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The Black Dahlia Murder’s Trevor Strnad Rants Against Music Pirates

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Photo by Steve Lars
Photo by Steve Lars

The twelfth best modern metal frontman, Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder, is not happy about the state of the record industry. What sparked this latest rant via Facebook we may never know, but the Michigan native had some choice words to say about those who download his music illegally:

HOW IT IS: We have almost 1,000,000 likes on here. Will we sell 1,000,000 copies of Everblack? Fuck no! The reality is that 98% of you ‘fans’ are going to be content to steal the album and in turn we get nothing… a laughable fragment of the ‘likers’ will actually be cool and pick it up.

It’s not about the money, the reality is that we get chump change for CD (and digital) sales BUT WE NEED TO SELL THEM TO EXIST! If there are no record sales the music industry will stomp us out like a bug and it’ll be completely over… the sales show them ‘how relevant’ we are.

If you don’t buy the albums they’ll determine that there is no demand for TBDM, and there won’t be any more awesome concerts, tours, dvds nor new music. Sure we understand you may really love our tunes, but if you haven’t paid for them, it’s a total loss to us… all the love in the world isn’t going to mean shit in the end. We need your support and every two years I am going to ask the same thing of you and make the same goddamn argument.

Think of it like a vote… If you’d like to see us continue our reign of terror over the metal world, you’ll pick up a copy of “Everblack”. It’s as simple as that. – Trevor on behalf of The Black Dahlia Murder

Trevor is certainly not wrong; though it may be an out-dated business model, labels still rely on sales of recorded music to keep the Benjamins coming in. Without that income labels wouldn’t be able to afford to invest in recording albums, producing artwork, manufacturing physical media, paying a staff to market and publicize the music and so on and so forth. This matters more for brand new acts than it does established acts like Black Dahlia who could probably fund a Protest the Hero-sized Kickstarter/Indiegogo campaign on their own if they wanted to.

I should point out, again, that it’s odd to hear such a vitriolic rant coming from a member of one of the biggest metal bands on Metal Blade Records as opposed to, say, Lazarus A.D. or Abiotic or something. The Black Dahlia Murder certainly aren’t rich men, but their last album Ritual sold 13,000 copies first week. That’s nothing to sneeze at! I’m not sure what he’s so worried about. Black Dahlia will continue to get great tour offers and people are gonna support this record, I guarantee.

In any case, Trevor’s statement predictably caused a backlash amongst the “But we buy lots of merch!!!” set, prompting a follow-up:

Clarification for the alarmists: I’m not saying you who come to the shows and buy merch aren’t appreciated… what I am saying is that we need to sell this album because each sale means something in the grand scheme of things. WE ARENT FUCKING RICH. I don’t really care if we see ANY money from the preorders or any CD sale AT ALL… like I said…. it’s literally a fraction of a penny per album… you can fucking keep it.

WE MAKE THE MONEY WE SURVIVE ON FROM YOU ALL COMING TO THE SHOWS AND BUYING TICKETS AND MERCH. We are eternally grateful for your support in this manner. This is absolutely true and has not changed. What I am saying is that we need BOTH kinds of support… they are both integral. All I was trying to do is to rally the troops… to help them understand that selling the copies IS important to us… it was not an attempt to alienate anyone. I should have worded things better…. yes.

For those of you saying that the industry is operating on a completely archaic model… I completely wholeheartedly agree… but until things change this is how it is. – Trevor

Hard to disagree with anything he’s saying here either. The industry’s business model is outdated, but we’re in a period of transition and for now sales of pieces of plastic are still one important piece of the puzzle, albeit less important of a piece than ever before.

If you haven’t heard TBDM’s new tune “Into the Everblack” yet, stream it right here. It rips! Everblack is out June 11th.

[via The PRP]

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