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> Knowledge Bomb By Tony Martin
The Uncreator
post Aug 27 2011, 11:50 PM
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In an interview when ex-Black Sabbath singer Tony Martin was asked if there was anything he was angry about in the music industry or wanted to change, he said the following.

Tony Martin:
Oh, hell, yes! If you think about it, the artist is the FIRST person in the chain. We WRITE the stuff that EVERYONE else earns their living from. Promoters, managers, labels, publishers, press… ALL of 'em live off the back of the thing we create, but we are the LAST person to get paid. We are the same person! All of those people get their cut and percentage and wage, which they STILL take, even though there is far less money in the industry, which leaves the artist with nothing. It has to change, the whole thing, but it has to start with the musicians and artists. Firstly, stop working for free! It's not helping… Stop giving music away for free... it's not helping… And start changing the contracts and percentages we give away. Labels are NOT the answer, not these days, when so much is available to the individual. We never had access to the world when I had my last record deal. We NEEDED labels, but not now. I honestly think they are a hindrance for most of us. Time to rethink and take back the value of the thing we create. Music is a worthless art these days; there is no value in it. I approached lawyers to find out why we, as creators and manufacturers, don't have the same rights as other creators or manufacturers. They are able to expect a basic price for the things they make, but we are not. It seems that the world does not like price fixing, and we, as a group, were considered to have our own mechanism that was supposed to give us our basic rights — contracts — but those are useless today in the download age. Once the artist has got to change the way we work, then we have to show the public the VALUE of what they are taking from us, and the way I see it is with comparison. Take going to the cinema — you go to see a film and pay 10 bucks, for example. You see the film and leave your ten bucks there! If you want to see it again, YOU PAY AGAIN!! Not so with music. Once you have bought the song, it's yours for LIFE! We don't ask you to pay every time you PLAY it. And STILL some people think it's too expensive. Well, that's just fuckin' crap! Also, it used to be that we could earn money from shows, but in MY experience the past five years, we now have to pay the PROMOTER just to stand there and sell it, and I have had to pay everything between 20 and 50 percent of the merch! So that isn't so attractive either. LOTS of things need to change, and I could go on for weeks.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Aug 28 2011, 07:17 AM
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yeah, he is so right. There was a article that appeared here in Argentina with the same idea... the musician is the last person to be paid.. it happens to me with my band.. the promoter, the owner of the place, the guy that sells merchandising, the guy that opens the door, the guys that clean the place, the sound technician, the stages, the lights guy... everybody is paid.. and if if there is still some money.. the musicians go home with some bucks... there is something wrong, and every musician knows it here.. but we couldn't find the solution yet...


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Ben Higgins
post Aug 28 2011, 10:00 AM
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Yes, he has a great point.. although people who support illegal downloading and/or people who think that earning money from music is a 'bad thing' will have so much fun tearing his words to pieces...

But without getting in a moral argument here, there is one basic fact which I wish more people would remember.. we are all co dependent on each other.

Without musicians and creators, there would be no record labels, no ipods, no concerts, no concert venues, no 'promoters', no recording studios, no jobs for the staff who work in recording studios, music magazines, no jobs for the staff in music magazines.. the list is infinite.

That doesn't mean that the musicians should be egotistical and say 'it's all about me' but it just says 'Let us not forget why and how we are all here in our respective positions and be thankful for each other'

And you can take this basic fact to encompass everything that we, as humans, consume on this earth. No farmers, no crops then no food... no lorry drivers, haulage companies etc then no anything. No rich people, then no investment in businesses so no businesses springing up, providing services that we all need.

Instead of lamenting different types of people in life, we should be thankful for their existence because it keeps the world turning. They do jobs we don't want to, or can't.. they spend money on things we don't that contributes to the survival of a business that might be important to our everyday life without knowing it..

There is value in everything people do, even if you don't see it.. and yes, that includes music too and we shouldn't be ashamed of getting, or wanting to, get paid for it. End of.

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Aug 28 2011, 10:01 AM


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Daniel Realpe
post Aug 28 2011, 10:33 PM
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I agree, it's a great interview and kind of a wake up call for all of us musicians; it's the nature of business though; the ones in charge of the money will alwyas get a bigger cut it's logical.


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Adrian Figallo
post Aug 29 2011, 01:26 AM
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this is a very sensitive subject.. and the guy is soo right..
i don't have much to add, we all know how is it..


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Aug 29 2011, 09:07 PM
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The music industry is changing before our eyes, and there is nothing that we can do about it. Individual artists are getting their shot. If they are good enough and persistent enough - they will make it. It's all about creating something new for the masses, except this time, there is lot more people on the internet.

There is more tho. I don't think labels will dry out. The ones that turn to online business will succeed. There are bunch of artists that can create awesome stuff and upload on youtube, but rarely people will have enough knowledge about how web works so they can systematically produce and market material in order to become viral AND make money out of it. This is where people will again - take percentage. So the industry is just moving - to virtual world. Same as everything else..


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Todd Simpson
post Aug 29 2011, 09:42 PM
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Some great points smile.gif The biz is changing in real time all around us. The "Free" proposition is hard to fight. Movies are up next in terms of "Fighting against Free" . Once bandwidth goes up just a bit more, downloading movies will be as easy as downloading music. The movie biz is going back to things that were gimmicks to try to get people spend for "Event" entertainment 3D is a great example. It's come a long way but let's face it, it's a bit of a gimmick now, just as it was then to get folks to pay extra and not just watch TV at home. Now 3D is making it's way home as well, with new 3D TV's. Anybody hear of RUMBLERAMA or SENSURROUND? Other gimmicks involving shaking the seats and pumping aroma in to the movie theatre to differentiate the experience.

We are now in the age of "FREEMIUM" which is to say that Music is Free, but the Box Set with the USB key of limited singles costs' $300 U.S. So getting folks in the door almost requires giving stuff away. The value comes in economy of scale and in the 10 percent of customers willing to pay whatever it takes for PREMIUM service/items.

The good news is that this favors the little guy to some degree smile.gif Which is most of us! The playing field is much flatter than it used to be. So I"'m not against giving away music as long as it builds audience. Music wants to be shared/free (IMHO) so no sense being angry about it. The value comes from collecting an audience around the music. Monetization continues to be tricky and will get trickier but where there is change there is oportunity. So don't be too thrown off when you hear the old guard grumble, it just means new stuff is hitting hard.


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Sinisa Cekic
post Aug 29 2011, 11:16 PM
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An interesting story and very pessimistic. I'm surprised that veteran talk a story about something that has been known since antiquity, and it will never change, never. Industrialization of music is a huge business and creators receive the smallest share of the pie.But he forgot to say only one thing - the glory belongs him only, isn't that enough? wink.gif


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