A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity

It’s “2015 Chaos AD” and People Are Seeking Filters

A common question today is “How do musicians make money?”

Depending on which side of the argument you are, you either focus on the positives of today’s music market or on the negatives of today’s music market. Artists like Paul Stanley, Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Perry, Scott Ian, Gene Simmons and Kirk Hammett focus on the headlines that read;

  • Album sales are down
  • iTunes single downloads are down
  • Streaming services are decimating artists incomes
  • Technology and the internet has killed the rock star

But it’s not gloom and doom. The old ways are not coming back. You don’t see people going back to dial up internet, three TV channels and landline telephones. So why do you expect them to start buying albums again on vinyl and plastic.

So what do artists do?

Well you can complain like others for the old ways to come back or you can look at new ways and models to increase your brand and exposure.

In the link, there is a story about Linkin Park. In 2013, they decided that they needed to change their business model to accommodate the changing recorded music market. They restructured their organisation to run like a tech start-up. They parted ways with outside management and brought everything in-house

Prior to that they released music consistently, did video games, art and they licensed their grassroots marketing service to other bands, film studios, TV stations and brands.

They studied other successful artists who diversified. They studied other brands from different markets. They formed a new strategy where creating and selling music plays a supporting role instead of being the main role.

So what about someone just starting off?

A lot of people would say “Linkin Park is huge so they have the power to do things differently.” Read the article. Everything that they have going for them started with the team that was assembled to pack and send CD’s before they made it big.

For anyone starting off, the product is first. If you have no product, you have no publicity. And publicity comes from word of mouth. It’s 2015 Chaos AD and people are seeking filters. And the cold hard truth is that in order to be heard above the noise, you still need someone to promote you and your product.

I remember reading an article about word of mouth and it stated that Google, Facebook and Amazon grew because of word of mouth. Motley Crue and even Metallica had people spreading the word for them. And people will always listen to their friends.

Look at “Phish”. Their business thrives without any media attention and their career is decades deep.

And for the ones whinging about streaming profits, the goal is to get people to stream for years. Instant payola is gone.

There is another story over at the Times called “The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t”.

The article states, creative artists are thriving “in complicated and unexpected ways.”

Remember the words of Lars Ulrich on July 11, 2000, in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee,

‘‘We typically employ a record producer, recording engineers, programmers, assistants and, occasionally, other musicians. We rent time for months at recording studios, which are owned by small-­business men who have risked their own capital to buy, maintain and constantly upgrade very expensive equipment and facilities. Our record releases are supported by hundreds of record companies’ employees and provide programming for numerous radio and television stations. … It’s clear, then, that if music is free for downloading, the music industry is not viable. All the jobs I just talked about will be lost, and the diverse voices of the artists will disappear.’’

So 15 years have passed.

Have artists disappeared? NO

Has the music industry died? NO

But what we have are artists using a business model from the 1950’s. Spend time in a studio, record an albums worth of songs and release it. Hope that it penetrates the market and you go on a continuous victory lap celebrating the fact.

Look at any band in the history of music and they all have the definitive crossover album.

Bon Jovi has “Slippery When Wet”, Led Zeppelin has “IV”, Metallica has the “Black” album, Motley Crue has “Dr Feelgood”, Judas Priest has “Screaming For Vengeance”, Eagles have “Hotel California”, AC/DC has “Back In Black”, Kiss has “Destroyer”, Poison has “Open Up and Say Ahh..” and so on. You get the hint.

What we do know is that any record that gains traction will last longer than ever before in the current climate.

Metallica spent close to 18 months on the “Black” album and over a million dollars on it. Depending on which side of the debate you are on, it was either totally worth it or not worth it. From a band perspective, it was totally worth it. The “Black” album explosion also increased awareness in their back catalogue, which if you read my posts, you will note that even in 2015, “Master Of Puppets” is outselling the “Black” album.

But do the fans of 205 want their favourite artists to spend so much time out of the market?

While artists complain about technology changing their income streams from sales of recorded music, they seem to forget that technology has also changed the cost of recording an album/song?

If your main gig is to write songs for others, then we will be hearing your depressing stories in the press, unless you’re a Max Martin. However, if you like to play live, then the new world is for you. It’s simply economics. Recorded music is a product and performing live is also a product. Once upon a time both products were limited. Now recorded music is in infinite supply and live music is still limited. So when one product experiences a price decline, the other product which is limited, experiences an increase.

We don’t care about the corporations when it comes to music. We care about the music and the artist?

And it is unfortunate that the corporations attached the sales metric of record music as f fans caring for artists. So of course, if sales are reduced and music is illegally obtained, the same corporations with some dumb artists toe the line that fans don’t care. However, the fans do care, they just show it in different ways. But the same corporations don’t know how to make sense of the data and the artists are too poor or too far down the chain to obtain any substantial data.

Maybe that is why the direct to fan relationship has become such a focus lately. It means a leaner artist with less handlers. As the Times article states, more people are involved in music today than the glory years of the Nineties.

They are just doing it very different to what artists of yesteryear did.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Unsung Heroes

INTERESTING: In A World Of Free, Metal and Rock Music Still Continues To Sell

There is a great article over at the Metal Insider website.

If you are too lazy to click on the link, the article covers the biggest selling metal and rock albums for 2015.

From the results, it’s pretty obvious that metal and rock fans like to purchase music. There is still a collectors mindset there. What’s even more fascinating is that a lot of the albums that have sold a decent amount in 2015 were not even released in 2015.

NOTE: The figures are based on U.S sales.

“Master of Puppets” was released in 1986 and in 2015 it sold 107,800 units. The self-titled “Metallica” album released in 1991 has sold another 77,100 units in 2015. It is well on its way to 17 million units sold in total.

Now think about for a second.

All of Metallica’s music is available on streaming services for paid subscriptions and for free. All of their music is available for downloading via legal options and illegal options. And they still continue to sell.

A band’s longevity is based around the need to replenish their fan base year after year. If you are not doing that then expect to play smaller venues. Dokken and Ratt are two bands that come to mind who haven’t replenished their fan bases from the Eighties. Both bands in the Eighties had platinum sales and played arenas. Today, they have almost no sales and play clubs.  Of course, not having the main creative forces in the current version of the band plays a part, however, even if Lynch and Pilson or Pearcy and Croucier did rejoin Dokken and Ratt respectively, it doesn’t mean that millions of people would be interested.

Metallica,  however is doing a good job at replenishing their fan base based on their selected live performances in new markets and in markets that have high rates of piracy.  They basically have a whole new generation of music fans who more or less consumed the music of Metallica for free and in most cases illegally. However, that still hasn’t stopped them from selling music and concert tickets.

As business people, the move to their own label “Blackened Recordings” was a no-brainer.

The record is how it all starts. It hooks the audience in. Anyone born in the Nineties, will know Metallica as the conformist poster artist for the labels in the Napster case. Anyone born in the Seventies and early Eighties know Metallica as a non-conformist band that pushed boundaries.

The whole Napster kerfuffle in the end just showed why it was not a good idea for Metallica to get in the way of people experiencing their music. However, they have learnt that by making their music available everywhere, they see better returns in other areas.

As an artist, it is a privilege for people to listen to your music. Respect that.

“Back In Black” from AC/DC was released in 1980. In 2015 so far, it has sold 110,000 units in the U.S.  The new album, “Rock Or Bust”, released in 2014, has sold 143,400 units in 2015.  Put it down to the band being on the road and building awareness of the new album. It just goes to show that the blanket marketing campaigns before the album release date, the Grammy appearance and all of the other medical issues/jail issues in the media meant nothing in 2015.

You see, when the music eco system was controlled by the record labels, the marketing blitz by the labels meant something. In 2015, it means nothing.

From the 2015 releases, Breaking Benjamin’s “Dark Before Dawn” has sold 209,000 units so far, Marilyn Manson’s “The Pale Emperor” has sold 124,200 units so far and Halestorm’s “Into The Wild Life” has sold 114,500 units so far.

From the 2014 releases, Foo Fighters “Sonic Highways” album has sold 87,800 in 2015, for total sales in 480,000 so far. Slipknot’s “5: The Gray Chapter” has sold 84,000 units in 2015, for total sales of 344,000 units. Nickelback’s “No Fixed Address” album has sold 101,000 units in 2015. Like the Foo Fighters it is approaching Gold status.

Led Zeppelin continues to be a selling machine, so why would they create new music when Copyright grants them and the owners of their songs, rights for the next 110 years to exploit the works.

In case you are wondering “Led Zeppelin 4” sold 75,000 units and “Physical Graffiti” sold 112,400 units in 2015.

Kid Rock’s debut “Devil Without A Cause” is still selling. For 2015 alone, it has moved 86,000 units. Add that to the other 10 million units it has sold so far.

So what is all of the above telling us.

Eventually people will pay, however if a piece of music that people want to check out is not available for free, they will turn away until it becomes convenient. Don’t expect people to pay just because you want them too.

And for all of those critics saying the new bands cannot attain the same level of success as their Seventies and Eighties counterparts, well have a look at some other stats.

 

As influential as Black Sabbath was to metal music, they are being outsold by Linkin Park, Korn and even Limp Bizkit.

Also for all of Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley’s comments about rock being dead because no one is buying recorded music, well, Kiss has never really been a big seller of recorded music anyway. Their 21 million is pretty tame compared to Metallica’s 62 million. In the end, the live show is where it’s at. Deliver there and make that show a cultural event, the sky is the limit.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Hard Working Musicians and Some Not So Hard Working Musicians

When I sit down to write a song, I write a song. That means, I have a vocal melody, chords and a certain feel behind it. In the bands I used to be in, I would then play the song for them. Now, my vocals are limited, so when I play the original song there are some notes I cannot hit. However the singer in the band can hit those notes.

Now according to Sebastian Bach, because he can sing better than Matt Fallon, he should get a song writing credit.

Come on man, this sense of entitlement that everyone has is getting downright stupid.

I love the Sebastian Bach era of Skid Row and I love Sebastian’s solo stuff. I saw Skid Row play at Eastern Creek in Sydney back in 1993. I purchased their debut album because I saw that Michael Wagener was listed as the producer. I remember dropping the needle and being blown away.

I remember also picking up a bootleg of the Matt Fallon era of Skid Row and being amazed at how good the songs sounded in demo form. Of course, Sebastian Bach is the better singer and he is the difference between a good band and a great band. Plus he is Skid Row. As good as Dave Sabo and Rachel Bolan are at writing the songs, people will always associate their band with Sebastian Bach.

But, in the case of getting a song writing credit just because he sang the vocal melody better, Sebastian has it wrong.

The Skid Row guys know the truth. History has always shown people trying to rewrite the past to suit a current point of view. But seriously, based on Sebastian’s definition, then guitarist Scotti Hill should also be credited as a songwriter for the Skid Row debut. Why not, hey?

Hill’s lead playing is all over the album and in “18 and Life”, the lead work is very definitive. But it doesn’t work that way. It never did, however in the new world we live in with plagiarism lawsuits everywhere, anything is possible.

Another person that keeps on getting it wrong is Yngwie Malmsteen. When is he going to realise that as good as a guitarist he is, without a great lead singer, his band and his songs are just average. Joe Lynn Turner and Jeff Scott Soto are the right vocalists for Yngwie however those bridges have burnt.

The problem with Yngwie and other artists like Kiss, is that they haven’t created anything worthwhile recently that would make us pay attention. So no one is interested in obtaining their new music. In Kiss’s case, they can still make good money on the road. In Yngwie’s case, he is playing clubs and bars.

You see, in music you work your ass off to get a break and to build an audience. Then you need to work even harder to keep that audience and to replenish it. The big dirty secret that eludes artists is that fans drop off, lose interest or just move on to other bands or different styles especially if the music coming out fails to connect.

If you want to listen to Malmsteen at his best, the first four albums are essential listening. Anything after that is for the hard-core fans.

These days it seems that the popular artists forget why they became famous. It’s because of the music, stupid. It amazes me when I read interviews with artists who don’t feel it is necessary to make new music. The latest is Paul Stanley. The reason why he is a somebody, is because he wrote music. And a lot of it.

Look at guys like Mark Tremonti or even Joel Hoekstra. Both guys are super hard workers.

Tremonti has two albums coming out within a 12 month period from his band Tremonti, plus another Alter Bridge album. Chuck into that mix the Fret 12 guitar instructional DVD’s that he has been doing for the last 10 years and you can see how hard he is working at releasing content on a consistent basis.

Hoekstra just released “The Purple Album” with Whitesnake, has a project called VHF that will be releasing an album soon and another project called Joel Hoekstra 13 that will also be releasing an album soon. In addition to that, he released music with Night Ranger just last year and toured with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. All of that hard work is paying off for him at the moment.

So what do we know?

It’s hard work being a musician. It always has been and it always will be. Tremonti and Hoekstra are perfect examples of hard work.

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Copyright, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity

The Copyright Pension/Annuity

When I started to write my own songs back in the late Eighties, copyright was not even in my mindset. You see, when you start to do something creative you do it because there is a sense of fulfillment and a desire to create.

From my own experiences, I never sat down with my guitar and said to myself, “Gee, lucky for me, there is a copyright law in place that lasts my whole lifetime, plus another seventy years after I die, to give me an incentive to create”.

Those kinds of thoughts never enter the mindset.

Which brings me to today and how the very nature of what Copyright is has been hijacked by large corporations and greedy next of kins.

The whole “Blurred Lines” case is a joke. For the record, it is a crap song that made a lot of cash. So what we have is a jury deciding if a song sounds similar to another song and for them to decide that it does sound similar, it more or less indirectly infers that Marvin Gaye was so original that his song “Got To Give It Up” came out of some celestial vacuumed place that only Marvin Gaye had access to. However, everyone knows that is not the case. All artists are the sum of their influences.

And what a said state of affairs for Copyright. You have the heirs of Marvin Gaye, who haven’t contributed anything to the arts and are living off the proceeds of a stupid law that extends Copyright 70 plus years after death. There are millions upon millions of songs out there that sound similar, however once a song makes some serious cash, the knives come out.

What I took out of the court case and what bodes well for music in general is the amount of money the track made.

$5.6 million in profits went to Robin Thicke while $5.2 million to Pharrell Williams, $700,000 to the other writer T.I. and the rest of the $16.7 million in overall profits went to the  record companies Interscope, UMG Distribution and Star Trak. Since Napster, we have been hearing the same rhetoric from the recording industry and out of touch artists.

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are renowned for their viewpoints on rock being dead and piracy killing off any chance a new artist has of making some money. Scott Ian wanted to disconnect people from the Internet. Nuclear Blast want to shakedown people who downloaded the music from “All Shall Perish”.

Meanwhile the record labels kept the propaganda machine going that they just can’t make any money because of piracy. So here is just one song that has made close to $17 million dollars in profits. One song, remember that.

So it goes back to the same old saying, create something that people gravitate too and watch it make you money. There is a shitload of money out there if artists can create a great song that people gravitate to.

Actually speaking of plagiarism, listen to the “Funky Town” vocal melody and then listen to the verse vocal melody in Kiss’s “Lick It Up”. They are identical. Hell, the whole “Sonic Highways” album from Foo Fighters is a case of influences. Same goes for the whole “Hail To The King” album from Avenged Sevenfold. Let’s add  “Kill Em All” from Metallica which was more or less a rip off the NWOBHM movement. Subsequent Metallica songs afterwards would further borrow from other cult/unknown artists.

Recently Five Finger Death Punch lifted “The Ultimate Sin” verse vocal melody and used it for the “Lift Me Up” verse. Dave Mustaine did the same both musically and vocally by lifting “Children Of The Grave” and using it for “Kingmaker.”

Thank god that Dave Grohl, A7X, Five Finger Death Punch, Dave Mustaine or Metallica didn’t decide to let a Marvin Gaye song influence them, otherwise they would be in the courts as the well.

I think it is pretty safe to say a lot of songs sound the same regardless of genre. I see it more as a tribute than a rip off and to be honest in no way does the new composition take away from the original. For example, there is no way that “Something From Nothing” from the Foo Fighters takes away from Dio’s “Holy Diver”.

But when you have a whole copyright industry that makes money of the works created by others, you get a lot of bullshit happening, especially when a song makes a lot of money.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Seriously… Ray Luzier

Isn’t it time that the argument stops being about what has been lost to what can be gained when it comes to copyright infringement/piracy.

Seriously I am disappointed from artists in the metal and rock genres that talk shit like this. It started with Lars Ulrich and Napster. It continued with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley talking crap. Scott Ian got in on the act. Yngwie Malmsteen and Joe Lynn Turner also had their views and now we have Ray Luzier.

Lets play a little game.

Who can name a song that Ray Luzier wrote? Does anyone know who Ray Luzier is?

I am pretty sure that no one can name one song that he has written of the top of their heads. So why is he given time to make uninformed comments.

He ripped on a fan of Army Of Anyone because he turned up with a burnt CD of the “Army Of Anyone” album and asked it to be signed. Any artists that equates a fan listening to their music as a lost sale should not be in the music business at all. So Ray starts to have a go at the fan because he didn’t have ten bucks to spend on a CD. He accused him of stealing it.

Does Ray even know the definition of stealing?

It means to take (the property of another) without right or permission.

Music is not property, however the CD that the music is on is property. So Ray is accusing a fan of stealing his CD. But wait a second, the kid turned up with a blank CD, that had music copied on it from a friend. It wasn’t Ray’s actual CD and the music on the burnt CD had not been stolen, because the “Army Of Anyone” catalogue is available for purchase and for streaming everywhere. It still could be available in brick and mortar shops (depending if they have old copies lying around because I can’t see many people clamouring to order it)

So what is it Ray.

Stealing or Copyright infringement. And I am sure that Ray Luzier was an angel who never ever got a copy of another bands music on a cassette tape. He must have had so much disposable income in the Eighties that he purchased the originals all the time.

But this is his best quote. “Someone’s gotta do something — put a chip in there where you can’t duplicate it. You know what I mean?!”

So at first he is having a bitch at people infringing on the music he is involved with and now he also wants is to punish the real fans that purchase the CD by not allowing them to media shift it to their mp3 player.

I think that Ray should read up a bit on the Sony BMG Rootkit scandal first. Sony tried to be that someone who tried to do something. What they did was that when a music disc was inserted into a computer, it installed software illegally (and in the background without the user knowing) that ended up creating vulnerabilities in the computer operating system which was then exploited by malware.

This attempt of DRM by Sony led to public outcry, government investigations and class-action lawsuits. DVD manufacturers also tried this and guess what happened. A kid in a bedroom created a program to circumvent the DRM on DVD’s.

Does Ray even know that Amazon has an AutoRip feature. So when a person buys a CD from Amazon, they get an AutoRip of it from download. Does Ray even know that all Pledge Music campaigns perks come with a digital copy of the album.

Seriously dude, I have the “KXM” CD because I am a George Lynch fan. I haven’t played it again after giving it around 20 plus spins. I have listened to the “Army Of Anyone” CD. I got a ripped copy as well from a friend who is a die-hard Stone Temple Pilots fan. It became a coffee coaster after the initial listen.

But Ray seems to fail to see that people still buy albums that they like, along with streaming albums that they like.

Five Finger Death Punch at the moment have combined sales of over 800,000 copies in the US of their “Wrong Side Of Heaven/Righteous Side Of Hell” releases. At the rate they are going, each album will be certified Gold in the U.S. All of their previous albums have been certified Gold in the U.S and again, they are still selling so expect them to pass Platinum in the years to come.

Shinedown, Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat are bands that are also selling albums week in/week out.

All of the above bands have double-digit numbers on Spotify plus sold out shows at the box office.

So I think its time that the misinformed musicians stop ripping on their fans and start connecting with them. We are the ones that sustain you and if you choose to not be in music anymore because someone is downloading your music, then be gone because you are in the game for the wrong reasons.

Another will come and take your place that doesn’t think of money, because money was always a by-product of the music. It never was THE PRODUCT.

ONE FINAL NOTE: A local retailer in Australia called JB HI-FI is having a deal going on that is marketed as 3 for $10. I was in there on Friday to buy a Halo game for my kids and I thought I would spend 5 minutes to go through the various boxes to see if there was anything that I liked.

I found “Megadeth – Ruse In Peace Live” on Blu-Ray, “Megadeth – Countdown To Extinction Deluxe 20th Anniversary Boxed CD” ( I already own the 92 release CD along with the 2004 remastered/remixed edition bonus tracks edition, so this is the third time I have purchased this album) and a band that I have heard of in name only called “The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus” just so I could round out the $10 deal.

Today I went to another JB Hi-Fi store about 30 minutes away and they didn’t have those albums as part of their deal. And I was curious as to why. So I found them in the metal section and I took note of the prices.

MEGADETH – Rust In Peace (BluRay) was selling for $27.99

MEGADETH – Countdown To Extinction (20th Anniversary Edition) was selling for $28.99.

THE RED JUMPSUIT APPARATUS – Lonely Road was selling for $18.99

Now for the math. I picked up all three for $10 at one store, however 30 minutes away in another store if I wanted to pick up those three albums I would have had to pay $75.97.

ONE FINAL NOTE II: Today I picked up a “Rush Greatest Hits CD”, “Killers – Battleborn” and Guns N Roses – “Chinese Democracy.” The Gunners purchase was purely to add to the CD collection so that Gunners discography looks complete.

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A to Z of Making It, Alternate Reality, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Gene Simmons

Fans of rock and metal have had a shitload of releases in the last 3 years. There is more music being created right now than ever before.

Five Finger Death Punch are selling out a lot of their shows. Coheed and Cambria just finished a “house full” tour in support of the anniversary tour of “In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth”. Has anyone that isn’t a Coheed and Cambria fan actually paid attention to the amount of work that goes into Claude Sanchez’s storytelling. “The Afterman” releases told the origin tale of Sirius Amory who discovered an energy source called the Keyworth, which is sort of the common gravity that keeps all these planets aligned. The whole Coheed and Cambria saga is based around the “Amory Wars”.

With all of the good that is happening in rock and metal music, we still have people who just don’t get it like the out of touch Gene Simmons who said, “Rock is dead” a while back. I already covered that part a while ago so let’s look at some of Gene Simmon’s achievements over the last 40 years.

He is known as the “God Of Thunder” however the actual song that he is famous for is written by Paul Stanley.

“Cold Gin” and “Parasite” are Ace Frehley songs, however in the early days Ace wasn’t comfortable singing so Simmons took lead vocal. “Parasite” became a favourite of all the early thrash heroes like Scott Ian, Dimebag Darrell and James Hetfield, however it is no creation of Gene Simmons.

The “Rock And Roll All Nite” chorus was written by Paul Stanley.

“I Love It Loud” and “Unholy” needed Vinnie Vincent’s metal touch to make it happen. .

“War Machine” was written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance.

“Domino” actually appeared on a Black N Blue album. On the Black N Blue album the song was called “Nasty Nasty” and the songwriters are listed as Gene Simmons, Jaime St. James and Tommy Thayer however “Domino” is listed as being solely written by Gene Simmons.

So in a nutshell, his achievements on his own are pretty much close to zero. Basically, Gene Simmons achievements are no different from a record label CEO, making money from the hard work and creativity of other people like Paul Stanley.

His cartoon Demon superhero persona is more popular than the actual music he has written and in today’s world you either lead with your music or you get left behind.

From the solo albums that came out, Ace Frehley’s outsold all the other three. From the hits, “Beth” was it and it was written by Peter Criss and molded by Bob Ezrin. However, Gene is trying his best to rewrite history and make himself to be more important than what he really is.

The main difference between today and yesteryear is the connection/interaction between fans and artists. Gene Simmons has none. As far as he is concerned, the connection means he creates and we must buy.

The biggest test of the relevance of the artist is in moments of crisis. Gene Simmons answer to the copyright infringement crisis was to call for file-sharers to be sued. He then responded by threatening lawsuits and withholding new music. He also said that the FBI should arrest the people who upload/download and take away their houses.

I like Kiss. I even took my kids to watch them when they toured Oz with Motley Crue.

But dude, seriously, you need to create something that we can sink our teeth into again.

It’s obvious that Gene Simmons cant do it on his own, so he needs to start writing with other artists again to come up with something magical.

It’s no use just sitting back and blaming everyone else for why no one cares about your new music. And for why no one is buying, guess what, those buyers are slowly declining and have been for the last 15 years. I have said it a million times and I will still say it. Napster showed the recording industry that we want access to free music and that paradigm shift event happened 15 years ago.

The majority of music fans have moved on to the access model, which means that people could be at a Kiss show that have never purchased a Kiss album. That is the reality we live in, Mr Gene Simmons.

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Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Everyone Is Trying To Twist The Narrative To Their Own Advantage.

So Desmond Child is telling the world that Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and himself had to split a total of $110 in 2012 for the 6.5 million streams of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” on Pandora during a three-month span in 2012. Pandora’s published rate is about .0013 cents per stream. So doing the math, that means that “Livin On A Prayer” actually earned $8,450 for that three-month spell on Pandora. If that is true, that means that the songwriters are getting about 1.3% of the monies paid to the record labels.

Daniel Ek claims that Spotify will pay $6 million to Taylor Swift from worldwide streams. Swift’s label, claims that is a lie and that they received less than $500,000 for the streams. However what the label is forgetting to say is that the amount is for US streams only.

And Spotify argues that it is competing with free/piracy, while the artists side argue about Spotify not paying enough. They are two different arguments that have no correlation with each other whatsoever. When are people going to realise that Spotify doesn’t sell music, it provides access to it. And consumers like it, otherwise Spotify wouldn’t be starting to overtake iTunes in some markets.

Rob Zombie once upon a time hated copyright infringement and now he reckons it makes him more creative as he doesn’t have to write songs that fit a sales metric.

Lars Ulrich is now reserved and diplomatic in his responses to music piracy or copyright infringement. Maybe it is because he knows that if it wasn’t for music piracy, Metallica wouldn’t be playing sold out shows in China or the Middle East and some South East Asian countries.

Scott Ian wanted the people who downloaded the “Worship Music” album to be disconnected from the internet, even though they could have been fans who ended up purchasing a concert ticket and an over-priced T-shirt.

Gene Simmons famously said that downloaders/fans should be sued and also have their houses taken from them. He said that rock is dead because of piracy. Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Stanley, Joe Perry and others agreed with him. Many others didn’t.

Internet Radio station Sirius XM is going to lose its case over pre-1972 sound recordings by the band The Turtles. The shameful part here is that the recording industry fought hard against making pre-1972 recordings fought hard against this. The hypocrisy here is huge. While the recording industry has fought so hard against making pre-1972 sound recordings subject to federal copyright laws, now they suddenly want aspects of federal copyright law (like public performance rights which did not exist under previous laws) to apply to those very same works. If Congress made it so those works were under federal copyright, there wouldn’t be an issue and all these works would be treated identically. But the truth is that the RIAA wants to keep these works out of federal copyright law to use them as a weapon against internet innovation.

Sony is re-evaluating it’s support for free streaming, however as a part owner of Spotify, I find it hard to believe that they will pull their catalogue from the free-tier.

Everyone is trying to twist the narrative to their own advantage.

Everybody has an angle.

And what about the musicians.

The hardest challenge facing musicians is getting people to listen to their new music and then getting them to stick around once the album because those big marketing awareness campaigns are goneski. It’s proven that they don’t work if the music is shit and the narrative is shit.

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