Monday, November 19, 2007

Radiohead attacked by Tool

Maynard James Keenan, out of Tool, isn't entirely convinced by the In Rainbows experiment:

"I love RADIOHEAD. They're a great band, but I do think — and I'll go on record now as saying I'll probably be wrong and time will tell — what they did is a one-trick pony in a way, 'cause it might work for a publicity thing to allow people to download it, but it's very comfortable for them to be able to do that. They're going to make lots of money touring and they've already made lots of money selling records."

Well, yes. That's not so much commentary as observation, and there's a key difference between the two.

Nobody, surely, would think that because Radiohead made a couple of million off the pay-what-you-feel-it's-worth model that a new band from Cheltenham would be able to sell their debut record for the same sort of cash - but then, they wouldn't make as much from a traditional release as Radiohead could have done. It's more than possible that a tipping-system based on artists retaining ownership of the music could mean most acts make more money from their music than if they'd signed to a major and had to work to pay back the advances. Indeed, it's more than possible that this sort of system would prove more lucrative for the vast majority of bands - the ones who never bother the Top 40 - than they'd make under the traditional system.

But then Keenan doesn't have a very positive view of musicians generally: he effectively suggests they're basically so stupid they should all be made wards of court - or at least of the RIAA:
"One thing that I see the musicians wanting is more independence and, you know, more control over their destiny," he said. "The one downside to it is that for the most part, the reason they make music is because they're damaged goods and they're generally not that bright when it comes to making business decisions. So eventually the vampires that survive the aftermath of the industry collapse will figure out a way to get their fingers back into these guys."

We think the phrase here is "speak for yourself".

Keenan then demonstrates some of this "damaged thought" by parroting the old "if you make some records available for free, then nobody will ever get paid" line that even the RIAA companies have started to move away from:
The people it will affect are those in-between bands that all of a sudden got a catchy song and people start passing it around for free. Well, if the people that got it would actually have paid for (it), these guys may have been able to afford another record 'cause guess what, there are no more labels."

But this misses the point that the Radiohead album wasn't given away for free; it was a purchase for a fair price deal which pulled in hundreds of thousands of pounds.

It's interesting that the sort of acts who are quick to say "let's not rock the boat" as Radiohead try the experiment are the ones who have done very nicely indeed out of the status quo, like Lily Allen and Tool. Allen's career owes a lot to record industry nurturing and - for all the talk of her MySpace - a massive inpouring of marketing spend; Tool have sold a shedload of records for pretty much the same reason - there are hundreds of bands of similar levels of talent who didn't have the benefit of Sony BMG's Zoo records backing them. In a different system, everyone could have got their beaks a little wet. But Tool wouldn't have made so much. No wonder Maynard doesn't want a different system.


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

radiohead only made money through that rainbow thing because their famous already, bands starting off don't which makes reaching any sort of stardom that much more diffult, read between the lines, this article is a product of the retarded obsession with radiohead so many retarded ppl have today

and overall radiohead's music isn't musically surperior in any sense, especially compared to tool, as a musician i know, most ppl that actually know music know this, if u want real music creativity and skill listen to some steve vai, buckethead, kenny g, coltrane, i could go on

simon h b said...

@anonymous:
Let's just leave aside your use of "retarded" as an insult for a moment, and instead I shall just point out that your blistering riposte:
radiohead only made money through that rainbow thing because their famous already, bands starting off don't which makes reaching any sort of stardom that much more diffult
is, more or less, the same point I made in the first half of my second paragraph and - indeed - which I responded to in the second half of that paragraph.

And since I never made any reference to the relative merits of Radiohead against Tool (I merely pointed out there were hundreds of bands of an equal level of talent to Tool who didn't make as much money as Tool have) I'm not quite sure where the defence of them came to. But I don't think I'll swap my copy of Creep for anything by Kenny G anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

yes you made that point but you hardly responded to it. basically you said "ok the new bands won't be able to make as much money with this experimental system, but thats ok, they wouldn't have made that much money with the traditional system either." are you saying they'd make more money with the experimental system? do u have any proof of this?
and then u try to dissprove the 3rd statement by maynard with the fact that Radiohead did make money off the fair price deal. I'm not going to explain the contradiction cause you should be able to see it.


maybe it was wrong of me to infer that you thought tool was some OK band because you said there are like a 100 bands out there like them, which is not true, the talent of the drummer is that of a virtuoso, and their music itself is unique in arrangment, harmony,

for your last statement, sssuming your a typical radiohead fan, no i don't think you'd trade in your CD either, your too concerned about being "Against the system" to actually appreciate music for what it is. I read you comments against Peter S about slayer, again a sign of closed mindedness about music. don't get me wrong i don't hate radiohead, i think some of their songs are somewhat decent, just not even close to the level expected for the fandom they get from fanboys who think radiohead and the voice of "true music".

simon h b said...

@anonymous
No, you seem to completely misunderstand the point: New bands won't make much money off a new distribution system, but they wouldn't have made much money from an old distro system, either. It's not a question of if they'd make more, or less. It's just the simple truth that most bands make very, very little money from recorded music.

You also seem to have misunderstood the third point Keenan made and my reaction to it: He said that nobody would pay for music if it was free, which was clearly not the case with Radiohead because people did pay - I'm sorry, I don't really understand what contradiction you think you've spotted, and to be honest the fact you couldn't explain it makes me think you don't, either.

I'm more interested in why you assume that 'not liking Slayer' is a sign of musical closed-mindedness. This is one of the things that puzzles me about music fans - the constant confusion of 'not liking something' with 'having a closed mind'. I've listened to plenty of Slayer, I just don't like it very much. It's not close-mindedness, it's taste. I suspect there are some bands you don't like - but you know what? That's okay. The whole point of art is working out what you like, and what you don't like. Don't confuse 'having different tastes' with 'having a closed mind'. They're two quite different things.

Anonymous said...

So your saying that your not saying that the new bands will make more or less? instead your saying you don’t know? I ask this because you actually said you believe it is very possible for some bands to make money using this system (I don’t know what your reasoning for this is). I think any band (not just bands starting off) would make less money using this system for reasoning stated below.
1. Radiohead’s rainbow album I’ve heard sold less than their previous album
2. the issue of legality of downloading. This system allows for legal possession of free downloaded music I don’t believe MOST people are going to download stuff for money when its available legally for free.
3. keenan mentioned that a lot of bands don’t have business or recording experience ( this is true yet you walked around this point)
4.Musicians starting off will have great difficulty financially.

there’s more if I stop to think about it but this should suffice to prove reasonable doubt.

I guess maybe this is where your optimism and my pessimism come in.

About maynards third point, i think it was you who misunderstood it. You're saying these new bands will rake in money because radiohead happen to make lots of money. The contradiction: your comparing radiohead (a band with pretty much a cult-like following of fanboys) to garage band with one or two catchy songs (when you yourself said we can’t expect bands to make the kind of money radiohead did). Maynard didn’t say these new bands won’t make any money, he just said they won’t make enough to make another record, which is entirely understandable (for my reasons above). So by you saying they’ll make money cause radiohead did doesn’t really address the issue of how a band whose starting off would reach any sort of fandom.

I actually think radiohead have a potentially decent system here, but it needs a lot of tweaking before it can replace the industry in any sense. and the things maynard says needs to be addressed and acknowledged, which I felt you did not do to any degree.

‘Not liking slayer’ – interesting, you put quotations as if I had said those words or something, which I didn’t. Please don’t put words in my mouth. I don’t know who these “music fans” are, but I know the difference between musical taste and being close-minded. You don’t have to listen to slayer because you don’t find it entertaining. That’s an example of musical taste. Saying all slayer songs sound the same, and insulting their writing process. That’s an example of close-mindedness. Peter S addressed this quite well, so I won’t.

Anonymous said...

correction on second line

"I ask this because you actually said you believe it is very possible for some bands to make 'MORE' money using this system "

duckie said...

I have to take issue with you sir:

"1. Radiohead’s rainbow album I’ve heard sold less than their previous album"

So what? There could be any number of reasons for that; nobody could listen to it before signing up for the download for a start.

"2. the issue of legality of downloading. This system allows for legal possession of free downloaded music I don’t believe MOST people are going to download stuff for money when its available legally for free."

The Radiohead experiment actually showed that an awful lot of people did exactly that, paying for it when they didn't have to.

"3. keenan mentioned that a lot of bands don’t have business or recording experience (this is true"

That doesn't mean you need a record company and a long-term binding contract. There's no reason why (and a lot of people are doing exactly this) you can't hire the expertise you need, be it a producer or an accountant, as and when you need them.

"4.Musicians starting off will have great difficulty financially."

Anybody trying to start out doing anything has some sort of financial difficulty. The point of internet-driven music is that it lowers the financial barriers to entry which should make it easier for more musicians to experience some degree of success by at least making a living.

So it could work. I think the distinction you are failing to get to grips with is that in the future "stardom" could be a largely unattainable goal, because a lot of bands could have a moderate degree of success, in place of the old model where just a few have an enormous degree of success. And I think that would be a good thing.

simon h b said...

"I ask this because you actually said you believe it is very possible for some bands to make money using this system (I don’t know what your reasoning for this is). I think any band (not just bands starting off) would make less money using this system for reasoning stated below."

You're confusing two points here - bands CAN make money in the new model; they may or may not make more money than they made before.

What is my reasoning for believing that bands can make money through selling downloads? Because bands are making money selling downloads would be the reason.

There is a potential to make more money, too, but since there are about 700 different ways of proceeding with releasing music these days, you'll forgive me, I hope, if don't detail them all. But lets take, for example, a band who in 1990 would have released their own CD to sell at their support slot gigs, who in 2008 might self-release the same tracks online.

In 1990, they would have had to pay upfront for stock; they would have needed to invest in having the tracks professionally mixed and mastered and pressed and delivered.

Then, they might have tried to flog as many to as many of the audience as they could catch before they went home. They might sell out - in which case, they'd have lost revenue from not having enough stock; they might not sell any, and have locked up cash in unwanted records. (You'll be aware of the stocks of The Legend!'s record famously under Alan McGee's bed, for example.)

Now, though, a lot of the post production work can be done DIY; they can upload the tracks to an online retailer without the need to invest upfront in physical product. A fan who heard them, liked them, but they might have missed in the past may well find the tracks through Google or MySpace or Facebook, and buy later. The curious who might have balked at a full album can buy a track to make up their mind, and perhaps be persuaded to buy the rest. People who have never seen the band play live might hear about them and buy, too - something that would never have happened if there was a need to track down the bassist and buy a record off him personally.

Just one example.


Lets look at your four points:

1. Radiohead’s rainbow album I’ve heard sold less than their previous album

And? This is meaningless. Radiohead's previous albums have had much higher overheads in terms of physical distribution and expensive promo campaigns and so on. Making money isn't about taking a lot through the tills, it's about the difference between costs and sales. Also - "I've heard" is hardly the same as gold-standard market research.

Radiohead's first records sold hardly anything, too. I bought Creep for 10p in a bargain bin. I suspect Thom Yorke didn't see very much as a result of that.

2. the issue of legality of downloading. This system allows for legal possession of free downloaded music I don’t believe MOST people are going to download stuff for money when its available legally for free.

Probably not, but it doesn't matter. Even a mega-selling album like Thriller hasn't been bought by most people. Sure, you might lose some purchases to illegal downloads, but so long as MANY people continue to pay - and with billions of downloads sold, all of which were available for free through the same terminals upon which they were downloaded, there's plenty of evidence that, for lots of reasons, people will still pay.

3. keenan mentioned that a lot of bands don’t have business or recording experience ( this is true yet you walked around this point)

Yes. Oddly, though, when people start to play the guitar they don't have much guitaring experience. EBay is full of people making money from businesses which they started without business experience. Record companies don't do anything magical. And bands can find help with this sort of thing - remember that Belle And Sebastian's debut album was a college project, organised by a load of people who had no business experience.

4.Musicians starting off will have great difficulty financially.

Do you seriously believe they don't now? Really, seriously believe that?

The contradiction: your comparing radiohead (a band with pretty much a cult-like following of fanboys) to garage band with one or two catchy songs (when you yourself said we can’t expect bands to make the kind of money radiohead did).

That's not actually a contradiction, I think you mean I'm making a false comparison. But I still don't really understand what you're trying to say - that I said that bands who aren't as big as Radiohead won't make as much as Radiohead anyway? Because the opposite of that - a garage band with a couple of tunes potentially earning as much as a group with over a decade of history and a worldwide fanbase - would be plainly nuts. I'm not sure if you're working from the assumption that I'm somehow saying that digital sales will make everyone very, very rich?

And, by the way, every band's following consists of fanboys (and fangirls), being a fan is what you do when you follow a band. It's like going to the Kop and yelling "You're all a bunch of fanboys."

What I was picking the Tool man up on was his apparent description of the Radiohead record as being "handed around for free" when it wasn't - he was actually working up an interesting critique of the Charlatans' last album release, but for some reason talking about Radiohead.

I put a single quote mark around 'not liking slayer' because that's how punctuation works, it was a handy way of keeping the idea of 'not liking Slayer' as a single thought. And why on earth are you so touchy about me choosing to suggest that you were referring to one of my own posts in which I basically said that I don't like Slayer? I was summarising my own statement, not yours.

And thinking that all Slayer stuff sounds pretty much the same is, I'd suggest, a matter of taste, not close-mindeness. The latter would be not listening to their new stuff to see if they've done something different. The thing about the writing process? That was a joke. Maybe not a good one - but then humour is about taste, too.

Anonymous said...

i had a fever, sry for late reply

@ duckie (i'd like you to read it too though simon)



"The Radiohead experiment actually showed that an awful
lot of people did exactly that, paying for it when they didn't have to."

Says who?
on the first day, 1.2 million copies were downloaded and most did not pay,
also 400,000 copies were downloaded illegally through p2p

for a band as famous as radiohead, 62% of ppl didn't pay for their download of the almost, and most
that did paid less that $4 for the album.

most ppl didn't pay, sure SOME did,
but overall, it wasn't a significant amount, hardly any sort of success. And further, this doesn't prove a normal
band would have any sort of success,
AND I DON'T MEAN THEY WILL NOT MAKE MONEY.
THEY MAY MAKE MONEY BUT IF ITS NOT ENOUGH TO MAKE A LIVING THEN THE SYSTEM
ISN'T WORKING. please take some time to take in what i just wrote.

"That doesn't mean
you need a record company and a long-term binding contract. There's no reason why (and a
lot of people are doing exactly this) you can't hire the expertise you need, be it a
producer or an accountant, as and when you need them"

so lets take more money out of the working musicians pockets and invest it
in a field of work were less than 10% of albums are successful, so if they don't make it
they can live under a bridge until their next "hit record".
or work hard and get their hands on a record deal, so they aren't working out of their
own pockets but the record companies budget.

"The point of internet-driven music is that it lowers the financial barriers to entry which
should make it easier for more musicians to experience some degree of success by at
least making a living."

the minimun annual income to make a living in my country is $30,000. Lets say a local 4 person
band with just
a few gigs on their side decided to try this experimental system. They would need to sell
$120,000 (minus expenses + additional income from gigs)
worth of music every year to make ends meet, which to me
quite an unsual feat to expect from a local band, they would need to hold other jobs

and to go even futher
since most people could do music as a side thing on top of their normal jobs, alotta people
would release music on the side
just for a few extra bucks a month. and this increase is supply of music decreases
the demand for artists. and you get even less money going to people who really want to
take music as a career.


@simon

first off i need to say i don't know the artists you reference because i'm not from
where-ever your from or whatever decade you reference

"You're confusing two points here - bands CAN make money
in the new model; they may or may not make more money than they made before."

my issue wasn't whether they could make money
but if they could make a decent amount of money to consider music a career. read my
reply to duckie

"In 1990, they would have had to pay upfront for stock; they would have needed to invest in having the tracks professionally mixed and mastered and pressed and delivered.

Then, they might have tried to flog as many to as many of the audience as they could catch before they went home. They might sell out - in which case, they'd have lost revenue from not having enough stock; they might not sell any, and have locked up cash in unwanted records. (You'll be aware of the stocks of The Legend!'s record famously under Alan McGee's bed, for example.)

Now, though, a lot of the post production work can be done DIY; they can upload the tracks to an online retailer without the need to invest upfront in physical product. A fan who heard them, liked them, but they might have missed in the past may well find the tracks through Google or MySpace or Facebook, and buy later. The curious who might have balked at a full album can buy a track to make up their mind, and perhaps be persuaded to buy the rest. People who have never seen the band play live might hear about them and buy, too - something that would never have happened if there was a need to track down the bassist and buy a record off him personally."


I'm pretty sure there are record company models that don't require artist invest in all these things.
Record labels provide all most of these things as part of their investment in the artists.
Also, artists have lawyers who make sure they don't get screwed over by record companies.
On top of being an unlikely situation, this example of yours doesn't give me any reason to believe they are going to make a living
off the money from the internet sales.


@ your response to my first point

i don't know what you think you refuted with this. This was my point exactly,
people need these expensive promos and things to tell them what to buy. which is why they
would make less money with this system than with the traditional system. The advantage for bands
from radiohead's system would be a greater percentage of sales going to them instead of
the record label, but this greater percentage of sales would not be a good source of
money if overall sales are too low.
and believing all the things i've said before, i say sales would be low.


@ your response to my second point

like i've said before and like you've said before yourself, no new band is going to
make this kinda of
money that radiohead was able to make. I contend that new bands won't even make enough money to
make ends meet.
Radiohead fans are almost cult-like in their
obession with radiohead and even so many people didn't pay for the album, so reason with me
to show me how a band with very little fanbase could make a living off sales?

@ your response to my third point

many of these ppl won't gain business experience until their in the business at which point
its not an ideal time to be a business noob. Recording takes alot of knowledge
about the equipement and how to dial in tones and effects, again not ideal to be a noob
in the recording studio. Producers and sound engineeers help bring that experience and
are given at no expense if they are with a record label.

@ your response to my fourth point

no i do believe they have difficulty now, but they would have more difficulty gaining
success with this system since they don't have a record company to back them up

@ your response to the contradiction

that wasn't the contradiction. You did make a false comparsion, but the contradiction i refered to
was the fact that you yourself stated a difference between the amount of money normal bands would
make and radiohead, yet you yourself made a false comparison after stating the difference.

i know your not saying they're going to be very very rich, but even a modest amount of money is
too much to expect of this system.

alot of bands have fans, but incase you haven't noticed, radiohead fans tend be a bit too much,
tool fans are the same saying things like "maynard is a god", i'm a fan a tool but i distance
myself from that kind of absurdity

@ your response to the slayer issue

the way you said it made it sound as if i had suggested you not liking slayer was the
reason for me considering you closeminded, which i felt was offensive. i see however
that is was acutally you misconstruing my vague reference to "your comments about slayer"

the fact that you don't realize to an unregular listeners ear, songs of the same artist will appear
to sound the same only due
to the fact that the tone and texture of the songs may rarely change, this is true for all
artists who stick to a certain genre, inorder to analyze a song, you must take in to consideration
the arrangements of notes, rythmn and harmony in each song,
otherwise to say such things is simply narrowminded assumptions

simon h b said...

Anonymous - I'm glad you're better.

A long response. Phew, here we go:

"The Radiohead experiment actually showed that an awful
lot of people did exactly that, paying for it when they didn't have to."

Says who?
on the first day, 1.2 million copies were downloaded and most did not pay,
also 400,000 copies were downloaded illegally through p2p

for a band as famous as radiohead, 62% of ppl didn't pay for their download of the almost, and most
that did paid less that $4 for the album.

most ppl didn't pay, sure SOME did,
but overall, it wasn't a significant amount, hardly any sort of success. And further, this doesn't prove a normal
band would have any sort of success,
AND I DON'T MEAN THEY WILL NOT MAKE MONEY.
THEY MAY MAKE MONEY BUT IF ITS NOT ENOUGH TO MAKE A LIVING THEN THE SYSTEM
ISN'T WORKING. please take some time to take in what i just wrote.


Righto - I've blogged about this elsewhere; you're talking about the Big Champagne figures. If you're going to put the caps locks on and shout at Duckie about reading what you wrote, you might do him the same courtesy. He said an swful lot of people paid. So does Big Champagne. That others didn't is irrelevant - as I've argued elsewhere, that some people didn't pay for an album the band said you don't have to pay for is hardly surprising.

The Big Champagne figures judge the In Rainbows experiment to have been a financial success for Radiohead, which is quite important.

By the way - you might like to read your original post, and the one before, as you've shifted your position. Which is fine, that's the point of informed debate. In the first post - the one, you might recall, where you were using retarded as an insult - you were talking about how bands wouldn't be able to reach stardom. In your last post, it was bands wouldn't be able to make enough to release a second record. Now it's not making enough to make a career out of it.

"That doesn't mean
you need a record company and a long-term binding contract. There's no reason why (and a
lot of people are doing exactly this) you can't hire the expertise you need, be it a
producer or an accountant, as and when you need them"

so lets take more money out of the working musicians pockets and invest it
in a field of work were less than 10% of albums are successful, so if they don't make it
they can live under a bridge until their next "hit record".
or work hard and get their hands on a record deal, so they aren't working out of their
own pockets but the record companies budget.


Erm... you know that those record company budgets come out the pockets of the artists, don't you? And that many bands never 'recoup' and pay back their debt to the label?

Also: why shouldn't bands fund their own records up front? Most other people invest in their own careers at the start in other fields. Bands already pay for their own instruments, rehearsal space and so on.

"The point of internet-driven music is that it lowers the financial barriers to entry which
should make it easier for more musicians to experience some degree of success by at
least making a living."

the minimun annual income to make a living in my country is $30,000. Lets say a local 4 person
band with just
a few gigs on their side decided to try this experimental system. They would need to sell
$120,000 (minus expenses + additional income from gigs)
worth of music every year to make ends meet, which to me
quite an unsual feat to expect from a local band, they would need to hold other jobs


Do you think that a band who is freshly signed to, say, EMI will be making $30,000 per person per year?

and to go even futher
since most people could do music as a side thing on top of their normal jobs, alotta people
would release music on the side
just for a few extra bucks a month. and this increase is supply of music decreases
the demand for artists. and you get even less money going to people who really want to
take music as a career.


I'm not quite sure what you mean here - surely a lot of people making a lot of music and a little money is a better social good than a few careerist musos getting it all? "Bloody waiter making a record - who the hell does he think he is?"



@simon

first off i need to say i don't know the artists you reference because i'm not from
where-ever your from or whatever decade you reference


Okay. Am I allowed to ignore 75% of your evidence as well then?

"You're confusing two points here - bands CAN make money
in the new model; they may or may not make more money than they made before."

my issue wasn't whether they could make money
but if they could make a decent amount of money to consider music a career. read my
reply to duckie


Yes, I see that in your reply to Duckie. Forgive me for not realising what you were going to say in the post you hadn't yet made.


[big chunk of me talking about a band pressing up their own records and selling a few at gigs]


I'm pretty sure there are record company models that don't require artist invest in all these things.
Record labels provide all most of these things as part of their investment in the artists.


I don't know if you misread what I was talking about - I was talking about the sort of band who never get a record deal (the vast, vast majority of all bands) and who press up a few records on their own to sell at gigs.

But even when you talk about signed bands, the record labels actually do expect them to fund the costs of making records - it's just they effectively loan the money to them.
Also, artists have lawyers who make sure they don't get screwed over by record companies.

Look, I know you claim to know nothing of music that doesn't exist in your space and time, but have you ever heard of Prince? George Michael? Andy McCluskey? The Stone Roses? All the artists who got screwed over by their labels and were only able to get out of bad contracts because they were in a position later on to challenge the contracts? And the hundreds of other bands who get locked into shit contracts and can never escape them?

Are you really suggesting that bands can't afford to fund their own digital release, but can somehow find the money to retain a legal counsel who is able to outsmart the massive legal machines of the likes of Sony BMG?

On top of being an unlikely situation, this example of yours doesn't give me any reason to believe they are going to make a living
off the money from the internet sales.


What's unlikely? That bands go round selling their own music at gigs? Do you want me to show you the records I've bought at gigs? Have you never been to a hotel where the guy is selling CDs off the top of his grand piano?

And you don't believe they're going to make "a living" out of selling online. I've never argued that it's a guaranteed gateway to a yacht, but that the band has the potential to make more from selling online than trying to sell their own records face-to-face.

Hardly any bands will make the sort of money you're talking about on their first record under the current system. Hardly any will ever. The vast majority of people who would like to make enough from music to quit their day jobs never will, whether it's online sales or physical sales. Hardly any ever have.


@ your response to my first point

i don't know what you think you refuted with this. This was my point exactly,
people need these expensive promos and things to tell them what to buy. which is why they
would make less money with this system than with the traditional system. The advantage for bands
from radiohead's system would be a greater percentage of sales going to them instead of
the record label, but this greater percentage of sales would not be a good source of
money if overall sales are too low.
and believing all the things i've said before, i say sales would be low.


Okay, let's try this again as you seem to have missed the point:

Radiohead's first releases lost money; money that the band would have had to repay to EMI before they started making money on their later records.

Imagine we could go back and say to Thom Yorke "would you rather sell 5,000 downloads at 79p, or take on a debt with EMI to press up 100,000 which will languish in a box under a counter in a store up the County Road until eventually selling at a loss", what do you think he'd choose?


@ your response to my second point

like i've said before and like you've said before yourself, no new band is going to
make this kinda of
money that radiohead was able to make. I contend that new bands won't even make enough money to
make ends meet.


I see that. I think you're wrong, but that's not the point: new bands wouldn't have made enough money to make ends meet anyway. Ever wonder why so many record shops (when there were record shops) were staffed by the same people you'd see on stage later in the day?

Radiohead fans are almost cult-like in their
obession with radiohead and even so many people didn't pay for the album, so reason with me
to show me how a band with very little fanbase could make a living off sales?


How do you know that Radiohead's cult-like followers didn't pay? It'd be a pretty shitty cult if it couldn't shake down its followers for cash.

Look again at those Big Champagne figures: 400,000 downloads in one day. Do you think that the Radiohead fanbase is so wide that nearly half a million people would have bought the album on the day of release otherwise? You're making massive assumptions about the motives of the people downloading.

@ your response to my third point

many of these ppl won't gain business experience until their in the business at which point
its not an ideal time to be a business noob. Recording takes alot of knowledge
about the equipement and how to dial in tones and effects, again not ideal to be a noob
in the recording studio. Producers and sound engineeers help bring that experience and
are given at no expense if they are with a record label.


Most people opening shops will buy in any extra experience they need, in order to make a living from selling things. Why should bands not be able to make the model work, especially when their market is suddenly potentially worldwide?

And again, you seem to misunderstand the way the record company model works - bands have to pay for the producers out of their future earnings.

@ your response to my fourth point

no i do believe they have difficulty now, but they would have more difficulty gaining
success with this system since they don't have a record company to back them up



But most bands don't have record deals in the first place; and one of the joys of the internet is you don't need to have a record company to make you a success - there are so many different ways to promote yourself now.
@ your response to the contradiction

that wasn't the contradiction. You did make a false comparsion, but the contradiction i refered to
was the fact that you yourself stated a difference between the amount of money normal bands would
make and radiohead, yet you yourself made a false comparison after stating the difference.


I'm still not quite sure what you mean that I, me, myself, did. In what way is it a contradiction to say that a band starting out won't make the estimated $10 million that Radiohead made from In Rainbows?

i know your not saying they're going to be very very rich, but even a modest amount of money is
too much to expect of this system.


I don't think it is. You think it is. Fair enough. We'll see which of us is right - although i suspect we have different ideas of what counts as modest, if you believe that a four-piece on its first album needs to get halfway to a quarter of a million dollars simply to justify its existence.

alot of bands have fans, but incase you haven't noticed, radiohead fans tend be a bit too much,
tool fans are the same saying things like "maynard is a god", i'm a fan a tool but i distance
myself from that kind of absurdity


Again, you've shifted your point here from your original post.

@ your response to the slayer issue

There isn't a Slayer issue.

the way you said it made it sound as if i had suggested you not liking slayer was the
reason for me considering you closeminded, which i felt was offensive.


I don't really see why you would have considered that offensive anyway.

i see however
that is was acutally you misconstruing my vague reference to "your comments about slayer"


No I wasn't, you were using it as an example.

the fact that you don't realize to an unregular listeners ear, songs of the same artist will appear
to sound the same only due
to the fact that the tone and texture of the songs may rarely change, this is true for all
artists who stick to a certain genre, inorder to analyze a song, you must take in to consideration
the arrangements of notes, rythmn and harmony in each song,
otherwise to say such things is simply narrowminded assumptions


Apart from being hilariously patronising coming from someone who says "I don't know these bands, they're from a different decade", that's also a little pointless. Popular folklore says that an Irishman can discern forty different shades of green. It doesn't, however, alter the fact that a green field is a green field is a green field. If you're seriously suggesting that a person should sit down and parse the make-up of every song by every band before they can have an opinion on if they like the band or not, your understanding of how people enjoy music is even further out of line than your understanding of how the CD-era record companies worked.

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