KT Tunstall

Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall had a bit to say regarding the music industry in November of 2010:

I actually have mixed feelings about it because, you know, I’m signed to a major label. . . I think of the internet, it has also had a major effect on the music industry. The labels are in a precarious situation where people really aren’t buying records anymore. I heard the statistic that selling 1 million records is the equivalent of selling 5 million records a year ago because so many people are managing to get a hold of it for nothing. So, it’s really changing and I think it’s very sad that people feel like they shouldn’t have to pay for it because it takes so much effort to make it. I put a year in a half and I’ve written 75 songs to make this album. It’s so much work and that’s partly what you’re paying for when you buy a record. On the other hand, on a more positive note the internet has made it so exciting because the cheapness of technology anyone can make an album. . . The ability to get music out there is so much available than before.

But, back in 2007, while Tunstall’s debut album Eye To The Telescope [Relentless Records] was climbing charts, she was singing a different note:

I have to be totally honest… when I heard about all the downloading problems and when I really thought about it, the only people who suffer ultimately – you know, if everything falls to its knees – are people who can’t sing or perform. It’s the people who actually can’t do their job who suffer because if you can’t make your money from record sales… I mean, I just know now that no matter what happens – if I lose all my friends and family and the record company spontaneously combusts – I can go out there and take my guitar out and make enough money to have dinner. It’s something you feel really grateful to be able to do.

[KT Tunstall]
[Chicago Pride]
[Canada.com]

Dropkick Murphys

We’ll forgo the introduction and keep this one nice and simple.

Marc Orrell, former guitarist, way back in 2003:

You know, there’s two sides to that story. There are the people that download the whole fucking album…albums upon albums…and they’ll rob, well, basically just take music. Then there are the kids that just listen to a couple songs, and they’re just trying to get the vibe of it. Me, I take pride in buying my albums. There’s albums that I already have, but when I look at the record store I’m like “Oh, I’m gonna buy that again! That’s a good record!” There are two sides to that story, you know? You can’t really pick and choose.

Current vocalist Al Barr said in 2007:

I guess [file-sharing] cool and hopefully those people like it enough that they’ll go buy the record. It is definitely affecting bands and the face of music in general. I think it’s the shape of things to come and that the music industry will have to accept it.

It’s only half of an answer, but drummer/vocalist Matt Kelly said in June of 2010:

As far as music goes, I’ve always and will probably always be a fan of “hard” media. File sharing is great if you’re sending a new song to a band mate, but MP3’s, WAV files, etc., just aren’t FUN.

[Dropkick Murphys]
[Epitaph]
[craveonline]
[maximum ink]

DM signed to Hellcat Records (owned by Epitaph) in 1996. In 2007 they joined Warner Bros. Records and released their sixth album under the WB-owned ‘vanity label’ Born & Bred (as with their 7th and latest, Going Out Of Style, March 1, 2011).

Tegan And Sara

Twin sisters Tegan And Sara have released six studio albums and are currently signed to Vapor Records.

At a 2010 concert:

As long as you keep coming to see us play live, and you buy t-shirts or you keep spreading the word about our band, then we can keep making stops in all these wonderful, amazing cities far from home. But that’s the trade- if you download our record for free, you have to give Sara something in return.

I must admit- I have no idea if Tegan or Sara is doing the talking. Watch the video and let me know in the comments, if you can!

[YouTube]
[Tegan And Sara]

Chicanery

Chicanery is a recent music collaboration between Warren Cuccurullo (Missing Persons, Duran Duran) and Neil Carlill (Delicatessen).

Warren, on the state of the industry:

[The industry is] already in the toilet. CD sales are virtually non-existent, good luck making a decent living in music- it’s pretty much impossible. I’ve invested over 100k doing these records and have only seen 6k back, not really financially feasible. We’ll see what happens, but I have zero expectations.

Neil has more to say:

Well, things have changed so much since I first released a record [in 1994]. I try to embrace what I need to these days. I think illegal downloading damages the artist, just like tape copying did before, but I still think music lovers will try and buy music. The internet business model for music is depressingly similar to the way it always has been, there are a few big sites which control most of the sales. They will dictate the success of the artists. There is a tremendous amount of data to sift through these days so it is as hard as it ever was to get noticed. Still, we must use the tools and adapt. Social networking sites make it possible to know people without ever really making a real connection. It’s like a big virtual reality board game.

[Duranasty]
[Chicanery]
[Our Duran Duran post]

OK Go

Well, here’s something I failed to post two weeks ago! I recently interviewed OK Go’s Tim Nordwind in collaboration with music industry publication Hypebot. What kind of interview would it be if I didn’t pop the big question?

There is a wide debate on illegal downloading. Where does OK Go stand on the spectrum?

Obviously we’d love for anyone who has our music to buy a copy. But again, we’re realistic enough to know that most music can be found online for free. And trying to block people’s access to it isn’t good for bands or music. If music is going to be free, then musicians will simply have to find alternative methods to make a living in the music business. People are spending money on music, but it’s on the technology to play it. They spend hundreds of dollars on Ipods, but then fill it with 80 gigs of free music. That’s ok, but it’s just a different world now, and bands must learn to adjust.

Do you think there is a danger in publicly embracing freely distributed music, or the inverse – do you think artists may withhold condemning music-sharing in fear of fan backlash?

I’m sure record label executives don’t like filesharing because it doesn’t sell the one thing that makes them money, the recordings. But from a band’s perspective I think filesharing is fine. Most music these days is freely distributed. We’ve always had naïve faith that as long as we make things that are good and people like them, more opportunities to make things will arise. We will find money from somewhere to chase our best ideas.

Read the interview in full at Hypebot.com – and expect more from my partnership with Hypebot in coming months!

Oops!

PV has been silent in recent weeks and I’ve received a few emails demanding answers. Don’t worry- nothing horrible is happening to the site. As a one-man operation, my personal life can interfere with the time and attention involved in running PV. All I’ll say is that December was a big month for me, but we’re back on the air! Get ready for some regular posting again, and if things go as planned, a bit of a site revamp!

Happy end of the holidays and good luck with those new year resolutions!

Ne-Yo

R&B artist Ne-Yo, born Shaffer Chimere Smith, is, to say the least, disappointed in the sales of his latest album. He blames illegal downloading and an unfortunate early leak of the unfinished album, Libra Scale.

On Twitter:

“ALL HACKERS DIE SLOW!! It’s stealing plain and simple! There’s places where they cut people’s hands off for less! Y’all SUCK!!!!! . . . My apologies y’all. Try to stay positive but these hackers really make me wanna stab somebody!!! (Not for real, but you get my point..) MAD! . . . I work my a** off when it comes to my music! Blood, sweat and tears, I pride myself on it! Only for somebody to hack in and steal it!?”

Later, he clarified:

I just feel like people don’t have patience anymore. Where’s the class and integrity that came with music back in the day? You listen to it before it’s supposed to be listened to and then you don’t like it but you didn’t even give it a chance to get done. That’s like eating a meal before its finished cooking; of course you’re not gonna like it!

I was a little disturbed by my first week numbers, but a lot of things went into that first week number. The album getting leaked a month in advance definitely had something to do with it. That was another situation where I jumped on my soapbox and let the world know how I felt about that. You know it’s the world we live in today, it’s the game. I’m not gonna let the ignorance of some stop me from doing what I feel like I was put on this earth to do.

[Ne-Yo]
[Music Rooms]