Jonathan Cain interview at Boomerocity

Where Jonathan takes on life, the universe and everything…

Though I take issue with his viewpoint on Napster and Arrival. I was one of those who downloaded Arrival when it appeared on Napster; I freely admit that. I’m a Journey fan — what ELSE did you expect me to do, given news that new music was available? Those Napster tracks were muffled, poor quality dubs, at best. But I also *bought* Arrival legit when it came out, because what I heard on those bad-quality downloads made me want the real deal (Journey changed the album before it came out anyway — I think the Napster version ended up being the Japanese version).

Things that never got asked during the Napster fiasco was “how many people went out & bought the CDs after downloading similar poor tracks? How many fans did bands add — fans that subsequently went to see the live shows and buy other merchandise? Sure, maybe you lost a dollar on the CD, but how much more did you make off those same fans who got introduced to you as a result?”

I got introduced to many great bands with Napster. Some, regrettably, weren’t available in the US at the time (Arrogant Worms is the biggest example); one’s only other option was to pay high bucks to get import CDs — and sorry, $40+ for a single CD is way too much. Napster paved the way for alternative music distribution; it made it possible for songs & artists to be available to a world-wide audience easily & quickly. It basically opened up the music industry’s ass and hammered them where they needed it — and yes, the Arrogant Worms are available on iTunes, without me needing to go thru expensive import-music shops to get them.

Now if only bands would get the message as far as bootlegs of their live concerts go.

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