Anthrax Guitarist Hates Major Labels

In an epic rant, Scott Ian says the whole music industry should collapse and start again - but says certain metal labels which supported his career deserve to live on for helping musicians start out.

Ultimate Guitar

Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian has clarified his wishes for the entire record industry to collapse.

In a recent interview, Ian said he wanted the whole industry to collapse because it ripped off musicians:

"I really don't give a shit about the industry... I can only hope that the whole industry collapses and has to start over, or figure out something else.

"When you think about the billions and billions of dollars that labels ripped off from bands from the 1940s all the way through to the 1990s, and now they complain about nobody buys records anymore. Well, whose fault is that, you know?... you've got artists, bands who no longer exist and are literally like, a step away from being homeless... The whole fucking thing is insanity."

Ian may have come under fire because his career was built on the support of a range of metal labels and industry figures.

In a series of tweets, Ian clarified his position and where certain metal labels fit in:

"I'm not talking about independent labels like Megaforce, Nuclear Blast, Metal Blade, etc. These labels have changed the business and have found models that work and they are not only fair to the bands they sign, they actually will work at developing a band.

"The majors are no place for rock/metal anymore and if you're a huge band, you're better off doing it yourself."

Do you think the record industry deserves to collapse so it can be rebuilt? Are musicians wrong to chase record deals when their chances of success are clear and well documented? Let us know what you think in the comments.

61 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Well, it's kinda true. Music industry sucks so much. Musicians are ripped off constantly, every day, due to major labels' greed. They just care about the cash, the profits, without taking any importance to musical issues. I am not a huge Anthrax fan, barring 4 o 5 songs, but this man has said something that should be listened by everyone on Earth
    Dark Aegis
    Musicians are also ripped off by all the people who are too cheap to buy their music and instead decide to download it.
    Example, Sevendust. I don't know the details behind it but Morgan Rose was talking about how they had sold tons and tons of albums back when they were first making it big and they didn't hardly get a cent. Their record label flopped or dropped them or something stupid. "The days of the 360 deal are pretty much over"
    Sorry to have to put this on more than one post, but like I said, links and editing. Anyway: Holy shit. That is all.
    Oh god, you posted an article from Metalsucks, that and blabbermouth are the worst community of posters I have ever seen on the internet. The people are so ignorant and irrational. It is terrible, they should take the sites down for better sake of the internet. Actually keep them so they won't ever turn UG into a foul place.
    " that and blabbermouth are the worst community of posters I have ever seen on the internet. The people are so ignorant and irrational". Have you been on UltimateGuitar for long?
    Tell me about it. They throw a shitfit the instant someone defends anything they don't like.
    I agree. However, MetalSucks didn't write the article. Arthur Von Nagel, a respected metal frontman, did, as a guest. Now, are you going to read it, or complain about the site it was hosted on?
    On one hand, you could say that labels need all the money they can get in order to stay afloat, especially given how little they're actually making now. On the other hand... there was an article where Art from Cormorant actually posted a label contract and went through it section by section. I'd link it, but UG's editing is ****ed up.
    Right now, major labels ain't earning many cash because of the high prices. I can't spend 20 dollars on a CD, it's criminal
    I can't say i'm familiar with any of his music. But i do agree with him 100%. I any label is required, independent is the way to go.
    The record industry is already collapsing. "Major Labels" will soon be doing nothing but licensing pop songs to be played during cell phone, car and soda commercials. A music industry full of independent labels and DIY bands will be SO MUCH better.
    Correction Ian, Rock and Metal bands are borderline homeless. Rappers, pop stars and other easily exploited "artist" are filthy rich because it requires little to no production money to produce their songs and set up their sound systems for live shows(comparatively).
    Carl Hungus
    Pop music is more profitable because it is mainstream. If you think that little or no money is involved in producing a Lil Wayne, Rihanna you are dead wrong. Many studio artists and songwriters are employed to create such PROFITABLE music. When people get busted for downloading music it isn't because they downloaded the last Overkill album its because they pirated something that is actually valuable to the existing labels: Pop Music.
    "it requires little to no production money to produce their songs and set up their sound systems for live shows(comparatively)" Very funny.
    Mr. Mashburn
    Auto-tune is a one-man on a computer process. Lighting and/or pyro thats about the same as a metal band, depending on the "artist". Then pop artists dont have roadies and techs that load and unload all the instruments night after night, set up all the amps, make sure the amps sound top notch, and then pack it all up after the show, and rush to the next venue to do it all again.
    link no1
    You would be surprised at how many pop acts have touring musicians for live shows, alot of them also have more than one of each instrument (unnecessary for the most part, I know) Basically, pop acts are probably dishing out more cash for live shows considering they are paying touring musicians, their roadies and possibly their equipment. Oh and the extra few sound techs they would need to hire. Not saying you're entirely wrong (you're not) but you are underestimating the amount of pop 'musicians' that use real instruments live.
    You're asking a forum of rock fans if they want to tear something down? YES. Yes.
    Good to know that I'm not the only one that thinks the same. Honestly, I believe the whole system needs to be reformed, the industry has lost it's soul. If it ever had one that is...
    Lets start by getting rid of Poptards... i.e Kesha and Justin Beiber.. And Lady Gaga... And Katy Perry... And Taylor Swift... Etc etc etc.
    Damn! I thought this was Ultimate Guitar? U mention Poptards and the negative trolls come out.. They are manufactured goods bought and sold... Nothing more.. Get over it.
    I find it funny how the first comment shits on dubstep when it's not even relevant to the article.... I still agree with it though
    With the power of home recording now, and the viral media and social networks like YouTube, SoundCloud and Facebook... There really isn't a need for the big record companies anymore. It's not like the old days where you needed multi-thousand dollar recording equipment and a huge company to print up and distribute media anymore - You can do that all yourself these days for the price a DAW, some mics, and a good audio interface. Also, the internet.
    Pop and Rap focus on one artist, so that one artist gets 95% of the earnings. The actual "band" gets payed next to nothing because they're under a shit iron clad contract for life to play for one horrible boy band, pop diva or rap artist, and then the next, and the next until they die of old age. The light doesn't ever even shine on the band when they're on the stage. That's where a good bit of the money in being a pop artist comes from, treating the real musicians like shit. This is why pop and a good bit of rap pisses me off.
    I heard that Metal Blade was a piece of shit as well. They basically treat their artists like major record companies treat theirs, except without the advantages of being part of a mainstream company.
    Wish this case will be fixed in 18 months along with Dubstep music.
    Wow so many people have a problem with dubstep, don't like it? Don't listen to it then and stop ****ing going on about it all the time.
    I like dubstep because I like things that make people irrationally angry just by existing. Did Skrillex rape everyone's parents or something?
    Nope, but he pissing everyone's ear with that unlistenable stuff anyway no one ask you whether you like it or not
    I'd just like to point out that no one asked you whether you like Dubstep or not either, I mean it wasn't even mentioned in the article so why bring it up?
    Because a few days ago there was an Ian article in which he said he hates dubstep and that it will be over in 18 months.
    Looks like my guess was half right. Apparently he's kidnapping people and forcing them to listen to his music. That explains so much.
    Dubstep is a bunch of digitally recorded garble of sounds that have just enough of a beat to it to be considered music (by some). Of course someone like Scott Ian would hate something like that! His music actually requires talent!
    can I stop you right there please? Thank you, The "wobbles" & "growls" you hear in dubstep music are not recorded garbles of sounds. They are a layer of modulated synth sounds with filters and a bunch of effects that are used in modern music production. It requires a lot of skill to be able to imitate such a sound and to modulate it. Mastering is also something that takes effort and skills. So before you start trashing a genre which you have NO idea about, stand down and think what kind of bullshit you are about to say.
    would you really be able to tell the difference if it was all just random tho? I think not
    Would you notice if some guy made a solo of just random notes? Of course you would, and its the same with dubstep or any other electronic genere. Now stop being retarded and think about what comes out of that thing you call brain before you speak.
    I love when I see people talking about music that "requires talent" to play. I bet Scott Ian couldn't write a simple pop or electronic song if his life depended on it.
    People said the same thing about Heavy Metal and Rap. How many people in the 80's were thinking "this rap stuff is gonna pass, it's not real music?" Or "This heavy metal stuff is just loud, fast noises, it isn't real music."
    Scott has a point, I've seen them live three times, bought the concert shirts each time, going to see them again shortly, yet I haven't bought one of their CD's since The Sound of White Noise, I bet they made more money off my concert ticket and tshirt from the gig in 2011 than if I bought the Worship Music CD, or worse, just downloaded it from iTunes.
    That's why a lot of bands are having longer tours and putting out albums farther apart. They make so much more money from touring and selling t-shirts than they could ever make from album sales. With that said, you should check out Worship Music. It's a great album that you won't regret buying.
    they also definitely do because anything going on isnt handled by them. if theres any kind of thing going on besides their singing, then someones doing work and getting paid for it who isnt the artist. its silly to assume that more money wouldnt be poured into a genre of music thats strictly going to make a label richer
    Sorry, that post was supposed to be a reply to another comment. My point still remains though.
    Carl Hungus
    Scott Ian's remarks about the records industry stealing from artists is of course quite true. Pure unadulterated greed and deception has a been major driving force in the music industry for the last 70 or so years. Experienced crooks in the record industry taking advantage of young inexperienced artists has been the status quo for too long. Think of how many poorly represented musicians are still trying to get their royalty payments.
    Sooooo true so many bands are ditching their labels, big or small, most recently Blink 182 just did it now they can release whatever they want whenever and gain all the profit
    As in an earlier article here at UG you could see a great example of a band (Protest the Hero?) deciding to get money from fans rather than labels. I hope more bands will take that path in the future.