As an independent musician at the beginning of my career I keep getting asked what my position on music piracy is. So here goes (deep breath):
IT’S FUCKING AMAZING.
You have the entire history of recorded music at your fingertips. Think of any piece of music and seconds later you’re listening to it on YouTube.. That. Is. Unfuckingbelievable. Imagine how many round pieces of plastic you would have to own to be able to say that.
“But that’s not fair” says new artists (and formerly me). Of course it’s not fair! But as we all know: that’s life. Music is 1’s and 0’s now. It’s in the ether. It’s free and there’s no going back.
And would we really want to go back anyway? To a time when we had to grovel in front of record labels on our knees and beg for an shitty deal? Nuts to that. These are AMAZING times to be a musician. You don’t need a million dollars to make a record. Your laptop is a recording studio and a video camera. Don’t know how to use a microphone? Not sure how to edit a video? Google that shit. Anyone and everyone can easily place their music up for grabs on the internet.
The downside of course, is that we have to navigate the Seven Seas of Shit. A daunting task to be sure. But if an act is truly good enough, people will hear about them and they’ll find an audience (google Pretty Lights).
As for those musicians who complain that we’re not all rich, what did they think they were getting into? If you want a Ferrari, become a banker.
Of course the dinosaur labels are moaning about all this. “THE WORLD IS COMING TO AN END BECAUSE PIRATE BAY”. Fuck ’em. They’ve been overcharging you, suing you, pumping out the same shit over-and-over again, living like kings off the backs of artists for decades. You owe them nothing.
So if you like an artist and want to support them, go see them live. That’s the way they made money in the past, it’s the way we’ll make money in the future.
Music is free now. Enjoy it.