For a record boss with piracy on his mind, it must be a nightmare. Rather than being able to bask in the glory of a record breaking punishment for a petty file-sharer for evermore, the very people the label claim to protect – the artists – turn round to the label and stick in the knife. Hard.
The frontman of hardcore band, Throwdown has done just that. According to Punknews.org, Dave Peters (seen here on the far left) wrote a letter to Santa Monica-based industry watcher, Bob Lefsetz. Peters told him:
“I play in a metal band. We have sold around 200k records across 3 releases. We’re not ‘huge’ by any stretch but do alright and live off (and ON subsequently) the road. Fans and friends ask me all the time how I feel about “stealing music.” I just told someone yesterday “I have a hard time seeing it as stealingâ€¦when I don’t see any money from cd sales to begin with.”
Bob Lefsetz, ex-entertainment business attorney and author of the “The Lefsetz Letter” email newsletter, covers important issues right at the heart of the industry, including the declines of the record label and physical music formats such as the CD.
As the world increasingly ‘goes digital’, some people still insist on using terms that only describe the physical world accurately. One such word used to erroneously describe downloading is ‘theft’, but clearly no-one has had their property stolen and Peters agrees: “What are they actually TAKING from me?”
Indicating his displeasure with the industry he goes on:
“If you want to squeeze an opinion on theft out of me, ask me about the dude that grabbed our tshirt off the table tonight in Detroit or better yet.. ask me about record contracts.”
..and a message to the file-sharers out there:
“I encourage our fans to acquire our album however they please. The philosophy I’ve adopted is that if you’re supporting disc sales, you’re keeping the old model around longerâ€¦the one that forces dudes like me to tour 9 mos/year if they want to make ends meet with a career in music.”
Ending with a final insult for the record business, Peters hits a sweet note that will likely resonate with many as they reflect on the record labels future usefulness:
“If you wanna really support a band, “steal” their albumâ€¦.help bury the labelâ€¦.and buy a tshirt when you show up at their show and sing every word.”
Throwdown’s latest album, ‘Venom and Tears’ came out in July and is, of course, available via BitTorrent.