In just over a decade, The Dillinger Escape Plan has become one of the most revered and credible bands in the hard core punk scene. Their performances are infamous for being wild and often violent.
Last week, frontman Greg Puciato received a question from a fan that touched a nerve.
“Hey dude, just wondering about where the music as a physical product sits with you guys now. To exchange money, what’s best for you as an artist and me as a fan? Should I buy your album on iTunes? Download it for free and buy a t-shirt to make up for it? How does it all work these days?” – Anonymous
Puciato’s analogy says it all.
“Hey I took this pair of shoes for free but it’s cool ‘cause I bought a coat right?”
The singer explains that it’s not the money, its the art itself that is being damaged by theft.
“Do whatever you want….but the root is the music. THAT’s the most important…not a shirt. They are separate. We’re not forcing anyone to buy our music or our shirts. If you want one, that’s separate from the other. Nobody’s doing us a favor by buying our shirt after they took our album. We’re not artists pandering on the side of the street hoping for someone’s “charity. “
Puciato continues, “This is what we spend our LIVES doing, we spend MONTHS recording and up to a year writing. Ethically, taking it for free is always wrong….even if you’re massive…but when you’re not a household Walmart name as a band…it hurts particularly more because every album is a greater sized fraction of the total. If people want “alternative” art, or smaller scenes, genres, or bands to be able to exist at a professional level of quality, they should treat them professionally and intellectual property with the same respect as tangible property.”
After an expository on how using a service like Spotify should be a viable alternative for people who don’t care about owning a physical CD or MP3, Puciato pleads for support, not theft.
“There’s just really no excuse for bankrupting a scene or band you’re into anymore. If people care about the art that they like existing, then this attitude is important to adopt across the board.”
— Jay Tilles, CBS Local