunes. So, if I ever run into the guys from Flesh For Lulu, I promise I’ll give them a buck [laughs].
And rewinding back to 2007, Robby Takac, guitarist, had a different idea:
I think I can look at the situation and say I can’t blame the fucking kids. I have to blame the industry for looking at a wall full of writing for many, many years and just going, ‘Meh! The government will work it out.’ You know what, they don’t do that anymore.