When I was playing to two people a night and couldn’t give my records away, when I first saw my stuff up on Napster, I was really excited because I was like, yeah, this is great, because somebody cares and I can spread my music. I have to imagine that if I was a multimillionaire, my socialist impulses would kick in and I wouldn’t cry about losing one or two of those millions. But I’m in a situation right now where I’m seeing more and more people coming to my shows, but my last record, which came out about nine months ago, hasn’t broken even yet, and I know for a fact that that is directly attributable to file sharing. So I’m very conflicted by it all.
I read that you’re strictly against corporate or commercial use of your music. Is it difficult to take that position?
Sometimes, absolutely. And it feeds into this whole discussion because since record sales are not where musicians are making their living anymore, and since a band at our level of the game, for lack of a better term, can’t survive solely on concert and T-shirt sales, this is where these other opportunities become more a part of the picture as to how a band survives. Certainly, selling music to commercials is one way to do it. But this is where I really start to feel like an old curmudgeon, because for me personally it’s just not right. I don’t at all pass judgment on others who do it. Of course it pains me to hear the Clash in a car commercial, but what are you going to do?
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