Thursday, May 04, 2006


If you have tears, prepare to shed them now - the Red Hot Chili Peppers are said to be "broken-hearted" at the leak of their new album online.

Yes, it seems Stadium Arcadium has - despite all those cunning attempts of the label to stop it - burst out all over the internet, and, rather than keeping quiet, the band have elected to publicise the leak in order to bring everyone's attention to the fact that it's currently up for grabs on file-sharing networks. Publicising it might be odd, but, hey, grief affects people in strange ways, and it's grief they're feeling:

Posting on the band's official website, bassist Flea has revealed that learning of the leak has been a "bitter pill to swallow".

"If you down load it now off one of these file sharing sites you will be getting a pale imitation of the record," he said. "It will be of the poor sound quality of the technique they used to get it on there and that will break my heart, it will break John Frusciante's heart, it will break Anthony Kiedis' heart and it will break the heart of Chad Smith."

I'm filling up already, I don't know about you.

"Yes, we worked for a year and a half to make the epic record of our lives and it is sad to me for the business reasons of course. I think we are selling something really cool and we put all we had into it, 28 songs, 2 hours of the best that we can offer and I think it is a fair deal for everyone.

"For people to just steal a poor sound quality version of it for free because some asshole stole it and put it on the internet is sad to me."

Well, remember, Flea, that the major labels were proven to be price-gouging in America a couple of years back, and the prices for records were already higher in Europe than in the US before they were made to reduce them in the US, so that whole "fair deal for everyone" hope is probably a little stretchy on the east side of the Atlantic. But we understand, it's not that you're upset about the money... it's that poor sound quality, isn't it?

"The thing that really bums me out is we worked so hard, and so thoughtfully, all of us, for so long to make this record sound as warm and full from top to bottom as was possible. We spent day and night for a year making sure every little sound was just right, that they were all put together in the most beautiful way we could.

"I can not put in words how much this record, 'Stadium Arcadium', means to us, how sacred the sound of it is to us, and how many sleepless nights and hardworking days we all had thinking about how to make it be the best sounding thing we could and now, for someone to take it and put it out there with this poor sound quality it is a painful pill for us to swallow."

Flea, mate, you might want to sit down. It might be sacred to you, but as soon as it's out there, it's going to be played on tinny little computer speakers while people update their MySpace profiles with one eye and watch Deal Or No Deal with the other; it's going to be competing with air-conditioning and road noise as people drive along in the car; it's going to dribble out of poorly-balanced radios above the noise of dry cleaners going about their everyday business. The best you can hope for is someone plays it on a nice hi-fi, but even then, they'll take your sacred, balanced sound, turn the bass and treble up and still rummage around for a copy of Maxim to whack off over while it plays.

As James Waterson pointed out to us when he sent us a link for the story: it's not like the iTunes downloads will suddenly be perfect quality just because someone's paying for it, is it?

[Thanks to James - and to Zeinab M who emailed us a link at almost exactly the same time]