Fleet Foxes front man Robin Pecknold is cool with file sharing, and free music downloading. The band has an album coming out on May 3rd, but and it would seem he's more interested in people hearing it than paying for it.
He is reported to have told the Sunday Times that music "has no inherent value," adding, "How much money does one person need before it's just a number and I can buy whatever I want - and just be like a big baby?"
Even if you're not an illegal downloader, it's not too hard to find the tracks of the new album on Google's YouTube.
A conversation on Twitter reflects Pecknold's sentiments:
Why is it news that I'm ok with file-sharing? To not be is to waste energy on something you can't do anything about.
@fleetfoxes That's a fair point I do agree that you can't stop free downloading, but I do think the 'product' (be it tix/tshirt/cd)...
@fleetfoxes ...has a value that's especially important to musicians/industry folks lower down the food chain. Interesting debate though!
@daniel_pearson that was a physical product, that cost an amount to manufacture, with a profit margin. That's not 'music'! Birds make music!
@daniel_pearson We don't do this for money or the position it puts us in and I think that's true of most of our contemporaries.
"I think we're seeing that now with tons of new bands that are amazing, and are doing way better music now than was being made pre-Napster," he said in that article.
It's not hard to see why record labels might not follow the same logic, but Fleet Foxes acknowledges the web as a driving force in its own success anyway.
On a related note, Spin Magazine is offering a free download of the title track off of Fleet Foxes' new album, Helplessness Blues.