Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker Says ‘There’s Nothing Anyone Can Do to Stop’ Music Piracy
In an interview with BBC Radio 6’s Mary Anne Hobbs today (Sept. 20), Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker shared his thoughts on the distribution of music and piracy. “I’m not saying that I think music should be free,” he said, “but if people can get it for free, there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them.”
Parker says he doesn’t believe the medium listeners choose to use to consume music affects or "cheapens" the overall experience, which he deems more important than any attached monetary value. However, he acquiesces that artists still need to earn a living, but “if you make good art… the wealth will find you in some way”:
For me, it just shows that it’s not really about how much you pay for it or even whether or not it’s physical -- it can still have the same effect on you. I’m not really sure what that says about artists making money in the future. Like, obviously artists need to make money and stuff like that, but if you do something good or if you make good art or make good stuff, the wealth will find you in some way. Not to be kind of overly spiritual about it, but it’s not the kind of thing that’s worth complaining about.
Parker also doesn’t blame his fans who have illegally downloaded Tame Impala’s music, even copping to doing it himself in the past:
I used to download music illegally. Everyone has. No one is innocent. Everyone has done that. If someone says, ‘Hey man, I love your album, it really got me through a breakup, but I downloaded it for free,’ I’ll be like, ‘Good! That’s good!’ Maybe he didn’t have the money for the album, but if he still listened to it and it’s an important part of his life, that’s all I can ask for. I don’t want his 20 bucks.
The Tame Impala leader suggests other means of making money in the music industry, such as ad placements and movies, as a kind of trade-off for piracy:
There are other ways to get money in music, like an ad for a car or a photo company or something – good money. If people are willing to not rag out on artists for using their music in ads and movies and stuff, if people are cool with that then I’m cool with them getting it for free, ‘cause then It just means that the corporations are paying for it, and they’re the ones with the money.
Listen to the entire segment below: