Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Unsung Heroes

The Paul Stanley Article

The Article
Paul Stanley reckons that if KISS started today they wouldn’t stand a chance because the music industry as it exists today isn’t even an industry, it’s just shambles.

KISS didn’t really blow up until “ALIVE” came out. So in today’s standards or even the late eighties standards they wouldn’t stand a chance to reach their fourth or fifth album. The thing with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons is that they base a lot of their decisions on what piracy and peer-to-peer downloading has done to the industry.

Now if you search the RIAA database for the band KISS, you will see that “Destroyer” is 2x Multi-Platinum and that happened in September 2011. Two other KISS albums have been certified 2x Multi-Platinum and they are “Smashes, Thrashes and Hits” and “Alive II”.

They don’t have an official album that has been certified more than 2x Multi-Platinum and piracy has been around since 1999. So even in the heyday of record label control, KISS were not large sellers of recorded music as they would like you to believe. Especially when you compare them to Pink Floyd, Eagles, Bon Jovi, Metallica and Motley Crue. It wasn’t until the KISS Reunion in the late nineties that KISS finally went from playing to 10,000 people to 40,000 people. Credit Doc McGhee with the vision to make that happen.

As for Stanley’s comments on file sharing, it just shows how out of touch he is.

“File sharing is just a fancy way of saying stealing. You can’t share what you don’t own. It’s like me saying, ‘transportation borrowing,’ and I steal your car.”

If a person illegally shares or downloads the song “Lick It Up” what that person has done is infringe on the copyright of the song. The song is still available on iTunes for downloading. The song is still available on Spotify for streaming. The song is still available on YouTube for listening. The song is still available on the “Lick It Up” album that is gathering dust in the record store waiting to be purchased. No one has stolen anything.

Paul Stanley also reckons like Yngwie Malmsteen, Kirk Hammet and Gene Simmons that younger bands don’t have a chance in hell of ever getting that pot of gold.

What about Five Finger Death Punch, Shinedown, In This Moment, Bullet For My Valentine, Skillet, Red, Trivium, Halestorm, Black Veil Brides and many more others that are releasing albums and going from success to success.

What about musicians/bands who have been doing the rounds since the eighties and nineties who have all seen an upswing in recognition and success like Slash with Myles Kennedy, Godsmack, Stryper, Volbeat, In Flames, Machine Head, 10 Years, Coheed and Cambria, Lamb Of God, Avenged Sevenfold and Killswitch Engage.

Now, Ed Sheeran has nothing to do with heavy metal or hard rock music however the work ethic and ideas that he exhibits should be noted. His current tour of Australia has one ticket price at $99. All of his fans will have the chance to sit in the front row.

This in a way takes out the elitist tickets. It makes it affordable for people with rich parents and not rich parents. This is in contrast to say Kiss who sell front row tickets for a premium of around $2000 for some shows. In Ed Sheeran’s case he keeps the front row tickets and gives them out on the day. He and his team try to find fans outside of the venue of fans in the nosebleed seats and give them front row tickets. And what an artist to fan connection he is establishing.

And for hard work, Ed Sheeran is up there. It took two years to sell two million copies of the first album through constant touring and intimate acoustic gigs and now it’s taken 14 weeks for his new album “X” to do the same.

This more or less proves the piracy argument decimating the music business is invalid. People still purchase albums along with streaming and downloading the songs. The great thing about musicians being worldwide right away is that if a song’s not successful in one country like Australia it usually is in another. Different countries have different tastes. You can always have a hit somewhere. But Paul Stanley doesn’t get that. Which is a shame.

I actually finished reading his book Face The Music last week and the impression I got from it was an out of touch and sheltered rock star. Guess his comments sum it up.

And the thing is Kiss’s best song in the last fifteen years has been “Hell Or Hallelujah”. So how about coming up with more songs like that instead of the other garbage that has done the rounds.

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Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity

The Yngwie Malmsteen Article

THE MALMSTEEN ARTICLE

Yngwie Malmsteen released four good albums in “Rising Force” (1984), “Marching Out” (1985), “Trilogy” (1986), “Odyssey” (1988) and two average albums in “Eclipse” (1990) and the big budget “Fire & Ice” (1992) released on the Elektra label which Malmsteen switched too from Polydor and after one album on Elektra he was dropped. All other releases since then have been garbage. And it is this money machine that Malmsteen wants to come back.

Malmsteen reckons that people love heavy metal, rock and roll and guitar players, but since there is no money in the recording business there is nothing new coming out. Malmsteen believes that the new groups starting off are not going to get exposed and the fans are not going to get new music.

Umm,what about Five Finger Death Punch, a band that recorded their debut album on their own budget and then was signed in 2007 when peer-to-peer downloading was at its highest peak. And guess what, they have gone on to achieve way more than what Malmsteen has achieved in relation to sales and recognition and they did all of this competing with free.

Malmsteen’s song “Rising Force” from the Odyssey album is his highest streamed song at 1,086,887 streams. Compare that to Five Finger Death Punch’s “Coming Home” that has 12,498,946 streams.

Guess that Malmsteen hasn’t heard of Shinedown who is another band signed at the height of the piracy epidemic that also went on to platinum sales, high box office returns on the live circuit and good streaming metrics on YouTube and Spotify.  The song “Call Me” has 18,423,889 streams and it wasn’t even a single.

Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine are both bands that have a similar set up. Trivium’s first album came out in 2003 and Bullet For My Valentine’s first album came out in 2005. “Tears Don’t Fall” from Bullet For My Valentine has 25,608,159 streams and “In Waves” from Trivium has 4,995,977 streams.

Volbeat is another band that is going from strength to strength in sales, streams, YouTube views and concert attendances and like Five Finger Death Punch they are another band that got signed when peer-to-peer downloading was at its highest. “Still Counting” has 29,094,090 streams.

Chevelle got a big breakthrough in 2003 which was another year of high piracy and since then have continued to be a proven performer. “The Red” has 5,492,196 streams.

In This Moment arrived in our lives in 2007 and Halestorm in 2009, with both bands going from strength to strength with each release. In This Moment even locked in a major label deal for their fifth album. The song “Whore” from In This Moment has 5,431,527 streams while “I Miss The Misery” from Halestorm has 10,263,136 streams.

There are many others like Killswitch Engage, Coheed and Cambria, Avenged Sevenfold, Alter Bridge and 10 Years that have all grown in popularity during the reign of piracy.

The band Heartist started online. They built their following online. They built a buzz online. They organised to play a gig online. It sold out. The buzz generated attracted record label interest. The buzz generated attracted prospective managers. And after that gig, the band was signed to Roadrunner Records.

Malmsteen also thinks that new bands cannot get on a tour bus or an opening act slot because there is no money machine there to invest in them.

The band Digital Summer is all DIY. They don’t have a label however their history and successes is better than bands that have been on major labels. They are constantly on decent tours. Art Of Dying is another DIY band that got a good label deal with Eleven Seven Music. Protest The Hero had the money machine behind them and then when they got dropped they finally came into some money. There are many other new bands with label support like “Nothing More”, “H.E.A.T”, “Black Veil Brides”, “TesseracT”, “Periphery”, “The Kindred”, “Black Stone Cherry”, “Red” and many more that I just can’t remember right now as I type this.

Malmsteen thinks that the biggest reason for the surge in record sales in Seventies and Eighties bands is because there’s nothing new. The truth is varied and one of the reasons is piracy and streaming services. The self-titled Black album from Metallica is available for free on streaming services, however it still sells on average 2,000 copies a week. Looks like people still want to buy what they like.

So what’s next.

Watch out for Yngwie Malmsteen asking Spotify/Daniel Ek for a pay rise or demanding that Spotify charges more for access because he is the fury.

Watch out for Yngwie Malmsteen campaigning for the return of the telegram and gated releases.

What he should focus on is creating great music again. It is a shame that his mouth gets more press than his actual music these days.

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