Trent Reznor On Free Music

The New York Times has a interview/overview of Trent Reznor today. In it he shares his thoughts on the state of digital music:

Mr. Reznor has no global solution for how to sustain a long-term career as a recording musician, much less start one, when listeners take free digital music for granted.

“It’s all out there,” he added. “I don’t agree that it should be free, but it is free, and you can either accept it or you can put your head in the sand.”

He knows what he doesn’t want to do: make his music a marketing accessory.

Now just making good music, or great music, isn’t enough,” Mr. Reznor said. “Now I have to sell T-shirts, or I have to choose which whorish association is the least stinky. I don’t really want to be on the side of a bus or in a BlackBerry ad hawking some product that sucks just so I can get my record out. I want to maintain some dignity and self-respect in the process, if that’s possible these days.”

More discussion at Mathewingram, Techmeme

3 thoughts on “Trent Reznor On Free Music

  1. spot on

    so many “artists” these days value their “art” so little that they throw it away. (unfortunately, not in the bin, where most of it belongs.)

    have some self-respect, people !

  2. mino71 – the state of digital music raises a question – what’s really the “art” in music?

    Is it the digital file, which can be reproduced infinitely at minimal cost?

    Is it the act of creation? The live performance?

    Digital music may force our ideas about these things to evolve.

  3. The “Art” in music is the ability to touch someone with a sound or an idea or a vibration… that they would like for you to repeat. And ultimately they like it so much that they… the listener will exchange something that they hold dear… either money or whatever the medium of exchange may be… and you are both made better by the experience of the interchange. The digital file is not the art… it is a snapshot of the “art”… from which the artist should be compensated… but it is not practical ..yet… any more than it would be to compensate a painter for a snapshot of one of his paintings… not that it shouldn’t be possible… it just isn’t yet… some day it may be possible to be compensated for someone playing your “art”… but the age of digital copies has outrun the ability for artists to keep track of their fans… A bootleg song is the same as a bootlegged piece of software… piracy in both cases but songs are too hard at this time to keep track of who plays and how many times … one plays…

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