Radiohead’s pay what-you-want stunt didn’t permanantly alter the music business, but it’s still got music journalists all hot and bothered. To that end, the Guardian asked Sonic Youth, who are pretty hip and with it, why they’re not putting out their record for free on the web.
Guardian: The band could, of course, have put out the album themselves, but chose not to because, as Gordon says, “there’s a whole machinery you have to build up.” Radiohead did it, though, with In Rainbows, initially released online for whatever fans wanted to pay.
“I don’t really think they did it by themselves,” Gordon counters. “They did a marketing ploy by themselves and then got someone else to put it out. It seemed really community-oriented, but it wasn’t catered towards their musician brothers and sisters, who don’t sell as many records as them. It makes everyone else look bad for not offering their music for whatever. It was a good marketing ploy and I wish I’d thought of it! But we’re not in that position either. We might not have been able to put out a record for another couple of years if we’d done it ourselves: it’s a lot of work. And it takes away from the actual making music.”
Here’s a clip of Ed Templeton in Welcome To Hell skating to Sonic Youth’s “Titanium Expos”. Enjoy.
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