Roger Waters Calls Streaming Services a ‘Gallery of Rogues and Thieves’
Add another star to the Spotify Smack Talk Walk of Fame.
"I feel enormously privileged to have been born in 1943 and not 1983," Waters said. "To have been around when there was a music business and the takeover by Silicon Valley hadn't happened, and in consequence, you could still make a living writing and recording songs and playing them to people.
"When this gallery of rogues and thieves had not yet injected themselves between the people who aspire to be creative and their potential audience and steal every f--ing cent anybody ever made."
Waters joins a small but growing chorus of million-selling musicians, including Thom Yorke, David Byrne and Taylor Swift, in criticizing the meager per-stream payouts of streaming services like Spotify and Pandora. Yorke, Byrne and Swift have since removed their catalogs -- or at least the parts of their catalogs they control -- from Spotify.
It's at least a little ironic, though, to hear a man who wrote, in 1975, "Did we tell you the name of the game, boy? / We call it riding the gravy train," coming to the defense of the old-fashioned music industry. Otherwise, however, Waters isn't looking back. In the same interview, he said a Pink Floyd reunion is "out of the question ... life after all gets shorter and shorter the closer you get to the end of it and time becomes more and more precious and in my view should be entirely devoted to doing the things you want to do."