THE AGONIST – Music Industry Reality Check For Illegal Downloaders: “Sorry To Shatter The Rockstar Fantasy…”

Anyone who knows me knows where I stand on the subject of downloading music illegally. In a nutshell, trying to convince me that it’s okay – or even a good thing – is a surefire way to get an invitation to fuck off and die. Painfully. Unfortunately, standing on my iron soapbox yelling “Keyboard Warrior baaaaaaad!” doesn’t really get the message across a lot of the time, probably because I’m a journalist and supposedly we’re all a bunch of spoiled elitist snobs.

That said, Alissa White-Gluz of the Montreal band The Agonist recently posted a breakdown of what bands go through to make a so-called living with their art. I suggest that anyone who claims to be a fan of metal and music in general take a look at her words below. It’s a feast for thought.

For the kiddies, I hope it’s an eye-opener that sticks to the insides of your heads. For the adults that should know better, choke on it and start buying your music, you thieving scum.

“Here’s a little insider info just to clarify, since a lot of people don’t understand how the industry now works. We would feel bad divulging this kind of info and shattering the dream, but a lot of metal musicians seem to be doing it nowadays so I think we’re ok to do so as well.

Why are we asking you to buy the album? We don’t see money from album sales. We have never seen a single royalty penny. But, if your band is known to sell a lot of albums, especially in the first week of release, you get more offers for tours, therefore making it more possible to play to more fans.

Ticket Money: As an opener, we do not see any money from ticket sales or have any control over ticket price. As a headliner we rarely see any money from ticket sales as well.

YouTube: If you think we are making money off of YouTube plays, check out who’s channel our videos are on (Hint: It ain’t our channel!;)) Again, we’ve never seen a penny from YouTube plays. Continue reading THE AGONIST – Music Industry Reality Check For Illegal Downloaders: “Sorry To Shatter The Rockstar Fantasy…”

Bitchin’ Musician, Get Outta The Kitchen!

In July 2007 I did an interview with a rather talented veteran musician I considered a friend. Haven’t spoken to him since, and I’m guessing it’s because he saw the blog below – originally posted on MySpace – and didn’t have the balls to call me and say “Y’know what, doodness, you have a point, I’m sorry I was a douche-nozzle.” This being the fourth anniversary of the incident recapped below, I thought I’d celebrate my ever-present righteous disdain for self-absorbed oh-woe-is-me people. Enjoy….

I recently did an “interview” with a guy I’ve known for a long time. His band is gearing up to release a new album, and because I’m a fan and a friend I elected to do a story for BW&BK. As much as I was looking forward to speaking to him again, however, I was also dreading it because during the last three of four interviews we’d done he started ranting about how the music industry has gone to hell, how the artists are getting fucked, how no one is buying music anymore, and on and on. I still have all these interviews on tape and they’re completely interchangeable because of this incessant bitching.

Sure enough, five minutes into our latest chat he started in on the industry. I tried to steer the conversation back to the new album three or four times, but he managed to turn things around so we were back discussing how the music industry is fucked. I probably should have said something, but out of respect for the man and his music I kept my mouth shut, gritted my teeth and dealt with it. It was an excruciatingly painful 35 minutes.

As we were wrapping up, however, he had the audacity to tell me he was going to email me the concept for the new album “so I could send him more questions for a better interview” because I didn’t ask him about the album concept. I said “fine, cool, no problem,” but I was stunned, insulted, and over the last week have become increasingly pissed off.

I have no problem with people criticizing me, but it seems to me that if someone would stop whining and moaning so much about his chosen profession and how the world is so goddamn unfair there might be room to ask pertinent questions. Continue reading Bitchin’ Musician, Get Outta The Kitchen!