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Martin Orford August 2009

Printed From: Progarchives.com
Category: Progressive Music Lounges
Forum Name: Interviews
Forum Description: Original interviews with Prog artists (which are exclusive to Prog Archives)
URL: http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=61454
Printed Date: April 21 2018 at 08:29
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Topic: Martin Orford August 2009
Posted By: Jim Garten
Subject: Martin Orford August 2009
Date Posted: September 22 2009 at 11:25
Following a fair few delays from both sides, I've now attached below my recent e-mail interview with Martin Orford.

In addition to an overview of his career highs (and lows) + a snapshot of his personal interests, he gives a full and very frank critique of illegal downloading & the internet in general from his own perspective. As agreed with Martin, I've transcribed the interview in full and unedited.

I'd like to sincerely thank Martin Orford for taking the time to answer these questions fully, frankly and in detail and I'd also like to thenk the following for putting forward their own questions:

Debrewguy
The Doctor
Windhawk


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From me:

Looking back over the last 25/30 years, what would you say was the high point of your career, a time when you thought ‘Yes – this is why I do what I do’?

There were a few times that I thought that, mostly at the really big gigs. I’ve never been one for playing in the corner of a bar, so those mega shows were always a thrill for me. The three “Out In The Green” gigs that IQ played in the 80s (with Jethro Tull, Foreigner, Jefferson Starship, T’Pau, Ron Wood and Bo Diddley and others were fantastic, as was the ParkPop Festival in Holland that I played with John Wetton. An estimated 250,000 people were on site that day, but they weren’t all watching us!

Did you ever consider taking a band out to tour ‘The Old Road’ as a farewell to live work for you and your fans?

No, it would have been far too expensive. The last time I took a band out I ended up financing it to the tune of about £600 a gig from my own pocket and I really can’t afford to do that again.

At what point did you feel you could not continue as a full time musician?

I think it was probably the third or fourth death threat that did it. I get pretty angry when I see people with blog sites not only reviewing my work but also giving it away free via a Rapidshare link as well. Naturally I do my best to report those sites and close them down, and I have received quite a lot of abuse and threats for doing so. I conclude from this that musicians like me and the new breed of Internet music fans are now bitter enemies, and I have better things to do with my life than to waste the next three or four years making free music for a bunch of people I don’t like.

What does the future hold – are we to see any further collaborations or solo releases, or is this it for Martin Orford the musician? You’ve been a pretty prolific writer in the past – surely you cannot just turn off the muse…?

Actually I don’t really need music in my life at all, and I haven’t touched a keyboard for months. I very rarely listen to music, but then again I never did much anyway. Music is just one of the things that I can do which I happened to be good at, and if you’re good at something it’s natural to try to earn a living doing it. When that becomes impossible it’s time to move on and do something else – we all have to work to get by after all. And I can do, and like doing lots of other things.

I wouldn’t rule out the odd session here and there as a favour to friends, but I certainly won’t be making any more albums. It’s very simple really; if I ask my partner if I can take £8k out of our household budget to record a new album, she’s bound to ask “will we ever get it back?” . I would then have to answer “no, because as soon as some idiot proclaiming “all music should be free!” uploads it onto the Internet, that’s the end of that in terms of sales”. So I’m not going to do it. Would you?


Given your obvious love of the sound of old keyboards, such as the Hammond and Mellotron, have you ever used these in the studio & just taken their digital modern day counterparts on the road, or is this an area in which you succumbed to the digital age?

I’m not particularly an enthusiast of old keyboards, though I think they have some useful sounds which still have a place in modern music. I have used real Hammonds and Mellotrons in the studio and live, but it’s the sounds I’m interested in, not the means of delivering them. If those sounds can be delivered by other (and less back-breaking) means, then that’s fine with me. The Korg CX-3 is great for Hammond sounds, and the Sampletank Mellozone plug-in for Mac sounds way better and more authentic than my old Mellotron 400 ever did.

In a recent interview, Peter Nichols implied your leaving IQ was down to being unhappy with the writing process and that you wanted to take more of a lead role in that area – is this fair comment?

It’s perfectly true to say that whilst I was never happy with the collective writing process in IQ, in recent years it had become a source of constant annoyance to me. The problem was that although I was perfectly capable of writing and constructing complete songs on my own, no-one else in the band appeared to have the capability or the inclination to do likewise. So instead they continually deconstructed my songs, sometimes adding bits of their own, but often leaving them unfinished, or sounding far less convincing than my original versions. Don’t get me wrong, IQ are fine musicians and Peter is a clever lyricist, but towards the end I did find them all a bit of a dead weight when it came to writing, and the process was about as pleasant as pulling teeth.

On a completely non-music related subject, when did you acquire your love of steam & how long have you been a qualified fireman on the Mid Hants railway?

I suppose the interest in railways grew out of a lifelong interest in local history, and even at the tender age of 13, I was busy writing a book (never to be finished or published!) on the railways of Hampshire. My speciality subject was always the lines and stations themselves rather than the trains which ran on them, and until a couple of years ago I never had the slightest inclination to want to operate steam locomotives. But picking up a leaflet on the West Somerset Railway advertising an appealing-looking footplate experience course changed all that, and after attending several courses down there, I ended up joining the loco department at my local preserved line, the Mid Hants. Although I’m not yet a fully qualified fireman (which requires a good deal more knowledge and experience of a difficult art than I possess at present), I do get to fire all the classic engines on the line very regularly.


You’ve made no secret of your dislike of the MP3 downloading culture (understandably, given the effect illegal downloading has on musicians), but would you accept the idea that legal downloading from the musicians’ websites is a cheaper an easier method of acquiring music?

I don’t have the slightest problem with LEGAL downloads, and whilst this medium doesn’t particularly appeal to me, I can see how the convenience of it suits some people. But like the collapsing CD market, I think that ultimately legal download providers don’t really stand a chance either against the rising tide of illegal sources of music. We used to have an excellent legal downloading service provided by the big UK distributors Pinnacle, who got all of our catalogue in to all the main providers (I-Tunes/Apple/7Digital/Napster etc). There was even a GEP Records Download Shop at one point. But even this total embracing of the new market and business model wasn’t enough to save Pinnacle, which went out of business in December last year leaving over 350 Independent record labels in financial ruin . Sure, the credit crunch had a part to play, but the trend that saw people helping themselves to music rather than buying it is impossible to ignore. Since then distribution companies have been disappearing on a regular basis, with the most recent casualty being the European giant SPV. Since the vast majority of progressive rock acts in the world were distributed (and therefore funded) by SPV, together with their subsidiary Inside Out, the long-term damage caused to this type of music is incalculable. Unsurprisingly, the loss of SPV, despite being probably the single biggest catastrophe to happen to progressive rock in history, barely warranted a mention on most progressive rock forums.

I 100% blame the music fans themselves for this utter carnage, and I do not in any way accept their argument that this is somehow just revenge on the Music Business for having the temerity to charge £10+ for a CD (even though no-one seems to have the slightest problem with paying the same price or more for a book, apparently). The commonly heard line that “The Music Business only has itself to blame for not embracing the new technology and business model” seems to me a bit like blaming someone who’s had their house burgled for not having a moat full of crocodiles.


Now, some questions from members of Progarchives.Com:


From member Debrewguy:

How does Martin feel about bands offering downloads from their own site, for free, for a certain fee, or even pay what you want (i.e. donation) ? Examples - Marillion. The new Maudlin of the Well album . I.E. direct financial fan support for the making of music by our idols. No need to ship a physical product halfway around the world at a higher charge when all I want is the music

If bands are stupid enough to want to give their music away free then that’s up to them. The donations thing was fine as a one-off gimmick when Radiohead did it, but it’s really not newsworthy if anyone else does it now. It’s also an utterly ridiculous business model. There are possibly a few sales to be had from offering official (paid) download from band websites, but since Internet users are so used to getting things for free now, I would expect those sales to be pretty negligible.

It’s easy to get carried away by the number of hits a band website gets, but in the cold light of day, most of those hits are from a hardcore of often less than 30 people. IQ tried to sell the excellent “Archive Collection Vol. 1” CD via the website alone, and it struggled to do 1,000 copies compared with about 5,000+ that would have normally been achieved for a live album through distributors and shops.


From member The Doctor:

I'd like to know more about his very early music career, prior to the Lens and IQ. What bands, what songs did he write (perhaps that were never released).

I was in a band at school called Triangular Heel, but apart from one performance on local TV in the 1970s and a few local gigs, nothing much came of it – hardly surprising as we weren’t very good! After that I was in a band called Hood for a while when I was at college, but soon after that I joined The Lens. Much of my early material found its way into The Lens, and though there are some things I never released, there’s not a huge amount of stuff that didn’t make it.

The song “It All Stops Here” actually dates back to Hood, and I believe that IQ still play it as an encore even now.


Why are you retiring? I know it's about the illegal downloading, but what about your fans who don't download illegally? We want to hear more. The Old Road is great, and we would like to hear more from you. Do you feel you are punishing your paying fans, because some people are stealing your music?

It’s not about punishing loyal fans, it’s about not being able to afford to do this anymore. To hear some prog rock fans talk, you’d think we all live in castles and drive Lambourghinis. In fact, I live in a small terraced house and I am currently just about surviving on welfare benefits which run out in a couple of months time. After that, If any money at all comes in at all, I’ll use it to feed my family and keep the house up together; writing and recording music isn’t anywhere on my radar.

Although I am grateful to the people who have bought and still do buy music, I can’t help but think they have been far too slow to condemn not only the illegal downloaders, but also the ISPs which provide the means and encouragement to foster this kind of exploitation and abuse . I suspect that the decent fans might be concerned about being labelled as Luddites for having the temerity to question the New Religion that is the Internet.

But everyone in all walks of life seems to be scared stiff of criticizing the 'Net'; the world is so utterly seduced and enchanted by it that even formerly staid and sensible businesses are doing crazy things; newspapers giving all their content away on their websites so you don’t need to buy their papers, and even the dear old BBC generously providing us with an I-player so we never have any need to buy a TV license to help them fund the making of new programmes. Of course all this lunacy can’t, and inevitably won’t last, and the world is bound to come to its senses sooner or later, and realize that this has all been a horrendously bad idea.

A free Internet cannot be sustainable in the long-term, and I expect to see it crash and burn spectacularly in the next few years, leaving behind only the major players like Amazon and Ebay which do have realistic and workable business models.

When that does finally happen, I would like to see music piracy eventually become as socially unacceptable as (for instance) drink driving, but unless the good guys start condemning the bad guys that just won’t happen. How many more musicians will have given up before it does?


You wrote some early lyrics for IQ, "It All Stops Here" comes to mind. What stopped you from writing more with IQ lyrically?

“Stops” was written years before Peter (Nicholls) joined the band, and once he had taken over the mantle of lyricist, there was really no need for me to have any further involvement in that side of things. I think he’s done an excellent job over the years.

What do you think of Frequency?

I think it’s very unusual for one of the principal music writers of an album not to be credited on it anywhere. Any other thoughts I may have on the subject are really not printable.

From member Windhawk:

Would Mr. Orford allow Progarchives to add one track from his latest album to the non-downloadable stream we have?

If I could press a magic button and completely obliterate every last trace of my music from the Internet, I would gladly do so. So no thanks!

2. Does Martin have anything positive to say about the internet?

I like e-mail, but that’s about it. I’ve tried the Internet for several years now and I’m still seriously unimpressed with the whole thing.

3. Many artists active in the 60's and early 70's that were obscure even back then see an interest in their music these days that they barely even had when they were active. Is that a good or a bad thing in general, and what positives and negatives does this cause for artists today?

If that interest manifests itself in some genuine benefit for the artist (and yes, I do mean financial!), then of course that’s great. But if it means that some misguided fan has just decided unilaterally and without consultation, to make that artist’s catalogue available as a free download (thereby completely scuppering any plans the artist may have had to re-release their catalogue themselves) then it is no better or worse than any other form of piracy. By now, anyone reading this interview probably thinks I’m obsessed with money, and in particular with artists getting paid for their work, and they’d be right; I’ve spent the last 16 years running a label and making darned sure that everyone who ever released anything on it gets paid what they’re due even down to the last fraction of a penny. That’s why I, probably more than anyone, find the “free music” culture so utterly offensive..

4. Today record labels big and small saturate the market with albums. For the last few years, close to 30.000 new albums have been released each year officially, and in addition lots of artists self-release albums without a label connection. For prog alone, we're talking close to 1000 new albums each year (depending on how broad you define the genre). Has there ever been made as much new music as it is today, to Martin's knowledge?

Probably not, but then again most of it seems to be pretty awful. This is truly the age of the enthusiastic but ultimately talentless amateur. That’s why I liked the old system where record companies acted as something of a filter to prevent the truly dreadful people from ever making albums. Ultimately the cream always used to rise to the surface eventually, but any old crap can get heard these days.

5. TV and video games have taken over more and more of people's spare time use, to some extent replacing music as a past time interest, and people consume music in other ways than back in the 70's. More and more people use music as background noise rather than listening intent on a record. Even music enthusiasts will often just listen to an album a handful of times before moving on to the next album. Has old fashioned music appreciation become out of fashion for good, or does martin think that listening to music as more people did a few decades ago will return - that people spends time listening only to the music, and playing an album 10,15, 20 tiumes, will that phenomenon ever return on a grand scale?

This is a good question actually. I think that with the advent of so-many multi-tasking gadgets (like the I-phone for instance), something as comparatively one-dimensional as music will inevitably seem less attractive to many. I think this can be best summed up by a friend of mine who is involved in CD manufacturing and once allegedly heard the comment “there’s something wrong with this CD – I can’t phone my Mum on it”. Since I fully expect that the only people left making music in 5 years time will be the big mainstream pop acts and the enthusiastic amateurs, I would expect interest in music to wane still further as all the interesting small record labels and specialist acts disappear.

6. Surveys show that on average, people who download music and movies also spend more money on these aspects of culture than those who don't. Despite a number of freeloaders who never buy, the ones that do buy do so to such a great extent that they more than cover for the ones who don't. While those who don't download - legally or illegally - on average seems to spend less money on buying music and movies in an ever increasing negative spiral. How great an impact does it have for music sales that the casual buyers (aka the average Joe) seemingly spends less and less money on music?

Surveys are, from my experience generally commissioned by people pushing a particular agenda, and they will therefore only ask people who are likely to give them the answer they want. I have seen stacks of these surveys in recent years (generally justifying Internet theft), but on no occasion have I, or any of my friends and colleagues who run (or used to run) independent labels ever been asked for our opinions on the subject. In that time I have seen back catalogue sales slump to about 20% of what they consistently were pre-Internet. If this revolution is so great, where’s all the money gone?

I simply don’t believe that people who download stuff for free buy more music than those who don’t, any more than I believe that shoplifters go on to buy more from a supermarket than they would have if they hadn’t stolen the products to try them out first. If you think I’m saying there’s no difference at all between the music fan who downloads illegally and a common thief then you’re right, and I don’t care who I offend by saying it.



7. Will we ever get back to the time when music was regarded as a form of art rather than one of many consumable products?

Probably not, but then again I’m no fan of “art for art’s sake” anyway. I think that music needs to justify itself as an entertainment in order to survive, which much of it did very well until the endemic Internet robbery started.



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Jon Lord 1941 - 2012



Replies:
Posted By: Wilcey
Date Posted: September 22 2009 at 12:06
Good work Jim and all involved!

Clap


Posted By: Finnforest
Date Posted: September 22 2009 at 12:30
Wow, what a truly sobering interview.  Someone, please tag this interview as exhibit A for those folks who think there is nothing wrong about sneaking some music illegally rather than buying it.  And those folks who argue that trading files actually benefits the artist by "getting them more fans."  Otherwise known as "justifying" illegality to make one's self feel better. 

There are other threads to discuss that of course, but hats off to Martin for being honest about this.  And great work to all the Interviewers!! Clap




Posted By: rushfan4
Date Posted: September 22 2009 at 12:53
This was actually a really sad interview to read.  I know that I've done my part to support IQ by either purchasing IQ CD's or at least purchasing legal downloads from IQ and Martin Orford's solo CD.  It is too bad that my part really doesn't make a difference.  Unfortunately, as an accountant, I fully understand his position in this situation and I wish him the best in his future endeavors and in putting food on his family's table.

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Posted By: Easy Livin
Date Posted: September 22 2009 at 12:54
Superb Jim. Well done to all involved.  It just shows that interesting and informed questions are rewarded by interesting and informed answers.


Posted By: toroddfuglesteg
Date Posted: September 22 2009 at 13:55

Excellent interview !

I myself ran a record label and I gave up many years before Martin Orford gave up because I saw the writing on the wall when these fibre optical cables, who some years later became broadband, became available. 

I would not invest a single penny in music production due to this illegal downloading stuff. Everybody is taking, but who is providing ? Frankly, I do not know where this is ending. I think the world has gone full circle where again only the book writers are earning money again as it was back in 1884. I have knowledge about music production which is totally obsolete. It took me five years to retrain and change career. Yes, I strongly sympathise with Martin Orford. He too have to uproot his life and being. 



Posted By: The Doctor
Date Posted: September 22 2009 at 14:12
Great interview Jim.  Clap

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I can understand your anger at me, but what did the horse I rode in on ever do to you?


Posted By: Raff
Date Posted: September 22 2009 at 14:23
Great interview, JimClap! Thank you for the sterling job. I only knew Martin Orford by name before I was sent his album to review, and - even if at first I thought it would not be my cup of tea - I was absolutely impressed by the quality of the music contained in The Old Road. Sorry for tooting my own horn, but if any of you are interested in reading my impressions, here it is:
http://%20www.progressor.net/review/martin_orford_2008.html -
http://www.progressor.net/review/martin_orford_2008.html - http://www.progressor.net/review/martin_orford_2008.html


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http://progmistress.com" rel="nofollow - http://progmistress.com
http://weekendprog.blogspot.fr/" rel="nofollow - http://weekendprog.blogspot.fr/


Posted By: Jim Garten
Date Posted: September 22 2009 at 15:45
Many thanks for the kind comments - MO did not think his views would go down well on an online community, but the few views expressed so far (happily) prove him wrong.

The responses he gave to the other contributors and myself in this interview are (to me) an object lesson on how illegal free downloading seriously affects music production & I'd again express my thanks to Martin Orford for being so honest & open on the subject.

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Jon Lord 1941 - 2012


Posted By: micky
Date Posted: September 22 2009 at 16:41
interesting interview... have some thoughts on it... but I'll keep them to myself. 

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I find your lack of Bassoon disturbing.....


Posted By: Moogtron III
Date Posted: September 23 2009 at 01:48
A great interview! And a sad interview as well.

Poor Martin, too bad such a great talent has to find other ways to support his family.


Posted By: Snow Dog
Date Posted: September 23 2009 at 02:57
Good interview, even though I dom't agree with him.

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http://www.last.fm/user/Snow_Dog" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: Roland113
Date Posted: September 23 2009 at 07:42
Great interview!

Even in this thread his point is made, I think the state of the music industry is pretty much laid out there yet there are detractors. 

  The bottom line is that good musicians can no longer afford to make good music, or even better yet, Martin Orford can no longer afford to sustain his family financially through music.  There really isn't anything to disagree with there, it's kind of a fact. 

Mr. Orford, if you read this, I appreciate the music you've made over the years and truly wish you luck in reinventing yourself.  I think all of us can appreciate the dread at the thought of depending on welfare to support one's family, especially when compared to the career that you had.  I can appreciate the bitterness and wish the best of luck.


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-------someone please tell him to delete this line, he looks like a noob-------

I don't have an unnatural obsession with Disney Princesses, I have a ten year old daughter and coping mechanisms.


Posted By: Snow Dog
Date Posted: September 23 2009 at 08:20
Originally posted by Roland113 Roland113 wrote:

Great interview!

Even in this thread his point is made, I think the state of the music industry is pretty much laid out there yet there are detractors. 

  The bottom line is that good musicians can no longer afford to make good music, or even better yet, Martin Orford can no longer afford to sustain his family financially through music.  There really isn't anything to disagree with there, it's kind of a fact. 



I disagree.


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http://www.last.fm/user/Snow_Dog" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: Wilcey
Date Posted: September 23 2009 at 09:27
What don't you agree with Snowie, or do you simply just disagree with Martin Orford? 

W x


Posted By: Snow Dog
Date Posted: September 23 2009 at 09:40
Originally posted by Wilcey Wilcey wrote:

What don't you agree with Snowie, or do you simply just disagree with Martin Orford? 

W x

I know you hate illegal downloading too, but illegal downloaders I know also buy a hell of a lot of marerial. Thats a fact. Of course there will always be those that don't too. I just don't believe that illegal downloading has affected his xcareer so much that he had to retire due to it. If there wer no downloads, how many albums would a band like IQ sell anyway?.

He isn't the only musician to only have a moderate income...look at Andy poartridge of XTC....had to sell his house..before downloading was even heard of.

I know most of you won't agree with my view.Thats absolutely fine. In these sort of arguments sides are formed and you are on one or the other.

I do sympathise with his situation though and its very sad for any musician to quit.


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http://www.last.fm/user/Snow_Dog" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: Wilcey
Date Posted: September 23 2009 at 10:00
I don't think it comes down to "one side or the other".

 I think Martin has been frank about his experience and whatever your views on illegal downloading, Martin has been fairly open about  the fact that the practice has lead him to be unable to continue in his business. He  tells the story from his first hand experience based upon the facts he knows and that he saw.

It's hard to "disagree" that it's tough to pay your mortgage on a shrinking to nothing income.
 
I think it's a pretty fair fact that bands "like" IQ, (or indeed IQ themselves) sold far more albums before illegal downloading became possible.

I don't think that anyone would dispute that "some" people who illegally downlaod material go on to buy, but it can't be ignored that unfortunately those people seem to be in a minority, (and indeed the majority of downloaders use them as an excuse for their behaviour IMO)  If the MAJORITY of downloaders were going on to buy heaps of music then the business would be booming rather than shrinking. So, yes whilst some folk will download with a modicum of moral sense, they are a few good apples in a pretty bad barrell.

I personally think that these debates get upset and heated when people feel as though they are being treated unfairly in the words used, it's a tough one.  But when someone like Martin quits because of the difficulties he's faced I think it's time for everyone to stop and think. He's not being faced with mere words to give him cause for defensiveness, he's faced an unsurmountable difficulty in his business, and has had to make decisions based on the facts of what happened to him personally.

Smile  W x


Posted By: Roland113
Date Posted: September 23 2009 at 10:03
^^ Well said Wilcey, better than I would have been able to respond.

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-------someone please tell him to delete this line, he looks like a noob-------

I don't have an unnatural obsession with Disney Princesses, I have a ten year old daughter and coping mechanisms.


Posted By: Jim Garten
Date Posted: September 23 2009 at 10:35
Well put Rach

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Jon Lord 1941 - 2012


Posted By: Snow Dog
Date Posted: September 23 2009 at 11:16
Well, I stand by what I say.

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http://www.last.fm/user/Snow_Dog" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: Blacksword
Date Posted: September 23 2009 at 11:33
Thanks for that Jim. That was a very interesting read, and as Finnforest says,a very 'sobering' read.

I sympathise with Martins views, and think it an tragedy that he hasn't even touched his keyboards in months, and doesn't even listen to much music AND doesn't see any value in 'art for arts' sake. The money side of things aside, Martin is clearly a great musician and writer, and I would take some comfort in knowing that he will eventually start playing again, even for his own enjoyment, if nothing else.

Whatever he ends up doing I wish him all the best, and thank him for all those great albums; all of which I acquired legally I hasten to add. I'll not forget the shiver down the spine I got when Mr Orford played the intro to 'The wrong side of wierd' at the Mean Fiddler a few years back. Good days.


Posted By: SLFTB1
Date Posted: September 23 2009 at 12:03
Death threats!!!
 
How many of us have had those in the course of ones work or expressing an opinion???, not many methinks.
 
Opinions or positions aside, it is without doubt it such a shame that someone so talented has decided to give up on music.
 
None of us work for free.


Posted By: Progfan1958
Date Posted: September 23 2009 at 12:13
Law enforcement of some kind certainly needs to find a way to discourage free downloading, but it seems unlikely given the world we live in.  I sympathize with Martin and wish him all the best and hope that something works out for him.   The demise of SPV doesn't bode well for many artists as well. Perhaps musicians should create an Internet based "Record Label"  to promote their art, where consumers would have to pre-order albums before they are recorded. Once the pre-orders reached a critical profitability mass then recording could commence and the work would delivered before it could get out into the free-net ? Marillion are one group already doing this ( somewhat )  but I could see it expanded into a large collective. The trick would be marketing the music to stimulate the interest...perhaps small clip previews or live teasers, coupled with artist information and testimonials by fans or peers. Maybe even fan requests for the type of music they would pay for ? There must be some possibility of sucess under such a format ?

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Progfan1958
"Peace to you all"
"La paix est avec vous"
"Pax vobiscum"
"Al salaam a'alaykum"
"Vrede zij met u allen"
"Shalom aleichem"


Posted By: toroddfuglesteg
Date Posted: September 23 2009 at 12:48
I think Progfan1958 is onto something here. *Thumbs up*


Posted By: Progfan1958
Date Posted: September 23 2009 at 15:16
Me again !   I would MUCH rather give my $$ to the artist directly.   
 


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Progfan1958
"Peace to you all"
"La paix est avec vous"
"Pax vobiscum"
"Al salaam a'alaykum"
"Vrede zij met u allen"
"Shalom aleichem"


Posted By: johnobvious
Date Posted: September 23 2009 at 15:28
I think MO is a down to earth guy and tells it like it is.  His opinions may lean toward being extreme but I respect where he is coming from.

The creating of music has two sides.  The romantic one where you make hits, sell records, become a star and make a lot of money.  The other side is the cold reality that very few musicians make a decent living at it.  I have a hard time feeling real sorry for people who want to earn a living being a musician buy don't understand the business side of it.  Supply and demand are going to dictate your success more so than the pie in the sky notion that you can write a better song than the next guy.  Sad but true. 


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Biggles was in rehab last Saturday


Posted By: Jim Garten
Date Posted: September 24 2009 at 02:11
Originally posted by Progfan1958 Progfan1958 wrote:

Me again !   I would MUCH rather give my $$ to the artist directly.    
 


Progfan1958 speaks with wisdom - cut out the middle man & make sure those who make the music reap the benefits.

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Jon Lord 1941 - 2012


Posted By: Roj
Date Posted: September 24 2009 at 03:02
Nice interview there, great work.  However it does make a very sad read indeed.  Martin comes across as very bitter and that is both understandable and very sad.  I'm also extremely disappointed to hear that the parting of the ways with IQ was very acrimonious.  After all their years together I really hoped for better.
 
I've known IQ right from the beginning and remember speaking with Martin after a couple of gigs back in the early 80s.  He was a really nice guy (as all the band were in fact) and I remember being particularly pleased that he was a huge fan of Eddie Jobson, one of my favourite keyboard players. 
 
It's such a shame that it has come to this, and one of the very best modern keyboard players is now gone for good.  He will be missed both by us fans and also by IQ themselves.


Posted By: Jim Garten
Date Posted: September 24 2009 at 04:01
There've been a couple of suggestions (including my own endorsement ) of cutting out the middle man... now to us laymen (ie those outside the industry, this seems a perfectly reasonable & logical step - one to increase the earnings of those actually making the music.

Following some further e-mail contact with Martin Orford, here's his take on the matter:

Quote I see that the comments following my interview are already going along familiar lines... "cut out the middle man and sell direct to the fans". Unfortunately the middle men were actually really useful, and it was through them that the serious volumes of sales were achieved. They also provided access to the major players like Amazon, Play.com and I-tunes, avenues which have been pretty much closed off to the smaller labels following the collapse of Pinnacle and SPV. Direct sales via the Internet are a lovely idea, but unfortunately in reality they amount to peanuts compared with what the big distributors used to achieve.

Even with access to a database of over 4,000 e-mail contacts, I only managed about 200 direct sales of The Old Road. Direct mail-order is also incredibly labour-intensive, and you need at least one full-time employee to handle it all, which rather negates any financial gains from the higher profit margins...

...In fairness to the person who suggested cutting out the middle man, I think they were only trying to be helpful, but it's still frustrating that people don't stop to consider that the small labels have already tried everything we possibly can to make this work and stay in business. Direct sales/sales at gigs/small wholesalers/big wholesalers, we sold to 'em all, without limitation. I've even got The Old Road on sale in my local pub. But ultimately the high volume sales through the big distributors (middle men apparently hated by the fans, but not by us) were the bread and butter which paid for new albums to be made, and those sales have vanished.


Again - many thanks to Martin for clarification on this; all a matter of perspective isn't it? Seems logical to us, but one e-mail from someone who's been there, seen it & tried it....

-------------

Jon Lord 1941 - 2012


Posted By: Progfan1958
Date Posted: September 24 2009 at 17:35
Here in Canada many musicians get Government grant to create  music, and recording, marketing expenses are not always 100% out of pocket for the artists. This program has been running many years and has helped quite a few people along through their carreers. Sadly our current Conservative government has been cutting this program considerably. They figure investing in the Military protects our culture more effectively. Meanwhile all the artists starve.... I guess Shana Twain and Avril Lavigne will be the sole survivors when all is said and done in a few years.... hey maybe Martin should do a cover of "Skate R Boi" ?

-------------
Progfan1958
"Peace to you all"
"La paix est avec vous"
"Pax vobiscum"
"Al salaam a'alaykum"
"Vrede zij met u allen"
"Shalom aleichem"


Posted By: Nightfly
Date Posted: September 25 2009 at 09:55
Originally posted by Jim Garten Jim Garten wrote:

Many thanks for the kind comments - MO did not think his views would go down well on an online community, but the few views expressed so far (happily) prove him wrong.

The responses he gave to the other contributors and myself in this interview are (to me) an object lesson on how illegal free downloading seriously affects music production & I'd again express my thanks to Martin Orford for being so honest & open on the subject.
 
Nice one Jim Thumbs Up
 
Got to admit I totally agree and can't blame him for for his views on Illegal downloading. It's not surprising he's very bitter about it. It was always hard for bands at his level to make a living, now it's practically impossible I would think.
 
I'd highly recommend The Old Road by the way, an excellent album! (which I bought, not downloaded Wink).


Posted By: lazland
Date Posted: September 25 2009 at 10:15
Thanks Jim for an incredibly interesting, and ultimately sobering, interview. Certainly, the bitterness that Martin feels with the internet and with (sadly) IQ comes pouring through so strongly you can almost touch it coming out of the computer screen.

I have to say that I don't understand how he has come to such a sorry financial state. Sure, IQ were never a huge band, but they have sold fairly steadily over the years, have a loyal fanbase, and I include myself amongst them, and are not a curiousity band by any stretch of the imagination.

Therefore, playing devils advocate as a fan of both IQ and Martin himself, I would be interested in hearing this from (say) Peter Nicholl's perspective. Certainly, he has not rubbished Maretin in recent interviews (quite the opposite), but I mean from the financial perspective. Is he comfortable? Have the internet difficulties Martin talks about hit other band members in the same way? Or, and I will be controversial here, is Martin just extremely poor at managing his financial affairs?

I ask this because I remember the old illegal taping is killing music campaign run by the British Phonographic organisation in the 70s & 80s. We all did it, including myself. I also spent (and still do) far too much money on music/prog. The illegal taping of vinyl LPs did not kill off music then, and I do not believe that illegal downloading/file sharing will now. As ever, the good artists will survive and prosper in the new way of doing business, just as artists did back then.


-------------


In Lazland, life is transient. Prog is permanent.


Posted By: Raff
Date Posted: September 25 2009 at 10:37
I'd just like to add one thing, though hopefully it will not be seen as being contrary for the sake of it. Though I can understand Martin's bitterness, I have to wonder at his painting the Internet as the root of all evil (same as people I knew in the past used to do as regards TV). As our site proves quite effectively, most prog bands nowadays would get no exposure at all without the web. It is because of people like us, who invest time (almost always with no financial gain) in discussing prog, reviewing albums, interviewing artists and such, that the genre has been able to survive, even thrive. Without sites like ProgArchives, ProgressiveEars, ProgGnosis, DPRP, and all the others we know and love (including the 'local' ones), very few bands but the ones signed by major labels would get any kind of recognition. I am sure that, without the Internet, the plight of those bands or artists would be much worse.

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http://progmistress.com" rel="nofollow - http://progmistress.com
http://weekendprog.blogspot.fr/" rel="nofollow - http://weekendprog.blogspot.fr/


Posted By: Wilcey
Date Posted: September 25 2009 at 10:39
Originally posted by lazland lazland wrote:



Therefore, playing devils advocate as a fan of both IQ and Martin himself, I would be interested in hearing this from (say) Peter Nicholl's perspective. Certainly, he has not rubbished Maretin in recent interviews (quite the opposite), but I mean from the financial perspective. Is he comfortable? Have the internet difficulties Martin talks about hit other band members in the same way? Or, and I will be controversial here, is Martin just extremely poor at managing his financial affairs?


I can't speak on any one's behalf, but I think you will find that in IQ it was Martin's "day job" to run the business side of IQ, and the other band members had "day jobs" in non-musical fields. Therefore, rather than being poor at managing his financial affairs (quite the opposite, Martin has always been a good businessman) Martin was hit by downloading in a different way, it efected his main/sole income. IT also means that no other IQ member was in fact managing IQ financial affairs.

It's often like this in bands, one person has the business weight upon his/her shoulders. The other members tend to be the one's with day jobs and use the band like "lad's weekend away" not really that bothered or interested in the financial arrangements.  And whilst during the good times people will think it's unfair that this one member seems to be scraping the financial cream off the top, you can pretty much guarentee that those same whingers will be heading for the hills/unanswering phone calls/e-mails when the leaner times come.  There are very big risks in this game, and nerves/balls of steel are required, But for Martin the line was drawn. He had done a stirling job for many many years, but outside forces drove him out and he has no financial buffer, this was his sole income.

W x
 


Posted By: Jim Garten
Date Posted: September 25 2009 at 10:49
Originally posted by Raff Raff wrote:

As our site proves quite effectively, most prog bands nowadays would get no exposure at all without the web. It is because of people like us, who invest time (almost always with no financial gain) in discussing prog, reviewing albums, interviewing artists and such, that the genre has been able to survive, even thrive. Without sites like ProgArchives, ProgressiveEars, ProgGnosis, DPRP, and all the others we know and love (including the 'local' ones), very few bands but the ones signed by major labels would get any kind of recognition. I am sure that, without the Internet, the plight of those bands or artists would be much worse.


Good point Raff - I think the other side of this particular coin though is yes, although sites such as this give these bands exposure an otherwise lethargic music business would balk at with such a genre, this does not necessarily translate to legitimate sales (although I'm certain there are bands who have benefited financially)... there are evidently plenty of people out there who think "great sounding band, are they on my favorite illegal download site?"

-------------

Jon Lord 1941 - 2012


Posted By: micky
Date Posted: September 25 2009 at 10:58
seems to me to be a classic case of taking the good with the bad.. . without the internet...  these bands would probably be playing the local pub on Saturdays night.. getting free beer perhaps.... however with the internet comes illegal downloading.  So what has one lost.. without the internet.. there would be no illegal downloading... without the internet...  musicians like Orford would be hard pressed to make any of kind of living in the first place. Outside of some local fans..  no one would know them. 

musicians are no different from the rest of us...   we work...  and we take the good .. and the bad.  Sometime we get lucky and get a great job that pays us for our hard work .. sometime we get f**ked and are laid off the day before X-mas with a lousy tasting ham as severance pay. 



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I find your lack of Bassoon disturbing.....


Posted By: Raff
Date Posted: September 25 2009 at 11:05
The problem is that those illegal download sites are often much easier to find through a Google search than legitimate sites. I know it very well because, every time I want to do research on one album for reviewing purposes and I type its title in the search bar, I often get hit after hit for  torrent sites before I can get to a review or other practical information. Even if those sites get closed down with some regularity, it's like cutting off the mythical hydra's head - most of those heads will grow back immediately.


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http://progmistress.com" rel="nofollow - http://progmistress.com
http://weekendprog.blogspot.fr/" rel="nofollow - http://weekendprog.blogspot.fr/


Posted By: Wilcey
Date Posted: September 25 2009 at 11:12
I'm not so sure, the "golden days" of earnings for bands like IQ or indeed Pendragon were PRIOR to the internet, or at least prior to illegal torrenting. They were definitely NOT playing in some obscure pub on a Saturday night during the 90's! 



"Sometime we get lucky and get a great job that pays us for our hard work .. sometime we get f**ked and are laid off the day before X-mas with a lousy tasting ham as severance pay. "

You have a fair point,  but if you, or I or any other member of PA was laid off on Christmas Eve with no severence pay, I think members of PA wouldn't have the "well sh*t happens" philosophy about it, I think people would expect some upset and bitterness and be respectful of that.   And because this kind of thing happens does it make it fair or right or just?  Of course not, I don't think Martin is claiming to be the only person in the world this has happened to, he was asked about HIS experience, not the experience of others, so you will get a response based on his experience, and based on the facts that he has being in this business.

W x


Posted By: Finnforest
Date Posted: September 25 2009 at 11:43

Re the analogy to taping in the old days, there is no comparison.  Yes, a few people stole back then too by illegally taping, but nothing near the magnitude of what is being ripped off now from artists.  Much easier to do now, many more people doing it than the tapers of the old days.  Millions more. Sorry to be blunt, but that's another weak justification. 

In terms of the positive effects of the Web, surely they are there in terms of promotion.  But they do not make up for the financial loss from the theft of established musicians, obviously, nor should it be used as some kind of moral tradeoff to minimize the crime. 
 


Posted By: Tony R
Date Posted: September 25 2009 at 13:44
I hadn't read Jim's interview until now (nice job pal!) and I think Martin has done a great job in explaining it in layman's terms. He's not making it up, illegal downloading is killing the bands we love. We all have a duty to think twice about illegal downloading and certainly as consumers of music it is our duty to buy legal product. I'm no angel but I buy at least one Prog album a month as well as DVDs and special editions. Album sales are a fraction of what they were 10 years ago, the only thing that has changed is the arrival of the Internet and downloading culture. Rush's last studio album got to #3 in the Billboard Album Chart yet struggled to shift 100,000 units! Moving Pictures got to #3 in 1981 and went Multi-Platinum.

Some struggling firms recently have asked their workers to work a certain amount of time for free, the majority have told them in no uncertain terms to get lost. Why should musicians work for free? They have a product and there is demand for it, why would they not want paying?




Posted By: Blacksword
Date Posted: September 26 2009 at 06:52
Originally posted by Tony R Tony R wrote:

I hadn't read Jim's interview until now (nice job pal!) and I think Martin has done a great job in explaining it in layman's terms. He's not making it up, illegal downloading is killing the bands we love. We all have a duty to think twice about illegal downloading and certainly as consumers of music it is our duty to buy legal product. I'm no angel but I buy at least one Prog album a month as well as DVDs and special editions. Album sales are a fraction of what they were 10 years ago, the only thing that has changed is the arrival of the Internet and downloading culture. Rush's last studio album got to #3 in the Billboard Album Chart yet struggled to shift 100,000 units! Moving Pictures got to #3 in 1981 and went Multi-Platinum.Some struggling firms recently have asked their workers to work a certain amount of time for free, the majority have told them in no uncertain terms to get lost. Why should musicians work for free? They have a product and there is demand for it, why would they not want paying?


Why should musicians work for free? They have a product and there is demand for it, why would they not want paying?

This is the central point. Many people forget that music is a product that has been made by people, who have invested time and money in making it. Because music is entertainment, some people seem to think that it is their 'right' to be entertained for free. It's not. You wouldn't expect to pick up a car from a show room for free, or get an electricain out to re-wire your house for free. Why should a band go into a studio for months on end, at huge cost, to make an album for free? Because they love doing it?? Not a good enough reason I'm afraid. There's plenty of people who love their job, but you would never expect them to do it for free.

Get your wallets out or go without it. Simple.


Posted By: Hercules
Date Posted: September 26 2009 at 14:00
I ordered a stack of IQ stuff from GEP by phone last year and Martin and I spent about an hour chatting about pubs/beer, cricket and music. He is a genuinely nice guy; honest and forthright.

He is also a very bitter guy; he has every right to be. Thieves (I don't give a pig's fart if anyone here is upset by the term - like Martin, I say it how I see it) who illegally download are depriving musicians like him of their livelihood and so many turn their back on music. That means we don't get new albums to enjoy; anyone who has The Old Road will be drooling for a follow up, but that's not going to happen.

My only disagreement with him is the place for non-downloadable samples as on sites like this. I listen to lots and several bands (Riverside, Phideaux and even IQ themselves amongst them) have sold albums to me on the back of my listening to them. Trouble is, some b*****d will almost certainly find a way of copying them and putting them on a free music site.

I'll add my voice to those who thank Martin for the great music he has made for us to enjoy and wish him all the best for the future. He deserves much better than he has at the moment.

(Oh, and I use mostly vinyl and have never downloaded ANYTHING, legally or otherwise, so no accusations of hypocrisy, please.)


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A TVR is not a car. It's a way of life.


Posted By: SFranke
Date Posted: September 26 2009 at 19:28
Martin Orford shrugs.

I haven't heard The Old Road or listened to any IQ beyond The Wake, but I can't help but feel sorrow for Orford.


Posted By: Windhawk
Date Posted: September 26 2009 at 20:20
Originally posted by Finnforest Finnforest wrote:

Re the analogy to taping in the old days, there is no comparison.  Yes, a few people stole back then too by illegally taping, but nothing near the magnitude of what is being ripped off now from artists.  Much easier to do now, many more people doing it than the tapers of the old days.  Millions more. Sorry to be blunt, but that's another weak justification. 


 


Chipping in with an old idea of mine in that department.

1. Legalize low quality samples to be spread (max 64 kb/s)
2. Open free hunt for anyone spreading files of higher quality

With the first in place the second would be accepted by the general public, and the martyrhood of the sharers would be history. While the low quality of the legal samples would leave an incentive to buy. Pretty much it would be like tape copies - nice to have but you would really WANT to have the CD instead due to sheer audio quality.


-------------
Websites I work with:

http://www.progressor.net
http://www.houseofprog.com
http://framemusic.net/

My profile on Mixcloud:
https://www.mixcloud.com/haukevind/


Posted By: Clepsydra
Date Posted: September 27 2009 at 18:52
Thanks for the interview.
I'm sorry but my opinion of Mr.Orford has changed,
I feel he is ...Thumbs Down

IQ will be fine without you!
 


Posted By: Jim Garten
Date Posted: September 28 2009 at 02:23
Your opinion of course, but what in MO's interview changed it for the worse?

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Jon Lord 1941 - 2012


Posted By: BaronVonCruzer
Date Posted: September 28 2009 at 15:21
Wasn't Mike Holmes the co-owner with Matin of GEP?

I would be interested to know the division of labor between them in GEP's affairs. I know the reason given why the Subterranea DVD was never released in NTSC format was the amount of time it took Mike to produce the PAL DVD.


-------------
THE PROG REPORT
The Progressive Rock Fan's Guide To The iPod Revolution
www.theprogreport.com


Posted By: Hercules
Date Posted: September 28 2009 at 17:23
Originally posted by Clepsydra Clepsydra wrote:

Thanks for the interview.
I'm sorry but my opinion of Mr.Orford has changed,
I feel he is ...Thumbs Down

IQ will be fine without you!
 


Will they?

Whilst I think Frequency is a brilliant album, and that Mark Westworth performs very well indeed, I get the impression that Martin Orford was heavily involved in the composition of the music. The question is - can the rest of the band write to the same high standard without Martin? I am not convinced they can.


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A TVR is not a car. It's a way of life.


Posted By: BigBoss
Date Posted: September 28 2009 at 18:11

I think it will be very telling when the next IQ album comes out, it should be obvious if what Martin says is true or not (I believe him).

And piracy is without doubt killing sales far more than it might be getting some new sales.  Just today I was doing some anti-piracy work and found the new Translatlantic album for download, they only just started shipping promo's the other day, it's just insane.



-------------
Best Regards,
Shawn Gordon
President
ProgRock Records
www.progrockrecords.com
www.mindawn.com


Posted By: Jim Garten
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 02:00
I get occasional promos from EMI & they told me at the beginning that if any of these appear on illegal download sites, there is an embedded code on the promos which will allow them to identify exactly which promo was used for the upload.

Unsure whether this is true, but if it is, fair play to them.

-------------

Jon Lord 1941 - 2012


Posted By: Wilcey
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 02:39
Yeah it's possible to do Jim, it's either expensive OR very time consuming (so expensive) but possible, although it's probably getting easier. 
We worked around this problem last year but not sending any promos. It was a massive risk, but it paid off,  we reached release date without any copies having been uploaded (even if the release date was 2 weeks after our fan weekend album launch) so were really proud of that achievement. Of course once release date arrived it started to spring up everywhere (even in some unlikely places) but reaching release date was quite a major achievement!

Isn't it sad, overwhelmingly sad a disapointing that by far the vast majority of albums don't even get that far before they get ripped off and chewed up?
It makes my toes curl when I hear people say "Oh but I'm such a big fan of "X" I HAD to D/L it before release because I simply couldn't wait any longer" Dead
What is wrong with people that they can't wait for an album?

I'm sorry to hear about Transatlantic Disapprove

W x



Posted By: Jim Garten
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 03:06
Originally posted by Wilcey Wilcey wrote:

It makes my toes curl when I hear people say "Oh but I'm such a big fan of "X" I HAD to D/L it before release because I simply couldn't wait any longer"


Rough translation being "I'm such a fan of so and so band I'd rather steal from them than pay them for their work"

Is it any wonder MO took the decision he did?

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Jon Lord 1941 - 2012


Posted By: Teaflax
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 05:54
Well, all of the blather above would be all good and well if file sharing actually did impact negatively on artists. Every single reputable study (from sources such as the Swedish Royal Technical Institute, the Dutch Government, The Canadian Government, Harvard University, The BI Norwegian Management School, the Danish Music Council etc.) shows that file sharing does not bring losses to artists on the whole, but rather the opposite.

There are some losses, at the very top of the field and in the distribution chain (although this latter loss is probably due to record companies being resolutely luddite and eagerly litigious for the last ten years), but everyone else sees gains from file sharing.

So, whatever the reason is for Martin making less money and IQ's sales dropping, it's highly unlikely that file sharing is to blame, except possibly indirectly as the genre itself may have flourished from file sharing, making their effective market share much smaller. That's just speculation on my part, though.

The market share of the Big Five record companies has dropped from 90% to about 70% in ten years, as people are exposed to more obscure artists using the internet. As Guardian Music wrote about King Crimsons' debut today: "The revival of interest in an album that has been scarcely fashionable from the late 70s through to the 90s is partly due to online filesharing."

Now, don't get me wrong, I absolutely think you should pay artists whose work you enjoy, but I am also aware that forcing everyone to do that means dismantling the internet, and outlawing large portable hard drives and USB sticks. It's a price no one in their right mind should be willing to pay. If you want to turn the internet into a one-way communication channel where Big Media just feeds the consumer prepackaged Pussycat Dolls and Idol winners, then by all means, draft laws to spy on everyone so that the lumbering media companies don't have to change and adapt to the times.

What any smart band needs to do today is factor file sharing into their business plan. As someone noted above, you can offer presales of albums to fans, but there are loads of other methods for monetizing your art in a world where it can be easily found for free. Goodwill and convenience are the watch words; making fans want to pay you and giving them the incentive to do so. It requires a rethink, yes, but any moderately creative mind should be able to handle that. Just look at Trent Reznor, Jonathan Coulton, Amanda Palmer (who has made more auctioning off stuff online than from the record company for her self-financed album) or even The Arctic Monkeys (who managed to have their massively file shared debut become the fastest selling debut in UK history).

If you have fans, you treat them well and think outside the box you can make money. It's really not that hard.

Originally posted by Hercules Hercules wrote:


Whilst I think Frequency is a brilliant album, and that Mark Westworth performs very well indeed, I get the impression that Martin Orford was heavily involved in the composition of the music. The question is - can the rest of the band write to the same high standard without Martin? I am not convinced they can.


From what I understand, Martin wasn't that great a part of the composing for The Seventh House, which is a great album and his solo stuff also points to them being just fine without him.

Also, if he doesn't miss playing music and hardly even listens to it...well, I think he's better off doing something else, to be honest. Bitterness is always sad to see, no matter what the source, but its especially sad when it is in large part based on a fallacy.


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Posted By: BigBoss
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 08:53
Teaflax - like any study or poll you can always arrive at the results that you want.  There are a variety of contributing factors to decreasing sales, and Piracy is at the top of the list, simple fact is people just do not buy it after they get it for free except in rare and rapidly diminishing cases.  In the early days of Napster a great many people use downloading as a preview method, now, you talk to most young people and they actually think that because they can find music online, that it is actually free, they don't even know they are stealing.  I've got dozens of nieces and nephews in their teens and 20's and I've had to correct this behavior with a lot of them.

-------------
Best Regards,
Shawn Gordon
President
ProgRock Records
www.progrockrecords.com
www.mindawn.com


Posted By: Teaflax
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 09:13
No, you cannot arrive at any result you want if you're a reputable and unbiased source, especially if the numbers are available for review, which is exactly the status of all these cases. And in none of these studies was the stated goal to prove anything specific, but simply to look at how things actually are. Are you saying Harvard University, The Royal Technical College of Sweden, The Dutch Government et. al. have a vested interest in making file sharing seem harmless?

If you're right,  scientists should just stop doing studies, because what's the point?

The reason many young people feel the way your nieces and nephews do is because the legal alternatives haven't been there until recently (and even then, they're seriously flawed), and we have a generation that has grown up with illegal downloading being far easier and more convenient than any legal alternatives. That's entirely at the door of the media companies who've been trying to fight technical developments as far back as the advent of the radio and the record player.

When Jack Valenti of the Motion Picture Association of America said that "The VCR is to the movie industry as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone" he was as dead wrong as the old record company saw of "home taping is killing music".

Also, it is not stealing. It's copyright infringement. You might as well call it murder if you're going to play fast and loose with the terminology.


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Posted By: rushfan4
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 09:40
On a lighter note, I just listened to Martin's first solo album for the first time and I thought that it was quite good.  It fits in nicely with the entirety of the IQ discography.  I legally downloaded it from eMusic, so hopefully, Martin will at least see some of those proceeds come his way.  Maybe it will buy him a cup of tea or something.

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Posted By: Snow Dog
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 10:03
For once in my life I'm agreeing with Teaflax!Shocked

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http://www.last.fm/user/Snow_Dog" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: BigBoss
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 10:05

If you get something, for free, that is not available for free, then it is stealing.  Digital alternatives have been around for plenty long enough, you seem to be an apologist for the thief culture.  If the thieves didn't put it up to begin with then people couldn't get copies, I'm all for extrememly harsh punishment of people who upload music and film, I'm talking multi-year prison sentences, because if you have the very real possibility of going to jail for a long time for doing it, you won't do it, at least most people won't.

Let me tell you how you manipulate polls and studies.  You take a small sample that isn't representative of the community at large to arrive at the results you want to get, it's simple and it happens all the time.

Rushfan4 - eMusic sucks for the artists, they see a payment of maybe a penny because of the model, we stopped putting our material on there, it wasn't worth it.



-------------
Best Regards,
Shawn Gordon
President
ProgRock Records
www.progrockrecords.com
www.mindawn.com


Posted By: Finnforest
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 10:06
Originally posted by Teaflax Teaflax wrote:

No, you cannot arrive at any result you want if you're a reputable and unbiased source, especially if the numbers are available for review, which is exactly the status of all these cases. And in none of these studies was the stated goal to prove anything specific, but simply to look at how things actually are. Are you saying Harvard University, The Royal Technical College of Sweden, The Dutch Government et. al. have a vested interest in making file sharing seem harmless?

If you're right,  scientists should just stop doing studies, because what's the point?

The reason many young people feel the way your nieces and nephews do is because the legal alternatives haven't been there until recently (and even then, they're seriously flawed), and we have a generation that has grown up with illegal downloading being far easier and more convenient than any legal alternatives. That's entirely at the door of the media companies who've been trying to fight technical developments as far back as the advent of the radio and the record player.

When Jack Valenti of the Motion Picture Association of America said that "The VCR is to the movie industry as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone" he was as dead wrong as the old record company saw of "home taping is killing music".

Also, it is not stealing. It's copyright infringement. You might as well call it murder if you're going to play fast and loose with the terminology.
Same old rubbish.  We'll keep calling them thieves as long as they perpetuate the myth that this is somehow not as bad as old fashioned theft.  It is.  And it does hurt the artists despite your studies.  You have people posessing music (the fruit of labor) that they didn't pay for.  Frame it any way you like, it's never going to pass the sniff test with people of common sense. 


Posted By: rushfan4
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 10:08
Originally posted by BigBoss BigBoss wrote:

Rushfan4 - eMusic sucks for the artists, they see a payment of maybe a penny because of the model, we stopped putting our material on there, it wasn't worth it.

 
Damn.  That sucks.  I was under the impression that it would be similar to downloads from elsewhere or CD purchases.  Why would any bands put their music on there then?  It doesn't seem as though there would be any incentive to do so.


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Posted By: Teaflax
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 11:05
I know how you manipulate studies and statistics, BigBoss. What you haven't addressed is why Harvard University, scientists, government agencies and others would want to falsify results. Paranoid much?

Hey, if you want to redefine terminology, you can do that, but don't expect to be taken seriously in any debate (the idea of multi-year sentences for what is at best a misdemeanor doesn't help, of course). I don't see why you don't go all out and just call it murder - or rape, that packs an even higher visceral punch and would be sure to make people think you're well-reasoned, rational and right.

Oh wait...I remember now, you were part of that group blog that suggested cutting off hands of file sharers. You may want to look into anger management clases, because that kind of overreaction is the sign of a seriously troubled mind. How about reintroducing the stocks for parking tickets and drawing and quartering for not filling out your tax forms, while you're at it? That's going to make for a lovely society, that is.

Originally posted by Finnforest Finnforest wrote:

And it does hurt the artists despite your studies.


They're not my studies. They are studies made by government agencies, universities and schools.

Harvard in 2004: " http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2004/04.15/09-filesharing.html - File sharing may boost CD sales "

BI Norwegian School of Management: http://beatcrave.com/2009-04-21/study-file-sharing-guarantees-sales/ - File sharers buy 10 times more music than those who don't download for free .

Dutch Government: http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/01/19/1440254 - the economic effects of filesharing are positive .

Canadian Government: http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/2347/125/ - positive correlation between peer-to-peer downloading and CD purchasing .

Swedish Royal Technical College study 'Music Lessons': http://xml.nada.kth.se/media/Research/MusicLessons/Reports/MusicLessons-DL5.pdf - File sharing increases sales http://xml.nada.kth.se/media/Research/MusicLessons/Reports/MusicLessons-DL5.pdf - .

Please tell me what the incentive is for any of these people to lie.

And I repeat this because reading comprehension doesn't seem to be some people's strong suit when they get all black-eyed about file sharing: I in no way condone not paying artists whose works you enjoy. I find immoral file sharing reprehensible and spend quite a bit of effort to make sure that those I know that file share illegally make sure that they do their best to renumerate the artists whose work they enjoy.

But I also know that, even if we were to assume that the damages claimed by the music industry were true, the price you would have to pay to stop file sharing simply isn't worth it. It would mean basically closing down the internet or turning it into an apparatus under Stasi-like control, where everybody's online activity is watched, recorded and catalogued. If you trust anyone, government agency or business concern, with that kind of information and think that there won't be mission creep and it will start to get used for other, more sinister purposes, then you are naive enough to have been born yesterday.

Since file sharing is inevitable as long as the internet is a free channel of communication for every person, it makes much more sense to adapt to it and try to leverage its advantages to make money, rather than railing against it and helping authoritarians turn it into an electronic police state (then again, I'm sure some people wouldn't be too bothered by that - order, obedience and straight lines are very pleasing to a certain mind set).


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Posted By: Ivan_Melgar_M
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 11:25

I'm the first person to oppose illegal file sharing, I get pissed every time I see the "Shawn Gordon kills music" add just because he's defending his personal and the artists interests and is attacked by people who get profit (advertising) from Shawn's work.

I don't either believe the BS that illegal file sharing boosts sales, I'm sure that the huge majority of people who downloiad an album will never buy it, and that's a felony in my book, probably obscure artists will use INTERNET to get a name, but once hey got a contract, file sharing is negative for them, I believe that's a fact.
 
I have personally suffered this:

My book about Constitutional Law hasn't been published because it's directed to University students and the Peruvian Government has decided that Universities are free to copy AND SELL AT LOW COST material that they consider educational, so the editor told me "No way,we would sell your book at 15 or 20 bucks, but as soon as the it is published all the target audience will LEGALLY buy it at 1 or 2 bucks and I loose my investment".

If you add the legal piracy to the people that will copy it with a nice cover and sell it at 3 bucks in any street corner, nobody wants to invest money in my project, still it's written and registered, but will have to wait for better times.

But I would lie if I don't admit that Orford has disappointed me with words like:

Quote Actually I don’t really need music in my life at all, and I haven’t touched a keyboard for months. I very rarely listen to music, but then again I never did much anyway. Music is just one of the things that I can do which I happened to be good at, and if you’re good at something it’s natural to try to earn a living doing it. .
 
I don't ask him to work for free, he's entitled to the property of his music or stop writing if he's tired to fight, but to say that an artistic expression is "just a way of making a living", puts him in the level of the Jonas Brothers or Britney who play music EXCLUSIVELY because it's profitable for them.
 
I hope his words are only the effect of his biterness, because if he really thinks of music as EXCLUSIVELY a a way of making money, he's not the kind of "artist" I care for.
 
Iván
 
EDIT: It's true that file sharers buy more music, but this is bad news, they will probably buy the 2 or 3 srtists they really love, and download the music from the rest of the artists.
 
So the file sharers buy exactly the same as they did before the p2p existed, but they also download a hell lot more of music from artists that won't receive a dime.


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Posted By: BigBoss
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 11:33

I've written extensively on the topic of piracy and don't intend to reproduce it here, but as someone who is in this business, piracy is killing it, and the arguments of the pro-piracy groups are just silly.  There is some mystical economic model that musicians should adopt according to them, but none can articulate it.  I'm serious about multi-year prison sentences though, I'd start with a '3 strikes' where you loose internet for a year, you do it again, then prison.  I really think it wouldn't take long to see a huge difference.  People who aren't breaking the law have nothing to worry about.

I don't understand this reverence you seem to hold about making music though.  How is it different than someone who is really good at working on car engines for example?  I'm a musician myself and I don't really understand his position of not playing at all, I like to pick up a guitar or sit at the piano regularly and just play, but that's me.



-------------
Best Regards,
Shawn Gordon
President
ProgRock Records
www.progrockrecords.com
www.mindawn.com


Posted By: Teaflax
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 11:36
More food for thought: http://liquidculture.wordpress.com/2009/04/24/the-supposed-link-between-unrestricted-file-sharing-and-declining-cd-sales/ - The supposed link

Quote Blackburn (2004) analysed the mainstream output of CD sales and found that file-sharing had positive effects on the sales for relatively unknown artists, whereas it had negative impact on those who were already popular. He estimated that the best-selling quarter of albums was affected negatively, while the remaining three quarters were affected positively. However, since the top quarter represents such a high share of the accumulated sales, the aggregated effect on overall CD sales was negative.


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Posted By: Teaflax
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 11:40
Sure, if you don't want to have the debate because you have absolutely no arguments, then bow out. Fine by me.

Hey, I know. How about if someone gets caught file sharing we just turn off their electricity for a year? Then they can't even listen to the songs they got caught raping. That'll learn 'em, the sumbitches.

Man, you're a riot, Shawn. You should take that act on the road.

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Posted By: BigBoss
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 11:42

2004 my friend, that is 5 years ago, this problem has grown exponentially in the past 5 years, you can't even compare to 2 years ago.  The proliferation of torrents and storage systems like rapidshare and obfuscation systems like lix and more widespread broadband has exacerbated the problem.  Too many folks like to point to these outdated "studies".  Show me one from 3 months ago.

My own empirical evidence is when I track a pirated album and see something we've sold 2,000 copies of and see 30,000 downloads of it, it's pretty obvious it is having an impact on sales.  As an example check out these blogs and all the new releases (mine are missing because I had them removed)

http://progever.blogspot.com/

http://arubaluba2008.blogspot.com/ - this guy jumps through huge hoops to obfuscate what he's doing, he posts a picture ahead of the releases and puts the link on the picture, this is to keep blogspot from being able to match it up, he then uses sharebee to post a Word file that contains the actual links on another service.  All this to avoid being caught, this guy knows what he is doing is wrong, but keeps doing it.  Someone like that needs to go to jail.



-------------
Best Regards,
Shawn Gordon
President
ProgRock Records
www.progrockrecords.com
www.mindawn.com


Posted By: BigBoss
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 11:46
teaflax, I've had this argument for 2 years, feel free to go to progagainstpirates.blogspot.com and www.myspace.com/progagainstpirates and you can read some of my writings and other labels and artists writings.  I've heard and refuted all the arguments you're going to make a hundred times, I don't feel the need to regurgitate it again.  I'm just surprised that your are pro stealing.  I guess if I just electronically transfer money out of your bank account, that would be ok with you since I didn't actually take physical dollars out of your pocket?

-------------
Best Regards,
Shawn Gordon
President
ProgRock Records
www.progrockrecords.com
www.mindawn.com


Posted By: Teaflax
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 11:47
Originally posted by BigBoss BigBoss wrote:

My own empirical evidence is when I track a pirated album and see something we've sold 2,000 copies of and see 30,000 downloads of it, it's pretty obvious it is having an impact on sales.  As an example check out these blogs and all the new releases (mine are missing because I had them removed)


How is that in any way proof of lost sales? Can you track how many of those 30,000 listen to the album more than once and how many of them end up being one of the 2,000 sold?

I expect you would rather sell 1,000 copies and have no downloads, then?

Youre right about the guy who's jumping through hoops to avoid you shutting him down, tough (not about the jail part, but about it being pretty sh*tty behavior - however, being a prick is currently not an offence with any jail time associated with it).


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Posted By: BigBoss
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 11:51

um, yes he is breaking the law, he's stealing the CD's, the penalty in the US is up to $150,000 per download, I've seen fines at $9,000 per file so far, so yes, he is in real legal jeopardy with what he is doing.

ok, to continue why I know.  When you have a release from an established artist that has historically sold well (this is also true for IQ for example) and the new release is universally hailed as their best yet, distribution is better than it ever has been and promotion is higher than ever, yet sales are down and you see these huge download counts, it is pretty obvious what is happening.  I don't pretend to claim that each download is a lost sale as many people do, I understand it's a percentage, but it's a much much higher percentage than the ones that turned in to a sale.



-------------
Best Regards,
Shawn Gordon
President
ProgRock Records
www.progrockrecords.com
www.mindawn.com


Posted By: Teaflax
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 11:53
Originally posted by BigBoss BigBoss wrote:

teaflax, I've had this argument for 2 years, feel free to go to progagainstpirates.blogspot.com and www.myspace.com/progagainstpirates and you can read some of my writings and other labels and artists writings.  I've heard and refuted all the arguments you're going to make a hundred times, I don't feel the need to regurgitate it again.  I'm just surprised that your are pro stealing.  I guess if I just electronically transfer money out of your bank account, that would be ok with you since I didn't actually take physical dollars out of your pocket?


Do you even read what I write? I am not pro-rape, I am pro-freedom. I am knowledgeable enough about how the internet works and how computers work to be aware that you can only stamp out file sharing by punitive and legislative measures if you regulate it to death. And since all the studies linked above indicate that especially smaller artists actually gain from file sharing, I don't understand the urgency to build a digital police state.

More carrot, less stick, dude.

And, yes, I've read the blog (albeit a long time ago), and I ever saw any convincing arguments there for how you could regulate file sharing without pretty much banning privacy and/or computers. All I saw was histrionic violent fantasies about how file sharers should be put to death or have their hands cut off. Seriously, that is some sick sh*t.


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Posted By: Teaflax
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 11:55
Originally posted by Ivan_Melgar_M Ivan_Melgar_M wrote:

EDIT: It's true that file sharers buy more music, but this is bad news, they will probably buy the 2 or 3 srtists they really love, and download the music from the rest of the artists.
 
So the file sharers buy exactly the same as they did before the p2p existed, but they also download a hell lot more of music from artists that won't receive a dime.


So explain to me how that is a loss for anyone, especially if that music (as shown in my link above) is more likely to be from smaller, more obscure artists.


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Posted By: Teaflax
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 11:58
Wait, are you saying that Frequency is selling markedly less than would be expected? If so, that really is a bad sign, I'll definitely give you that.

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Posted By: BigBoss
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 12:03

as long as you refuse to understand that piracy has a negative effect on sales, this conversation is pointless. Downloading is wrong both morally and legally, that isn't freedom, that is anarchy, unless of course you consider anarchy to be the ultimate expression of freedom.  There is no other market segment that consumers insist that they get the product for free.

Yes, IQ is selling an order of magnitude less than they did even with the previous album and far less than the album before that, why do you think Martin retired?  He can't make a living any more.

Your other quote about downloads versus purchases is old and doesn't apply any more, I told you, this problem gets worse every day.  I'm in the trenches on this, every day I'm tracking and removing my catalog from pirate sites, every time I do, I see an increase in sales on my site and on Mindawn.  I'm in this, I live it, I breathe it, this isn't an abstract conversation to me, this is my livelihood as well, so when I see people talk about 'freedom' for my investments, I get really ticked off.



-------------
Best Regards,
Shawn Gordon
President
ProgRock Records
www.progrockrecords.com
www.mindawn.com


Posted By: Teaflax
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 12:20
Originally posted by BigBoss BigBoss wrote:

Yes, IQ is selling an order of magnitude less than they did even with the previous album and far less than the album before that,


Well, that is indeed worrying, I'll concede that right here and now. The question then becomes what you do about it. I really don't think dismantling the internet is the solution, but if someone like IQ really is being hit hard, then there's obviously something very wrong.

Again, if what you're saying is correct, I'm actually going to back down a bit on my stance. Any chance that you could tell me what the proportions are in this case?


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Posted By: BigBoss
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 12:28

I appreciate you having an open mind on this.

I'm not at liberty to share other peoples sales figures, but I do know what they are.  The same is true of most of the Inside Out label.  It's not a matter of dismantling the internet, but it is a matter of some accountability of the companies that perpetuate the problem like Google, Rapidshare and the like (who have almost no legitimate purpose).  You can track the rapid rise in piracy in recent years to the availability of low cost, high speed internet in eastern europe, south america and china.  It was bad enough when I got perfect copies of our CD's sent to me from Russia that were knock offs, but now it's digital, it's free for someone to give away.  Without getting seriously hard core about it, you can't do a whole lot.  One way to slow it down as Rachel said is to just not send out promo's.

I designed Mindawn to combat every argument that pirates use, yet it still isn't enough for them, there is always another excuse around the corner.  My main thing now is education, I tell 2 people, they tell 2 people, etc.  I just fixed my nephews laptop the other day, the problem was he had Limewire on it and was downloading tons of music, I talked to his mom, she didn't realize that wasn't legal, she says to me "how can they do that if it is illegal?" she just assumed that because it was there, it was legal, and this is the other side of the problem, education.  If we can't make it unavailable, we have to educate and prosecute.  

As a thought exercise, if your best friend got thrown in jail for a year because he had downloaded some albums illegally, would YOU still download?  I don't think so.



-------------
Best Regards,
Shawn Gordon
President
ProgRock Records
www.progrockrecords.com
www.mindawn.com


Posted By: TGM: Orb
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 12:39
Quote
EDIT: It's true that file sharers buy more music, but this is bad news, they will probably buy the 2 or 3 srtists they really love, and download the music from the rest of the artists.
 
So the file sharers buy exactly the same as they did before the p2p existed, but they also download a hell lot more of music from artists that won't receive a dime.


Just chiming in: I think the real argument here is that file-sharers were/are more interested in music in general and what they'd have bought without file-sharing is quite possibly not increased by their file-sharing... i.e. both buying and downloading music are symptomatic of enjoying music, rather than the one being symptomatic of the other.

As far as the debate in general goes: I think the more starkly anti-file-sharing lobby (agreeing with pirating and disagreeing with the measures suggested against it are two different things) are guilty of intellectual dishonesty (theft/copyright infringement are barely analogous) and believe that they should have a level of control over people's privacy and internet use that is neither justifiable nor practical.

Now, I can appreciate the impact of this, supposed or otherwise (frankly, people whom I know have pirated things do genuinely tend to buy more music than others), on the industry, but I've yet to see a measure that's both remotely acceptable and seemingly effective suggested.

As a qualifier: I don't support piracy.


Posted By: Teaflax
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 13:20
Originally posted by BigBoss BigBoss wrote:

I appreciate you having an open mind on this.


Thank you. I do try to pay attention to facts - and this to me, is a very worrying fact, not least because it's IQ, a band I have followed since day one and have a bit of a history with. They deserve better, much better.

Originally posted by BigBoss BigBoss wrote:

I'm not at liberty to share other peoples sales figures, but I do know what they are.


I absolutely understand that. Is there any way you could mention the proportions? I.e, Dark Matter sold X% less than 7th House and Frequency sold X% less than that?

Originally posted by BigBoss BigBoss wrote:

It's not a matter of dismantling the internet, but it is a matter of some accountability of the companies that perpetuate the problem like Google, Rapidshare and the like (who have almost no legitimate purpose).


I agree that RapidShare and the like should be busted, because they're obviously making money off of what is probably 95% illegal content. I don't have quite the same issue with the file-sharing that goes on on a non-profit basis, however.

Originally posted by BigBoss BigBoss wrote:

I designed Mindawn to combat every argument that pirates use, yet it still isn't enough for them, there is always another excuse around the corner. 


The main issue with Mindawn is probably lack of marketing. I didn't know about it until I saw your link here (and it's worth noting that Brighteye Brison - whose latest brilliant album I was trying to find as a purchasable download a few weeks ago after having gotten it on MP3 from a friend - do not even link to the site nor to any other download sources). Other than that, it looks great, I think.

Originally posted by BigBoss BigBoss wrote:

As a thought exercise, if your best friend got thrown in jail for a year because he had downloaded some albums illegally, would YOU still download?  I don't think so.


As a thought exercise, I would leave any country that was turning that much into a police state. I'm sorry, but however much you hate it, and however much it impacts you directly, I really have to take issue with your desire to impose such harsh penalties on non-commercial file sharing (now if anyone else makes a profit your stuff, that's something entirely different to me). Again, that's not saying I condone it, just that I think your wish overreaches. I mean, you wouldn't catch many people speeding if you implemented the death penalty for it, yet in a civilized society we don't do that, even though many people die from that each year.

Theoretically, you could get almost everyone to fall in line and behave very nicely if you have harsh punishments for even the most minor infraction, but that kind of hostile society really isn't very pleasant.

I still think that artists have to be proactive and try to figure out how to connect with fans and give them incentive to buy. Our drummer just paid 70 Euro for the special edition of The Incident and I paid a princely sum for the MST3K 20th anniversary boxed set even though all of those episodes are easy enough to find online (and I was introduced to MST3K entirely through downloads).

Maybe IQ should try to prepay the next album, the way Marillion and the Blow Monkeys  (and probably others) have done. Figure out what how many you need to sell, sell them beforehand and only release it once the money has been made.


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Posted By: BigBoss
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 13:31

You're ignoring the thought excersize, you already live in a country that is making it impossible for you to publish your book for example, but you still live there.

Mindawn, the label that has Brighteye links to it, but we probably could do some new advertising.

as to percentages, it's something like 5x less than a couple albums ago.

Here is my problem with everyone saying musicians should come up with a new model.  They are musicians, that's what they do, they make music, it isn't beholden on them to come up with some groundbreaking technology or economic model so they can sell their product, these guys mostly can barely understand their royalty reports, not that they are stupid, but because accounting isn't their focus.  Do we ask a rancher to give us the beef and just put advertising on the side of the cow to support it?  I don't understand why musicians are the only ones being demanded that they find some method other than selling their goods to be able to continue to do it.  

The fan supported revenue thing or the 'pay what you want' model only works a couple times or possibly with established bands, Martin spoke about this in the interview.  You think one of my bands like Invisigoth could get people to pony up 10k to support them recording another album?



-------------
Best Regards,
Shawn Gordon
President
ProgRock Records
www.progrockrecords.com
www.mindawn.com


Posted By: Teaflax
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 13:44
Originally posted by BigBoss BigBoss wrote:

You're ignoring the thought excersize, you already live in a country that is making it impossible for you to publish your book for example, but you still live there.


What? My country isn't making it impossible for me to publish a book. What are you talking about?

Originally posted by BigBoss BigBoss wrote:

the label that has Brighteye links to it, but we probably could do some new advertising.


A bare minimum would be for the band to have it prominently featured on their web site, especially in this day and age.

Originally posted by BigBoss BigBoss wrote:

Here is my problem with everyone saying musicians should come up with a new model.  They are musicians, that's what they do, they make music, it isn't beholden on them to come up with some groundbreaking technology or economic model so they can sell their product, these guys mostly can barely understand their royalty reports, not that they are stupid, but because accounting isn't their focus.  Do we ask a rancher to give us the beef and just put advertising on the side of the cow to support it?  I don't understand why musicians are the only ones being demanded that they find some method other than selling their goods to be able to continue to do it. 


Maybe because the internet has changed the model, and the model only works with physical copies in bricks-and-mortar stores? As technologies change, the people whose livelihood depends on those technologies have to adapt. I understand what you're saying about bands maybe not being internet savvy enough to figure out what to do, but that's where labels and promotors have a great niche to fill.

I understand that you think you're doing what you can to maximize your sales by hunting down RapidShare links etc., but maybe if you spent more time actually coming up with ways to promote the site - such as making sure that Brighteye Brison (and other featured bands) actually have a link to Mindawn right there on their front page, then maybe you could counter that effect in positive, rewarding ways, rather than negative and aggressive ones.

Originally posted by BigBoss BigBoss wrote:

You think one of my bands like Invisigoth could get people to pony up 10k to support them recording another album?


If they don't have enough fans to pay it up front, why would you think they would be able to sell enough to cover it once it's released?

But a fifth is a staggeringly bad number for IQ to sell of their latest venture. I don't really know what to make of it and I wish I had a magic bullet or a strong theory that vindicates what I've been saying even in the light of this, but I'm going to have to do some thinking. Thanks for the info, it's been eye-opening.


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Posted By: Ivan_Melgar_M
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 13:47
Originally posted by Teaflax Teaflax wrote:

Originally posted by Ivan_Melgar_M Ivan_Melgar_M wrote:

EDIT: It's true that file sharers buy more music, but this is bad news, they will probably buy the 2 or 3 srtists they really love, and download the music from the rest of the artists.
 
So the file sharers buy exactly the same as they did before the p2p existed, but they also download a hell lot more of music from artists that won't receive a dime.


So explain to me how that is a loss for anyone, especially if that music (as shown in my link above) is more likely to be from smaller, more obscure artists.
 
"LEX LEX, DURA LEX SED LEX"
 
I'm a man of law and INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IS AS PROPERTY AS REAL STATE OR A CAR, SO GETTING IT WITHOUT A RETRIBUTION FOR THE AUTHOR IS STEALING, AS SIMPLE AS THAT.
 
Plus a simple fact, people will get free music and buy only a couple albums when they have the product for free, if they didn't had it, probably will make an effort and buy at least a couple more albums.
 
Anyway, an artist is owner of his music and it's his right not to give it for free.
 
Iván
 


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Posted By: BigBoss
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 13:53

The point for a band like Invisigoth is to break a new band, pick any new band, no one is going to pony up ahead of time for someone they don't know who they are, they need to make fans.  I turned bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson on to Invisigoth and now they are his favorite band for example.

I've got tens of thousands of bands on Mindawn, the labels are promoting them on their sites typically, but the bands, you never know, to most bands they just care about telling people they are on iTunes.  Mindawn has an enormous amount of prog though, so if you want to get a CD quality download of an album for only $8.99, then that's the place to go.

you said something earlier about a book you wanted to put out but the government wants to give them away or something, I don't have it in front of me now.



-------------
Best Regards,
Shawn Gordon
President
ProgRock Records
www.progrockrecords.com
www.mindawn.com


Posted By: TGM: Orb
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 14:05
Quote
I'm a man of law and INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IS AS PROPERTY AS REAL STATE OR A CAR, SO GETTING IT WITHOUT A RETRIBUTION FOR THE AUTHOR IS STEALING, AS SIMPLE AS THAT.

Well, no it isn't. Potentially taking away potential and unproven sales is not comparable with taking away a physical product, which can then no longer be sold. Now, I'm not suggesting copyright violation is OK, but calling it 'stealing' is essentially incorrect, or at least, misrepresenting it.

Quote
Plus a simple fact, people will get free music and buy only a couple albums when they have the product for free, if they didn't had it, probably will make an effort and buy at least a couple more albums.


The available statistics don't really support this. Ultimately, I can only afford to buy as many albums as I buy at the moment, with the number of books I have to get, plus university-related costs, plus the need to eat, get a set of speakers so I don't need to lug all my CDs off to university with me. That I can listen to music freely - and legally - on Spotify doesn't mean I buy less albums, just that I can listen to more music. I would imagine that some downloaders have the same conundrum?

Quote
Anyway, an artist is owner of his music and it's his right not to give it for free.


This is the basic fact, and this is what we should be emphasising and respecting... but to do that, we don't need either to insist on punishments disproportionate to the crime, nor to paint it as 'stealing', which, really, in a conventional sense, it isn't.


Posted By: Teaflax
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 14:36
Originally posted by BigBoss BigBoss wrote:

The point for a band like Invisigoth is to break a new band, pick any new band, no one is going to pony up ahead of time for someone they don't know who they are, they need to make fans.



And that requires an investment of time and money. It always has - obviously, what I proposed for IQ would never work for a band that doesn't yet have a fan base.

It was Ivan Elgar who had the book thingy, not me.


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Posted By: Ivan_Melgar_M
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 14:47
Originally posted by TGM: Orb TGM: Orb wrote:


Well, no it isn't. Potentially taking away potential and unproven sales is not comparable with taking away a physical product, which can then no longer be sold. Now, I'm not suggesting copyright violation is OK, but calling it 'stealing' is essentially incorrect, or at least, misrepresenting it.

 
Yes it is, since the moment the author or the label registeres the music and lyrics, the use of it is exclusive of the copyright owner, nobody else has the right to use it.
 
Then using a song of a person without paying the rights, is exactly as using your car without my authorization.
 
If a kid is found driving your car on the highway, he will be accused of theft (Grand theft if it's an expensive car and can face 20 years), if somebody is found UPLOADING the music that DOESN'T BELONG TO HIM, can also be accused of theft according to the legal system.
 
Originally posted by TGM: Orb TGM: Orb wrote:

The available statistics don't really support this. Ultimately, I can only afford to buy as many albums as I buy at the moment, with the number of books I have to get, plus university-related costs, plus the need to eat, get a set of speakers so I don't need to lug all my CDs off to university with me. That I can listen to music freely - and legally - on Spotify doesn't mean I buy less albums, just that I can listen to more music. I would imagine that some downloaders have the same conundrum?
 
The normal downloader makes it for fun or greed, and the Blogs (who are are making profit with advertising) upload terabytes of music...If people have it for free, they will choose other things they need more to expend their money in and artists will become extint.
 
 
Originally posted by TGM: Orb TGM: Orb wrote:

This is the basic fact, and this is what we should be emphasising and respecting... but to do that, we don't need either to insist on punishments disproportionate to the crime, nor to paint it as 'stealing', which, really, in a conventional sense, it isn't.
 
I don't agree with the extreme methods like suing grandmas for millions because their grandaughters downladed the latest Christina Aguilera album, but there has to be some legal consequence to protect the owner of the intellectual rights.
 
I would make it more real, pay 10 or 20 times the cost of the album directly to the artist (Not to RIAA or the label) the first time, 40 or 50 times the second and double that each time the guy downloads.
 
.Iván


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Posted By: TGM: Orb
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 15:15
When someone nicks your car, you can no longer use it, surely? This is quite a significant difference, at least, since downloading/uploading makes no direct difference to a label's ability to use their intellectual property... the one is crime against property, which deprives you of its use. The other, a crime against intellectual property, which leaves you basically unchanged except undemonstrably in your potential ability to sell albums. It's still wrong, but it's not theft in the sense in which theft is generally understood (or at least the sense suggested by those dreadful 'you wouldn't steal a handbag... movie piracy is stealing!' things at the start of DVDs).

@Paragraph 2, I don't know enough about the psychology of a downloader to guess at what they'd do if it was impossible. I can't imagine that every download replaces a sale... or even every ten downloads would have been a sale pre-downloading culture. As I've said, the people I know who do download occasionally and probably illegally do tend to buy music. Those who just listen to the radio instead don't. I'm not trying to justify their behaviour, but I can't help thinking that downloading is perhaps being used as a cheap cover for a number of reasons record sales and so forth might be declining.

Quote
I don't agree with the extreme methods like suing grandmas for millions because their grandaughters downladed the latest Christina Aguilera album, but there has to be some legal consequence to protect the owner of the intellectual rights.
 
I would make it more real, pay 10 or 20 times the cost of the album directly to the artist (Not to RIAA or the label) the first time, 40 or 50 times the second and double that each time the guy downloads.


Seems reasonable. I suppose that it'd be the intellectual rights holder (i.e. the label, in most cases, I guess) rather than the artist who'd be paid, though?


Posted By: BigBoss
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 15:18
the label does the grunt work of selling an album, they make money, the artist makes money, if the album is downloaded instead of stolen, then the label goes out of business (SPV) and the artists retire (Martin).  simple economics, no grey areas.

-------------
Best Regards,
Shawn Gordon
President
ProgRock Records
www.progrockrecords.com
www.mindawn.com


Posted By: Teaflax
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 15:24
Originally posted by Ivan_Melgar_M Ivan_Melgar_M wrote:

I would make it more real, pay 10 or 20 times the cost of the album directly to the artist (Not to RIAA or the label) the first time, 40 or 50 times the second and double that each time the guy downloads.
 


You know what? I like that.

One of my issues with the way things have been handled is that of all of the millions the RIAA has received and the labels have made by suing people, not a cent has gone to artists. Not one.

I really wouldn't be opposed to scheme like Ivan's suggestion.


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Posted By: BigBoss
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 15:38
the RIAA are idiots, it really pains me to what them bumble around, I've even talked to them to try and show them a more intelligent way to approach it, but these people are full on ludites.

-------------
Best Regards,
Shawn Gordon
President
ProgRock Records
www.progrockrecords.com
www.mindawn.com


Posted By: rushfan4
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 15:43
Shawn, I am curious about how artists benefit from other legal download sites.  You didn't respond to my response regarding eMusic.  Why would any artists allow their music to be sold on eMusic if they don't get any financial benefit from it?  I am really kind of bummed about that, because I figured I was legally downloading the music and the artists were benefitting from it.  Is it the same with Amazon MP3s or the Apple Store?

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Posted By: BigBoss
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 15:52

sorry, I must have missed your question.  The problem with eMusic or any "all you can eat" type of service is you pay a low flat rate for virtually unlimited access and that gets split up with every artist you purchased from.  The first time I saw a digital says report with payments of even less than 1 penny, so of course it is rounded down and you get nothing, they seem to play a trick where they do the rounding on individual sales instead of all your sales, so say you had a cumulative $10 in profits, you'd get nothing because they were all a fraction of a cent.  Part of this applies to places like MySpace that monetize your songs that are playing by having ads on your page, but you have NO control over what they do.  I had them override my 2 minute song sample with the entire song, I can't change it and I don't want the entire song on there, my only option is to opt out entirely.

Services like my Mindawn pay a 75% royalty, this is to whoever put the material up, the artist or the label, obviously the more middlemen you have, the less you get.  Take iTunes as an example, you have an artist, the label, a propogator and then iTunes, everyone is getting their piece of it, so the artist doesn't see a whole lot, however there usually aren't expenses to recoup from it, so it's nearly free money.

Why do people end up on eMusic?  Because the sign up with a propagator and don't pay attention to the details.  I'm pretty certain those types of services will go away as more people notice.



-------------
Best Regards,
Shawn Gordon
President
ProgRock Records
www.progrockrecords.com
www.mindawn.com


Posted By: rushfan4
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 16:06
From a purchaser's standpoint, by purchasing a 12-month package from eMusic I am able to download 90 songs a month at a rate of approximately 40 cents per song.  Obviously, as a purchaser this is more appealing than paying 99 cents or 1.29 per song like at Amazon or iTunes and I assume that Mindawn probably charges a similar amount.  Supposedly, one reason emusic can charge the lower amount is because they don't have the big name artists and thus supposedly can keep their costs down.  Do you see any chance of services like yours reducing your price to compete with something like eMusic?

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Posted By: BigBoss
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 16:17

I thought our album price of $8.99 for a lossless, DRMless recording was pretty good, I've seen more and more people copy us.  The whole thing is a balancing act between what is fair for the artist and for the customer.  Mindawn has a slew of prog material you simply can't get on any other download service.  My other problem with the typical model was they would charge the same price for a song, regardless of the length.  Is it fair for Echolyn to get $.50 for Mei for example?

As a reward system though, Mindawn has "Mindawlers" where you basically earn points back like the Discover Card and are able to get free albums after a bit.



-------------
Best Regards,
Shawn Gordon
President
ProgRock Records
www.progrockrecords.com
www.mindawn.com


Posted By: Tony R
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 16:25
This has been a very interesting debate and I am glad that it hasn't descended into mindless bickering.

Big Boss, do you think that in the long term the only way for non-mainstream bands to make money will be to stop making CDs altogether and just look to pay someone to market their digital media?

I guess that would probably cripple many record labels and kill off the last of the independent record stores...


Posted By: BigBoss
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 16:34

yea, I'm glad too that it has been more educational than "I you you are but what am I" type conversation.

I'm a technologist at heart, I've been writing software since the late 70's, I spearheaded all the major development at every company I worked for and have had my own software company the past 10 years.  I even designed an on demand video download system in the mid-80's that sadly couldn't work due to storage and bandwidth requirements that just didn't exist at the time.  So I watch the market pretty closely, which is why I built Mindawn 5 years ago as part of that.  Right now though, we are in the middle of a sea change with digital and broadcast radio and various other forms of media consumption.  How this shakes out is going to take a few years to tell for sure.  The bottom line is you have to get eyes on your product, either by ads, reviews, live, viral videos, what have you.  A lot of these tools have only really come in to play in the last couple years, look at how fast Twitter exploded this year after being around for a while with little interest (I find it creepy myself).

You see a resurgence with Vinyl lately, this tells you something about "quality" consumers of music.  The problem is kids today only hear low quality MP3 files on earbuds, they don't know what high fidelity is.  Games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero have had an unexpected impact in introducing younger kids to music we enjoyed decades ago (my son became a huge fan of Clapton, Eric Johnson, Kansas and Heart to name a few because of it).

So that's a long way of saying we're at a stage in development that makes it pretty impossible to predict, all we can do is watch and react quickly or take the lead in some cases.



-------------
Best Regards,
Shawn Gordon
President
ProgRock Records
www.progrockrecords.com
www.mindawn.com


Posted By: rushfan4
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 16:37
eMusic has recently changed their pricing so they are no longer doing the same price per song.  They now have a system in place where an album download is either 1 song per download or more depending on the album.  They have many prog albums with only 4 or 5 songs on it that they are now charging 12 downloads for, and they have some albums with more than 12 songs, where you can get a "bonus" download.  i.e. if the album has 14 songs you can get it for 12 downloads. 
 
I have looked at Mindawn a few times, but I don't think that I have purchased anything yet.  Since I have the eMusic account I tend to do most of my downloading from there.  I still purchase physical CDs on-line at Amazon or brick and mortar stores, and the CD of the Month "Club" that you offer. 
 
Unfortunately, another problem that hasn't been mentioned is that of eBay and the sale of second-hand records at used record stores.  I tend to buy a lot of CDs that way, and unfortunately I know that that doesn't help artists at all.  I can remember reading a lot of bad press regarding used stores and trying to make that illegal before the issue of illegal downloading became the monster in the room.  As a consumer who spends a large amount on music every year, I am always trying to find the best deals and when it comes down to whether or not to pay $4 or $6 for a used CD or $16.99 for a new CD, I am going to choose the used CD every time.  That said, I probably still buy 5 to 10 new CDs a month of new releases either from Amazon or the brick and mortar store or directly from the labels, plus the aforementioned eMusic downloads. 
 
I suppose unfortunately for you, I did download all of the music that you had to offer on eMusic, so from my standpoint it is quite disappointing that there won't be any more added.  Of course, this means that if I really want that album, I am going to have to pay Mindawn more visits.  LOL


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Posted By: BigBoss
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 16:41
the used market is an interesting situation, it's an issue with books, DVD's and Games (especially games, this is a HUGE issue for publishers and stores like Game Stop).  Thing is with a used copy, there is only ever 1 copy and 1 owner.  The band and label got paid on the sale of that copy, in at least 50% of the cases they are probably loosing out on the sale of a 2nd copy because someone bought it used, but you very rarely have an item get sold a 3rd time, so the damage isn't nearly as bad as one person buying it and putting it online where theoretically a couple billion people could download it.

-------------
Best Regards,
Shawn Gordon
President
ProgRock Records
www.progrockrecords.com
www.mindawn.com


Posted By: Tony R
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 16:42
It is interesting that everyone is talking about rips/downloads of Rock Band/Guitar Hero (I'm not sure which one) that are far better quality than the original mastered CDs. It seems to me that the large record companies have become very complacent over the years, and we are getting some very poorly mastered CDs. Metallica and Rush spring to mind. How on earth are we going to get people who appreciate hi-fi to buy CDs when they are mastered hot, compressed and without any dynamic range? Crazy.




Posted By: BigBoss
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 16:43
I think the sh*tty mastering has died down, everyone was obsessed with being "louder".

-------------
Best Regards,
Shawn Gordon
President
ProgRock Records
www.progrockrecords.com
www.mindawn.com


Posted By: Windhawk
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 17:46
emusic seems to have changed their nature. Slightly less downloads for a slightly higher price, and I expect a similar change in pricing structure sometime next year from them.

They will most probably continue to sell cheaper than iTunes and others - but hopefully they'll end up in a situation where they can pay as much (or in best case more) to the artists than Apple's hip music store.

Personally I've started to like and appreciate more and more the digital solutions connected to CDBaby. Payplay.fm in particular looks like a good set-up to me. Extremly easy to use, fairly priced - and many albums with a free downloadable track for checking out too.

As for the digital future, at some point there has to be found a solution that stops the rampant spread of illegal downloads popping up like mad hatters on speed. I do have a soft spot for the enthusiasts who sample some privately released vinyl in the 70's, makes an elaborate review of it and posts it, and similar ventures that caters for music otherwise lost and forgotten. Thing is that these are in the minority - most of these places are all about recent commercially available titles, some even posted there prior to release. And when reviewed they steal the reviews from somewhere else too - the Progressor site which I mostly write for these days are subject to many such uncredited thefts, but also Progarchives, DPRP and Progressive Ears are popular places where these folks steal the rest of the content for their sites. They steal from the artists as well as the people trying to do a job in helping the artists - theft from a to z. And then they claim that they are doing a massive effort by giving exposure to the artist. Truth of the matter is that they're hardly doing anything themselves, instead freeloading the hard work of a number of people for their own credit or something of the sort.

They aren't the only reason for new sales dropping though - immensly huge back catalogues available cheaply new and even cheaper used is another big reason, as well as competition from other entertainment options. But the really bad thing about these places is that they are vastly important in creating a shift in ethics. They bear much of the responsibility for the fact that more and more people growing up now expect music to be free. Many of the downloaders of only 5 years ago would be people who slowly but surely bought what they got in this manner - today downloaders with that ethical standard are a rare breed to encounter. Not because there's few of them, but because the number of downloaders not sharing that standard has exploded.

Now, if that problem manage to resolve itself and music slowly starts getting to be regarded as a commmercial entity by the large majority of people again, and perhaps even respected as works of art again too and not not just another piece of cheap entertainment, then we can start discussing the continuing challenges of the digital age.

Pricing is one matter. The price of music has actually dropped during the last 20 years or so. True enough it is cheaper to make music these days, but as a commercial commodity it is a fact that CDs should have been at least twice as expensive today than they are. hence it takes many more sales for an artist and a label to make a profit, not to speak of getting back the financial investment. Which has laready lead to many larger labels having had to stop artist development, leaving that field to the indies for better or worse.

Navigation is another matter. With the plethora of material available here, there and everywhere; places that can help a listener find what they are looking for (as well as what they weren't looking for but which suites their tastes) will become increasingly important. AMG just isn't good enough for that anymore.

But prior to taking those and other issues to the table a future needs to be found for music and musicians. Services like Spotify will be important I think, as they will remove the casual downloaders and lessen the impact of the illegal sites. With a micropayment system they might even harvest some money in the future, money that will hopefully end up in the artists pockets more directly and in vaster amounts than most experience today (generally speaking).

But services like that are also a threat. As bandwidth gets cheaper more and more people may feel that they don't really need to buy music when it's available for free listening at Spotify. Restrictions in number of times you can listen to a tarck there pr. day, week and month and the option to buy it straight away will solve that to some extent - but this is a solution with a major flaw - especially from the prospect of fans of prog and similar music: It equals the dissipating interest of an album's worth of material.

And the album format started dying with the shift from vinyl to CD. And got worse with the digital revolution. Of course, Apple have taken an initiative to try to resurrect the album format. Basically offering a few bells and whistles if you buy an album from what I understand - but with the right marketing it will sell.

And personally I regard this as an attempt to solve today's situation. If this makes more people buy entire albums from artists the connection to the artist and the artist appreciation will be rising. And when people starts caring about an artist they will buy even if the alternatives are freely available. Which is very good for many major artists, but won't change too much for the ones with a lesser impact. And it won't solve the major problem of free music problem more than partially at best.

Oh well, better stop now before I ramble on even further away on my digresses here. But a few thoughts hopefully touching the debate here...even if I digress in a major way and jumps from topic to topic like a bunny in the mating season...


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Websites I work with:

http://www.progressor.net
http://www.houseofprog.com
http://framemusic.net/

My profile on Mixcloud:
https://www.mixcloud.com/haukevind/


Posted By: debrewguy
Date Posted: September 29 2009 at 17:59
let's see if I can lay some truths here
1 - taking something without paying for it is stealing.  No reasonable person denies this.

2 - the "market" usually determines what price it will pay for a product. IN this case, many, but not all, music fans have decided that the price is free. No matter what anyone else says, even the artists. This is not to say it is right or not. It is to point out the reality. And after ten years arguing about it rather than trying to get paid for your work in other ways ... well ... I don't know of any musical act that has managed to increase their revenue by complaining about it, eh. Again, not to say it's right or wrong. Just to say that there is a reality that has been in place for some ten years. Spotify anyone ?

3. If it costs Martin 8000 to make an album, is there any reason why he doesn't think that there would be at least 800 people from around the world who would pay 10 for a quality download. You say MP3s are not high fidelity. Hey, there's FLAC, Ogg, among others that are lossless codecs. You get CD sound, you can include the artwork in the download, you don't have to worry about selling out a manufacturing run, and your fans can access it right away.
Add to that, the act can always record just one or a few songs as the inspiration hits them. I bought the Voivod album Infini for $10.88CAD in FLAC format with complete artwork cover & inserts. I burnt it onto a blank CD, and so it cost me $11.30CAD. Next week, the New Marillion album.

3 - Marillion has managed to make a go of it. Martin, what are they doing wrong ?

4 - Always deny the validity of any studies that disagree with your opinion. Always refuse to recognise the continued failure of all manner of proposed measures to stop the activity in question. Never accept that there are , nor could even be, any other reason(s) that might actually explain the problem.

5 - re : the above. Was IQ competing with the XBox, PSwhatever, Wii, DVDs, the internet, PCs and a host of other entertainment options that now take up parts of people's budgets ? Once you've filled your IPod or computer with 4000 hours of music, what are the chances that you don't buy a lot more when you're never going to be able to listen to everything you already have ?

6 - take this new version of reality - the music fan has a ton more choices. Could it be that I prefer to support a dozen local acts rather than one "name" international act ? IF so, isn't  that another piece of the pie to share ? Remember, music fans are no longer limited to the (often) dross that labels want to peddle.  I truly believe that there is the same percentage of crap music to good music to great music as there always was. There is just so so much more of it out there. Labels as filters ? Commercial concerns as esthetes ?

7 - Explain why cable TV is able to make money ? Is it that many paying a little actually can generate decent revenue. Again, see Spotify.

8- Explain how major chain bookstores like Chapters in Canada allow people to read books (for free, my god, blasphemy !) and still sell enough of them to make it a viable commercial enterprise ?

9- Why do Jam bands like Phish or Dave Matthews continue to make mega bucks year after year despite not  pulling in multi-million selling albums ? Why is Hardcore punk band D.O.A.  able to still record regularly, tour (they have just come back a tour of China), i.e. make a career of it with all these illegal downloads ?

10- Why was Josh Freese able to put out a solo album and cover the costs within a few months ? Oh yeah, unique promotions aimed at his true fans. I.e., no relying on the casual listener ... hmmmm

11 - if a musician is supposed to be a creative person, why aren't they trying to create a way to financially sustain their career ? Or are they not aware of small & medium acts that do so ? Therefore preventing them the excuse to ignore the fact that they have no entitlement to fame or money just because they think so. If you're not able to make money one way, then your time is better spent finding ways to earn what you need to learn. Nobody here is bemoaning the fact that Glen Benton from Deicide lives in a rusted trailer in deep Florida.

12 - And in the end, the question that most blind themselves to - could it just be that the market is no longer there ? Whether it's just them, or the whole scene ?
Could a music industry lesson be helpful ? SO as to remind people what it was like pre-1965 for every musician who was not a star. You know, selling LPs out of the trunk of your car, or from the stage. Those that you had financed with a loan or using the equity from your house or borrowed money from friends or family ? 300 shows a year, in every dive that would book you. Just to make a living doing what you want.
No wait ... things changed with the Beatles and the advent of mass reach media like FM radio & TV. Things can't change again. Things are or were too good.

13- God help us, but is it possible that there is only a certain market for an album or artist, and to expect more based on happenings ten, oops, twenty years ago is like GM planning on bringing back the Buick ? Was illegal downloading the reason why IQ wasn't selling that many albums in the U.S. or that Stompin' Tom couldn't tour the U.K. ? You know , back in those halcyon days of the 80s.  Whoops, Stompin' Tom was around in the 70s... Came back in the 90s, and is still recording and touring today.

I now await the vehement rebuttals ignoring the reality and thinking that arguing about the morality of things will change anything more than it already has. And so another ten years wasted before someone starts thinking about what you can do today with the tools you have at your disposal.

So keep up the good fight. God only knows that there are musical acts out there actively seeking to make it work for them in TODAY's world. And they can't be but helped by the others bands and musicians who waste time trying to roll back time to 1999.

Now, how much was that Marillion download ? At roughly $10 a pop, I think there's a few albums I haven't gotten yet .  who knows, maybe I have money left over for another impulse purchase like Ostara? Oh, and i gotta pick up that one EP that I'm missing from Fear of Lipstick. And Mark (drummer for Eric's Trip) at Frank's music was going to get a hold of some albums that he did with Purple Knight in the 70s.

P.S. God Damn those people who buy used LPs & CDs.  Don't they know that the artist is not getting paid for that. How dare the thieves who loan a CD to their friend ? or Horror, bring an album over to their friend's house and listen to it there . What are those people thinking using IPods ? That gadget is not made for playing ! It's made for copying ! That the music may have been paid for by the user doesn't matter ! Also the ones who don't buy the re-issue CD. To Hell with those who don't buy 100 albums a year. Even if they don't download illegally. Let fire & brimstone rain down on all those amateur musicians that are stealing sales from me by issuing local releases. I am an artiste. They are mere dabblers and take away money meant for me. ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME !

P.P.S. who needs reality ?

P.P.P.S something must be wrong ... i'm not getting paid to do what I want to do. why do other people tell that I should stop whining and find a job that CAN support my family ? Oh, because the horse carts makers are telling the auto manufacturers to smarten up ? Because postal services are learning to deal with email competing with their snail mail ? Or email is now up against texting and tweeting ?
It's impacting my income. ME ME ME ME ME ME ME

er, why is the proice I pay for coffee causing poverty half way across the world ? What do you mean those trade tariffs, import taxes and such mean third world inhabitants worry more about what they're going to eat than what they're able to download


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"Here I am talking to some of the smartest people in the world and I didn't even notice,” Lieutenant Columbo, episode The Bye-Bye Sky-High I.Q. Murder Case.



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