I tried to pre-order the new Machine Head album from the Nuclear Blast US store. I was after the box set package at $77.99 plus. It was easy to find and it was easy to click on “add to cart”. Then when I went to check out and I couldn’t. When I investigated it was due to some holding days parameter. It is the first time I have seen anything of the sort. Maybe it was a godsend because when I checked the FAQ on delivery costs, the label was going to charge me $55 to have it delivered to Australia.
So I sent the label a WTF email and pre-ordered the limited 48 page media book from Amazon without any fucking issue. Typical label bullshit. Here is a tip for any label web store. Make it as simple as possible. If anyone has read Steve Jobs’s bio, there is a passage there that stuck with me. He basically wanted his Apple products to be as simple as the Star Trek arcade game he came across as a child. That game had two rules. Insert Coin and shoot Kligons with red button.
I also listened to “Now We Die” from Machine Head a lot of times today.
Listen to the version on Machine Head’s account. It sounds better than the link that Robb Flynn had on his Journal post which is to a fan YouTube account. So first the song. The violin start is enough to get the blood pumping and when that opening riff kicks in it is absolutely killer. I would have loved for that violin part to come in again throughout the song in the form of a harmony solo section however it didn’t. But for some reason I have a feeling that it will come back in play somewhere else in the album. So with “Killer And Kings” and “Now We Die” doing the rounds, all I can say is that I am really looking forward to the album.
Now for the leak.
“Now We Die” is the official lead single from the “Bloodstone And Diamonds” album. It leaked on the Internet 3 weeks before its official release date because someone messed up. However the way Machine Head has responded to the leak is the way every artist should respond. They have uploaded the song to their own YouTube account, they have told their fans to share it to every corner of the world and most importantly they are working on getting the song/s up on Spotify as quickly as possible.
Machine Head has a pretty loyal fan base and all we want is access to the new music.
And kudos to the band on not going all nuclear on taking down the songs. Even in their anger, they understand the way the world works today and when something like this happens then you need to be in a position to capitalise on it.
Because even though music might feel like it is free it is not. YouTube pays the rights holders and so does Spotify. It’s up to the artist to promote these avenues and to get their fan base to listen. If an artist wants to get paid then get people to listen. If Calvin Harris can clock up more than a billion streams on Spotify there is no reason why a metal act can’t do the same. Those one billion streams of ONE, (yes, ONE) song would have generated closed to $7 million in Spotify payments to Columbia Records. Now how much of this goes to Calvin Harris and how much goes to the label we will never now, but hey, think about it for a second. That one song generated $7 million dollars.
And even though piracy exists, more and more people (especially the kids) are busy streaming than downloading. It’s a brave new world out there, a bit fragmented but getting better all the time.