Iggy Pop, lead singer of the protopunk band The Stooges, believes that illegally downloading music is becoming a bad habit some people may have trouble breaking.
Anyone who has snagged their favorite band’s latest record from a torrent site understands how easy it is to obtain the goods without forking over any cash. The allure of free music is too much for some people to pass up. Once you start amassing gigabytes worth of illegally-obtained tunes, the idea of actually purchasing an album seems foreign.
According to BBC News, Iggy Pop discussed the dangers of music piracy during BBC 6 Music’s John Peel Lecture. In his opinion, the folks who operate torrent sites and digital storage lockers are essentially encouraging fans to break the law. Pop is also worried that some people may get hooked on the idea of downloading records for free.
“That act of thieving will become a habit and that’s bad for everything. So we are exchanging the corporate rip-off for the public one. Aided by power nerds. Kind of computer Putins. They just wanna get rich and powerful. And now the biggest bands are charging insane ticket prices or giving away music before it can flop, in an effort to stay huge. And there’s something in this huge thing that kind of sucks.”
The Guardian explains that Iggy Pop also set aside some time during the lecture to criticize U2 for basically forcing people to experience their new album with some help from Apple. A lot of people weren’t thrilled when they discovered the band’s latest album, Songs of Innocence, sitting in their iTunes library.
“The people who don’t want the free U2 download are trying to say, ‘Don’t try to force me,’ and they’ve got a point. Part of the process when you buy something from an artist, it’s kind of an anointing, you are giving that person love.”
Of course, Iggy Pop didn’t spend the entire lecture complaining about the music industry. While he still doesn’t have any love for the major labels, he’s seemed extremely happy that the indie scene is alive and well.
“But indies kinda have the guns. I’ve noticed that indies are showing strength at some of the established streaming services like Spotify and Rhapsody. People are choosing that music. It’s also great that people are starting their own outlets like Pledgemusic, Bandcamp, Drip etc. As the commercial trade swings more into general showbiz, the indies will be the only place to go for new talent outside the Mickey Mouse Club.”
Do you agree with Iggy Pop’s thoughts on music piracy?