You’ve gotta love Greg Puciato’s tumblr account. The Dillinger Escape Plan frontman’s blog is a no-bullshit, filter-free look into his mind, sometimes even at the expense of his bandmates. Recently an anonymou fan asked him his thoughts on illegal downloading, and whether he cares if someone buys his album on iTunes versus downloading it for free and buying a t-shirt later on. We’ll give you the question and answer in their entirety:
Hey dude, just wondering about where the music as a physical product sits with you guys now. To exchange money, what’s best for you as an artist and me as a fan? Should I buy your album on iTunes? Download it for free and buy a t-shirt to make up for it? How does it all work these days?! Note: I bought your albums.
Hey I took this pair of shoes for free but it’s cool ‘cause I bought a coat right?
Do whatever you want….but the root is the music. THAT’s the most important…not a shirt. They are separate. We’re not forcing anyone to buy our music or our shirts. If you want one, that’s separate from the other. Nobody’s doing us a favor by buying our shirt after they took our album. We’re not artists pandering on the side of the street hoping for someone’s “charity”. This is what we spend our LIVES doing, we spend MONTHS recording and up to a year writing. Ethically, taking it for free is always wrong….even if you’re massive…but when you’re not a household Walmart name as a band…it hurts particularly more because every album is a greater sized fraction of the total. If people want “alternative” art, or smaller scenes, genres, or bands to be able to exist at a professional level of quality, they should treat them professionally and intellectual property with the same respect as tangible property.
As a listener it just doesn’t even make sense anymore to download music for free if digital is the way you wanna go. It’s way faster and more convenient to get it from iTunes or as a direct download from the artist, the prices are way lower than CD’s were in the past and you don’t have to pay shipping or drive to go and get it. If you don’t care about “owning” the MP3’s, then use Spotify or something. There’s just really no excuse for bankrupting a scene or band you’re into anymore. If people care about the art that they like existing, then this attitude is important to adopt across the board.
You can say what you want about downloading illegally, and you’re entitled to your opinion. However, as an artist who’s music you just may have illegally downloaded, Greg’s certainly entitled to his, and his response is passionate, but reasoned. And while his opinion might not sway you to start paying for music if you’ve been downloading it illegally, it might at least make you think about the implications behind it.