Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker recently chatted with BBC Radio 6, and shared his views on downloading music. Much like the easy going tunes that he produces, his opinion is pretty relaxed:
“I guess I’m not saying that I think music should be free, but I do think that if people can get it for free, there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them… It’s kind of a waste of energy to try and force them to pay for it if they don’t have to.”
As a musician who has had his own struggles with royalty payments and labels, he has perhaps come to the conclusion that as long as his fans are getting the music he created in some way, the means is pretty insignificant. He admits that he has downloaded music himself and that “no-one is innocent” of doing just that, and states he is okay with people obtaining his records for free:
If someone says, ‘Hey man, I love your album, it really got me through a breakup, but I downloaded it for free,’ I’ll be like, ‘Good! That’s good!’ Maybe he didn’t have the money for the album, but if he still listened to it and it’s an important part of his life, that’s all I can ask for. I don’t want his twenty bucks.There are other ways to get money in music. Like an ad for a car or a phone company ors omething. Good money. If people are willing to not rag out on artists for using their music in ads and movies and stuff, then I’m cool with them getting it for free. Because then it just means that the corporations are paying for it. And they’re the ones with the money.
It is an interesting and insightful take on a change in shift in the industry, where artists have historically been branded as “sell-outs” for corporate engagement, and hardcore fans have always spent their last cents on cd’s and vinyl. Parker admits he doesn’t have all the answers, but takes a pretty sage approach to it all:
For me, it just shows that it’s not really about how much you pay for it or even whether or not it’s physical—it can still have the same effect on you. I’m not really sure what that says about artists making money in the future. Like, obviously artists need to make money and stuff like that, but if you do something good or if you make good art or make good stuff, the wealth will find you in some way. Not to be kind of overly spiritual about it, but it’s not the kind of thing that’s worth complaining about.
You can check out the segment below, and the whole interview here.
Tame Impala will be touring their stellar album Currents in the coming months, with plenty of fans willing to pay the price to see the mind blowing live shows these guys produce. If you have just emerged from a winter long hibernation and have not heard the record, get ready for those lazy sunny days and grab it now legally, or by whatever dodgy means you see fit.