No-one likes to pay for stuff. Free stuff is best. We all know that.
However, some free stuff is stealing.
In advance - to everyone who has bought one of our CDs, or paid for a download of one of our tracks or albums - thank you. You are (in our opinion) deeply-wonderful human beings, and what follows is not aimed at you. Bless you all.
Our albums are available for free download all over the internet. We have not offered any album for free download. To anyone. Any free download of this album is ripping us off.
We make lots of tracks available for free, through several streaming sites (Soundawesome, Reverbnation, Soundclick, Soundcloud and YouTube, to name but five). If you want to listen to some of our music for free, then you can. Enjoy!
Then, there are some pay sites (like Spotify) that allow you to stream whole albums, for a very small listening fee. We get an incredibly tiny royalty when people do this, all perfectly legal.
The full album, in best quality, is available for download through the usual outlets - iTunes, Amazon, eMusic and about a dozen other legal download sites. It costs a few bucks ($8.99 on Amazon.com), which for a 74-minute album isn't bad. Of that nine bucks, we see about six, by the time everyone else has had their cut.
So, we're filthy stinking capitalist breadheads, right? Trying to screw money out of you poor suckers to fund our lavish and idle lifestyles. The hot-tub needs the marble tiles replaced, and the babes are starting to complain, better make another record, right? Servicing the Mercedes-Benz is EXPENSIVE, maaaaan! Jeeves, you worthless toad, we're out of ketamine and oysters again!
Wrong. Producing music costs money. Instruments and equipment cost money. Pressing, printing and distributing CDs costs money. Promoting an album costs money. Making music available for legal download costs money.
We love making music. We wouldn't do it if we didn't. But it does cost us money to do it, so it's nice if we can at least break even on the deal. Which is just about what we do - break even. Breaking even is a big achievement for us.
We're not Coldplay. We're not Adele. We put hundreds of man-hours into every album, and get paid zero. We buy gear and instruments at our own expense, when we can afford to do it, which isn't often. We record in home studios because we can't afford to do anything else.
We then try to cover the costs of making the music available to you guys, just basically so that we can keep doing what we do and still pay for little luxuries like rent, food and electricity (and to stop our wives packing the kids up and leaving us). We can't afford to do vanity publishing - to make albums available, we need to cover our costs. We *just* manage this - our albums sell in tiny quantities, so every paid sale is precious.
...but this "covering the costs of production" crap is all, of course, very uncool. We should really be living in squats, dodging the police and bashing out the occasional song to contribute to the downfall of the capitalist system and generally smash the state (brothers). Music should be free! Take off your clothes and dance!
So people put our albums on file-sharing sites, presumably to teach us a lesson.
Although, of course, they do it using computers that they (in most cases) paid money for. After all, if you get caught stealing a computer, you could go to jail - better not risk that. Dropping the soap in the prison showers can ruin your whole day.
And they will, of course, pay the electricity company and internet service provider that allows them to do these things. It's just the artists who produce the music that don't deserve anything back for what they provide. We'll pay for an iPhone, natch - but music should be free. Right on!
We can't, realistically, do anything about piracy. We're not Metallica - we can't afford the lawyers. The ISPs and hosting companies can't be bothered about it - it's more traffic for them.
So - you *can* get our albums for nothing, if that's what you think they're worth.
But - if you hear some of our free tracks, and decide you'd like our album, then please buy it rather than stealing it. Who knows - if enough people do that, we may even make some more.
Now *there's* a scary thought.