Enlarge David Draiman by Stefan Brending, via Wikipedia.

Disturbed’s David Draiman to Anti-Spotify Artists: “Blame Yourselves…Streaming Saved Music”


Where before he was a casual observer in the feud between the streaming giant and singer-songwriter Neil Young, Disturbed frontman David Draiman has now become a full-on defender of Spotify. Before, David’s misconstrued citing of the First Amendment was about Spotify’s freedom to host podcasts like Joe Rogan’s, which include racist slurs and COVID misinformation. Now, he’s responding to artists like Failure, who have left Spotify because they believe it screws over musicians with its royalty rates. And the big rock star’s take? It’s his fellow bands’ fault!

You can read Draiman’s full statement, collected across multiple tweets, below, but the bottom line is that the attack on Napster led to piracy, which streaming then stopped. It’s an obvious argument from a dude who hasn’t really struggled for two decades, and who is now going whole hog in support of an industry that is fucking over young acts, because everyone else is telling him to grow a fucking brain.

More so, it goes against all his recent gibbering about free speech trumping all and how people like Trevor Noah are hypocrites for judging others. Dave’s all about free speech and equality…but then he’s got some pious screed about how bands who don’t play arenas are the aggressors here? Get fucked, Mr. Clean.

Check out the statement below:

“All those attacking @Spotify, young and old, would do well to remember a couple little things called MUSIC PIRACY, and BITTORRENT SITES. Before streaming took hold, both artists and the very music industry itself was on the verge of collapse. Why?

“Because the heads of the major labels at the time refused to see the future when a young Sean Fanning and Sean Parker, the guys behind a little startup called @napster, approached them with a new way to reach their consumers at unprecedented levels, and they shot them down.

“So instead, Fanning and Parker let Napster do it’s thing for free. Piracy and BitTorrent sites soon followed along with the new perception that “music should be free”. Artists suffered, record labels suffered and the industry itself nearly collapsed.

“It took STREAMING to bring it back to life. Streaming made the labels profitable again, made catalog artists regain a royalty stream, and made Piracy obsolete. Streaming made legacy artists catalogs, like @Neilyoung and others tremendously valuable.

“It created the current environment where people stream their music, and where musicians had the opportunity to sell their catalogs, which had regained their value, like Neil did. Could or should @Spotify have a better streaming royalty rate? I believe so…

“…but it doesn’t take away the FACT that without streaming, there would no longer BE A MUSIC INDUSTRY, and these artists who are complaining after they already sold their catalogs for gargantuan sums of money, would be liquidating their assets…

“…and many would be struggling to survive. Artists you want to blame someone? Blame the heads of the labels in the days prior to Napster who refused to adopt new technology in favor of an antiquated retail system that had a higher profit margin.

“Blame your lawyers and your management for not negotiating a better royalty percentage in your respective record deals, and blame YOURSELVES for not paying attention to it. The majority of the legacy artists out there have newfound riches from streaming…

“…and music fans have easier and higher quality access to the widest range of music in existence. In summary, stop bitching, educate yourselves and read your damn contracts. Streaming saved music. Wether you want to accept it or not…its the TRUTH.”

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