Radiohead and Atoms For Peace frontman Thom Yorke has continued his condemnation of music streaming service Spotify, saying “this is like the last fart, the last desperate fart of a dying corpse. What happens next is the important part”.
Speaking with Mexico’s Sopitas, Yorke posits that services like Spotify signal the “last gasp of the old industry”, and that our relationship with music will change as the way we listen to it changes, driven by shifts in technology.
Yorke remains a realist though. He believes that a lot of the changes taking place within the music industry “could be really f**king bad”, and if they go unchecked could possibly make the whole system unfair for up-and-coming artists.
Discussing Radiohead’s pay-what-you-want release strategy used on their 2007 album In Rainbows, Yorke details the benefits of cutting out the middle man and purveying a DIY sensibility, but reminds readers of the harsh reality:
“You cut all of it out, it’s just that and that. And then all these f**kers get in a way, like Spotify suddenly trying to become the gatekeepers to the whole process. We don’t need you to do it… We can build the s**t ourselves, so f**k off.
“But because they’re using old music, because they’re using the majors… the majors are all over it because they see a way of reselling all their old stuff for free, make a fortune, and not die.”
Earlier this year Yorke and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich made their initial accussations against Spotify, removing Atoms For Peace’s music from Spotify, yet leaving most of Radiohead’s. The duo’s words and actions were quickly backed up by artists such as Brian Molko of Placebo.
Check out Yorke’s full statement below.
Thom Yorke’s Spotify comments:
I feel like the way people are listening to music is going through this big transition. I feel like as musicians we need to fight the Spotify thing. I feel that in some ways what’s happening in the mainstream is the last gasp of the old industry. Once that does finally die, which it will, something else will happen. But it’s all about how we change the way we listen to music, it’s all about what happens next in terms of technology, in terms of how people talk to each other about music, and a lot of it could be really fucking bad. I don’t subscribe to the whole thing that a lot of people do within the music industry that’s ‘well this is all we’ve got left. we’ll just have to do this.’ I just don’t agree.
When we did the In Rainbows thing what was most exciting was the idea you could have a direct connection between you as a musician and your audience. You cut all of it out, it’s just that and that. And then all these fuckers get in a way, like Spotify suddenly trying to become the gatekeepers to the whole process. We don’t need you to do it. No artists needs you to do it. We can build the shit ourselves, so fuck off. But because they’re using old music, because they’re using the majors… the majors are all over it because they see a way of re-selling all their old stuff for free, make a fortune, and not die. That’s why to me, Spotify the whole thing, is such a massive battle, because it’s about the future of all music. It’s about whether we believe there’s a future in music, same with the film industry, same with books.
To me this isn’t the mainstream, this is is like the last fart, the last desperate fart of a dying corpse. What happens next is the important part.
There are bigger scarier issues iknow..And I don't wanna bore.but feel it is my duty to raise these concerns if @spotify becomes ubiquitous
— Thom Yorke (@thomyorke) October 4, 2013
(Via Electric Banana)