It’s no secret that streaming services aren’t paying the bills these days. But between rising costs affecting touring and inflation making the cost of living even worse, getting paid peanuts by services like Spotify is more insulting than ever. Corey Taylor explained in a recent interview with Kidd Chris – Off Air that he totally backs Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich taking a stand against Napster in the early 2000s, and that he’s still waiting for legislation to make sure artists get paid fairly.
“I completely backed [Lars Ulrich], man. We’re seeing the aftermath of it, to be honest. I mean, obviously, I have to work with streaming, DSPs and whatnot, but it doesn’t mean I like it. The odds are so stacked against the artist that less and less people are able to make a living at this, man — unless you hit the jackpot. And even when you hit the jackpot, you’re paid peanuts. And it’s revolting in a lot of ways. I’m still waiting for the legislation to actually go into effect, but it’s been appealed so many times by all of the DSPs that we may never see the right way.
“And honestly, it’s one of the things why I’m kind of gratified by the fact that physical copies are actually coming back more and more, especially in our genre. So that, at least, is keeping us afloat. But it’s hard. And this is somebody who is just getting by. What about the younger bands who can’t make it? What about the younger bands who, they’re tied to the old system, and the only thing that they can do is hope and pray that something breaks through. But then you have to stream billions to make [any real money]. It’s ridiculous. The math doesn’t work.
“And I’m tired of talking to people about it because the math doesn’t work. They’re paid even less than the old radio structure. At least you could make a goddamn living [back then]… That’s why I commend these younger bands that are bypassing the label structure, period. And they’re going, ‘I’m not gonna let them collect everything.’ Honestly, it’s the only way to make DSPs work in your favor, is to cut out the middle man, because that’s where all the money is going.”
Taylor then went on to point out more shortcomings of the system, like the fact that health insurance is locked behind the paywall of having a job, and that having the “I got mine” mentality is really fucking everything up.
“It’s hard for people to get medical insurance, for Christ’s sake — I mean, something that is just basic. Unless you have made it to the upper echelon and you can afford it and you can provide it not only for the people who are in a band with you and their families but you can offer a smaller version of that to your crew. But at the same time, because crew is even more temporary, it’s hard to do that, because they’re not technically employees; they are temps.
“So it’s a difficult industry to really kind of prolong. And you’re talking to somebody who can’t believe that he’s gone as long as he has. So when you look at… At the end of the day, the stuff that should be working for me when I can’t tour as much doesn’t anymore because of the way that the percentages are worked out. And that’s one of the reasons why people are so up in arms about it.
“A lot of the people who are super popular right now, they don’t say anything because they’re super popular right now. They’re, like, ‘Ah, I’m making mine.’ But what happens when you’re not? What happens when you’re just the latest trend to be put on the shelf again? What happens when that stuff doesn’t make anything for you anymore?
“Listen, I’m gonna come off like an asshole, because it’s just the way it is. I think if more people realized how badly artists were paid, they might say something or they might try to do something. But a lot of people are selfish as well, and rightfully so, because at the end of the day, if you’r
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