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Ross RobinsonEat this, David Lowery.

Producer Ross Robinson — the legendary producer behind albums by Korn, Deftones, Slipknot, At the Drive-In, Machine Head, Norma Jean and more — thinks you should stop paying for music. Robinson expressed his controversial viewpoint through two Tweets (1, 2) over the weekend:

Lets give away music so people can’t steal it, hungry musicians make the best records – No more guilt trips on the innocent thief.

A hungry musician must fear nothing. it’s important Not to support music to keep them strong inside. Be a thief and do something wonderful

Now lettuce be cereal: Robinson gets paid for his work before a record even comes out. This happens regardless of whether the record does well or not, and regardless if the bands ever see a dime from album sales. And the funds to hire him for future projects would most certainly be in jeopardy if labels don’t make money selling music. Biting the hand that feeds?

But I’m sure Robinson is well aware of the structure of a record contract. What he seems to be saying here through hyperbole is that hungry artists write the best, most inspired music while comfortable artists become complacent and stop trying hard. And it’s difficult to argue with that assertion — see: Metallica, Slayer, pretty much any band that achieves huge success then starts sucking and/or writing the same album over and over again — even though I don’t agree with Robinson’s “steal music” missive.

For the record, I don’t believe you should steal music and I do believe artists should be compensated for their work. But times are a changin’ and I don’t believe they should be compensated the same way as they used to be (aka through selling $15 CDs no one wants).

What do you think? Do starving artists slogging it out in a van write better shit than bands who tour in comfy buses?? Is this especially true in metal??


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