In our continuing chat with Dave Wyndorf of Monster Magnet, the never shy front man discusses his beliefs about the state of the music industry, and how the current landscape will shape the not so distant future.
“The business is totally dead. There’s no business model anymore. I saw it coming early which is why I got off the major when I did which was like 10 or 12 years ago, I was just like I’m getting out of here man because they’re going to give everything away. The record companies got all weird about downloaded music and they started raising the price instead of lowering the price and then the pirates took over and there you go, done. There’s not a lot of money in music, because people can get it from wherever they want and some people don’t buy it anymore, I mean I still buy it, but the overall thing is it’s just kinda dead. Contrary to what pirates will say. It’s good if you’re a listener, but if you make it, you’re not getting any recognition from your work or any monetary compensation so now it’s kinda stalled. You would think there would be a huge amount of creativity when something gets democratised like the internet democratised music but I think people just basically come in, play with music for a while and leave because there’s nothing in it. So you’re not getting the best people. Why would you get the best out of an artist or anybody? It’s weird.”
“It’ll change, in the end it’ll just be the people that really really wanna do it and you won’t have a lot of this merch metal and stuff that’s going on. You know the people that can’t sell their music so they make it up by selling t-shirts and stuff? Which is cool, but I think there’s bands around now, that’s all they do. They just write shitty albums and they don’t put their work into their albums and they just work on merch. I call it “merch metal”. Maybe that’s just because now I’m older but I just see things so angled towards merchandise and easy access to fans and all this kind of stuff but I don’t see the records being that cool. It’s like they don’t care that much about the music. If that’s the best they got then I quit. I quit the world. I would think that the world would get cooler with the internet, like maybe the mainstream would be bombarded by so much cool shit that they would have to bend over a little bit and let some of that cool stuff in, but because nobody is getting paid, there is no direction. The mainstream has just gotten more mainstream and anybody who wants to get in their has to fold to that mainstream and that goes for a lot of bands. Bands that they call rock that clearly aren’t rock. So underground has never been more underground than it is today.”
“It’s strange, and it’s probably unpopular to say but as much as I’d like to believe that everyone has a song in their heart and they’re just gonna do their damnedest to get heard whether they get paid or not the fact of the matter is that this world still runs on money and a lot of people just bum out and not do music, or they do a little bit of music. They do one record instead of 3 records because nobody heard their record because nobody really bothered to look, or they weren’t positioned right. It’s a very strange and weird time in the world. Well that’s a horrible thing for me to say! I’m sure it’s going to get better. It can’t get any worse! The one place you go where you can see anything, the mainstream, they got nothing. They got some dance tunes that are fun, but as soon as you get down below a certain level it just becomes a sea of stuff that you can’t tell where the good stuff is. You don’t know what’s good and what’s not because there’s just so much of it.”
WORDS BY K. THULU