Anthrax's Scott Ian Wants to Abolish the Internet

Guitarist claims the Net is bad for music.

Ultimate Guitar

In a new interview, Anthrax's Scott Ian has revealed that he would abolish the Internet if he could. Talking with Rock Svierge (via Blabbermouth) Ian stated that he would like to see a return to the "old way" of distributing music, where people used to buy physical albums:

 "If a genie came out of the bottle and gave me the option of abolishing the Internet and it would disappear like it never existed and nobody even remembered we ever had it and things went back to the way they were, I would prefer the old way, for sure... I definitely prefer the way when we used to make records and people would buy them. I definitely prefer that way rather than people stealing them or just listening for free on a f--king streaming service!"

However, Ian did go on to admit that there were good aspects to the Internet. Specifically, he pointed to the fact that bands don't have to rely on the media or radio like they used to in the 1980s because there is no longer a middle man:

"Now we can go on Facebook or whatever and tell people what's happening. You get instant response and you're able to respond back. That's something I find really cool. The idea that someone can write me something on Twitter and I can respond directly back to them and start a conversation, which we couldn't do before. I think of that from a fan's point of view, because I'm a music fan too."

Anthrax are set to release a new album this year. The band posted a 45 second teaser of new material earlier this week.

106 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The internet is not bad for music, it's only bad for the music industry. I can definitely say that I wouldn't listen to what I do without the finding these groups online. The film Global Metal talks a bit about how useful internet music piracy has been in some countries where it was the only way to be exposed to the music.
    Definitely. Plus the problem with piracy is that music is ****ing expensive. If they raised the minimum wage up to three times what is now, maybe people should be thought of to blame, but with most earning enough to survive, it's NOT wrong.
    The biggest winner in streaming services is the industry. The internet would be ok for musicians if they ran their own shops. But you can't single it down, sooner or later someone goes "well, if we pooled resources.." and there goes the pyramid scheme.
    The internet is used for so much more than music sharing. It brings us basically all the knowledge possible at the tip of our fingers, not needing the money to waste on many college courses, gives us a chance to stay connected with reality, instead of being brainwashed by mainstream media. I could go on and on how stupid it would be to abolish the internet. But speaking strictly music, it gives us lowly guys chances to network, meet like-minded musicians, get your name out, etc. It's only bad for washed up bands that have gotten away with riding on Metallica's coattails for 20 yrs.
    The flip side of the internet is that because information is so easy to come by is that most people don't bother to fact check. Which leads to a lot of misinformation and misinformed people.
    Lol, that's true. I for once don't even want to steal Anthrax's music, for i think that when they don't suck, they're below average to their counterparts.
    You cannot fight against porn!
    Today on "Old people are afraid of technology because it's different than what they grew up with"...
    yeah, but only old people know how life was before the internet
    And it truly was better. The cons of the internet outweigh the pros by great amounts.
    He does realize that the internet does a lot more than jsut distribute music right? Music is a very small section of a truly titanic method of international connection; abolishing it just for music is absolutely absurd.
    Replace Scott Ian with a Horse Trader in the early 1900s. "If I had a choice, I'd destroy the automobile industry so I can keep things the way they were."
    Great point. Look up Marshall Mcluhan (and specifically Mcluhan's Quadrants).He's been saying this stuff since the 60's. Dude was way ahead of his time.
    If i could abolish anything it would be social media! Still have the internet but yeah get rid of facebook, twitter etc.
    That's 100% doable, just delete your accounts and never go to those sites.
    Honestly, I almost side with Scott Ian And more than just music.. But on the mudic front, I could see it coming. 10 years ago, when everyone my age was bitching about Napster being sued by Lars Ulrich and I was telling them this is the beginning of the end for the music industry....I have four words for them - I TOLD YOU SO
    Wellerh, i kinda agree. While you could make smart decisions, become rich, and basically become an icon back in the day, nowdays, if you make all the right decisions, you'll be able to eat at night. But i think he's a little extreme. I agree that i would like to see the music industry return to a former state, but we sure as **** should not abolish the damn internet. It's the most important source of informartion in the world.
    Well I hope he knows that's pretty much everyone uses the Internet to track down a band's tour dates. So if he got his wish, he'd see a lot less people at his shows.
    if it weren't for the internet, all the people that have written comments would have gone outside, and lived happily ever after.
    Of course he wishes there was not internet, it is bad for the music industry, they don't make as much money anymore, but it is evolution, Use the internet to you advantage, plus that just tells you Scott you are getting old, and you scared of the new world. Most old artist wish it was like the good ol days, but it never will be that way again. So Scott remove the bitch tampon and lets try again, shall we?
    Because of the internet, poor Scott Ian makes a six figure income instead of a seven figure income. I feel pretty bad for him... The internet has been great for music for 99% of people but it's made it more difficult for musicians to become ultra wealthy than it was in the 80's and 90's. I mean, nostalgically, I remember and miss the days of waiting for an album to come out, going to a store and buying a cassette or CD and holding it in my hands, looking at the artwork and reading the lyrics. However, as an adult, I appreciate the fact that I can listen to virtually any music I want and still be able to pay my bills. Not as many people have the disposable income to spend on music and make EVERY musician with a record deal an instant millionaire like they could 20+ years ago. TL;DR - Making so much music available to so many people and allowing indie musicians to get their music out there is worth making millionaires into hundreds-of-thousandaires. The internet is a great thing for music.
    What about the bands who previously would've made a decent living, but now have to work day jobs and do music on the side instead?
    You're saying "day job" like it's a bad thing. Most people work day jobs, I work a day job. It's what people do. If you become a musician for the money you're making a bad choice. Do it because you love it... and if you truly love it you won't mind that day job and if you work hard enough you eventually might not need that day job. Thinking that you deserve to be wealthy just because you want to play music and that hard work and day jobs are for other people is nothing but spoiled, entitled and naive. Turn off the TV for a while and decide if music is what you truly love and either work at it or not. Music available for everyone and independent artists can get their music out to the world and all we have to do is have less millionaires? Count me in. Well, it's already happened.
    I pirate music. I buy plenty, but a pirate a lot. If anybody is entitled, it's music 'fans' who are unable to call a spade a spade. None of us download music because we're making a philosophical case about the value of music and its accessibility, we're doing it because it's free and easy. It's hilarious that people talk about greed an entitlement when they're talking about artists who now have to accept that their work is worthless, and that the one thing they've done for 30 years is something they just need to get over. If you love music, you do whatever you can to make it and play it. Otherwise it's a fun hobby, which is fine. But now we're actually faulting people for aspiring to their dream, a dream we all made worthless because of 'integrity, something something'. No. We love music, but we all take great music for granted. Not only that, we second guess and judge a person's motivation. It's a ****ing joke at this point. People actually expect others to be okay with their career being downsized or rendered obsolete. In what universe is that not pure entitlement and selfishness? These guys pay their road crew, etc, it's not just the band's livelihood that it affects.
    But if the label decides that selling their shit is only good in the states, anyone living outside of the states is gonna have a hard time getting stuff. Working a day job while still working on music is actually a safe bet, and allows for greater choices. The industrial revolution made a bunch of careers and jobs obsolete. Before the 1950's there was no music industry, none was able to live off of music. Why should it be different now?
    It depends what part of an Artist's work you actually enjoy. For me, the entertainment value of the music industry comes from: -Music -Live Shows -Story The music can still be made, true, but can they invest so much time into it whilst working a day job? As much money? Highly doubtful. Would they be able to spend months in a studio as a band, jamming away and creating masterpieces? Impossible. Live shows, can a band spend months on tour visiting many countries? If they're not making enough money from it all, then no. So I won't be able to see many bands that come from the USA or Sweden etc. Stories around bands are generated through media. Celebrity gossip if you will. I highly doubt I will get that satisfaction if the bands are all having to take day jobs first, music as a hobby. In the end, it will be only the middle class and up who can make music, distribute it, and make a name for themselves. Sounds boring to me considering most of the big names in the past have come from low income ruffians who don't know how to do anything except self destruct and make music.
    "but can they invest so much time into it whilst working a day job? As much money?" Yes, easily.
    Is it easy? It entirely depends on what their day job is and how much they earn. Haven't a majority of the musicians who have gone on to make legendary songs we know and love still today also been troubled individuals who struggle to keep a job, let alone get one above minimum wage? Again, the music industry is only for the middle class and elite.
    Rebel Scum
    Getting rid of the internet, no thanks. But I do miss seeing record shops around where you could spend hours looking through racks of CD's and listening to stuff with friends and discussing music. The youth of today do not get that.
    I didn't get that either, there are/were no record stores anywhere around here.
    Where is "here" for you? Because there of course used to be a ton of record stores.
    Time for a bad analogy. Let's say you work at a place that makes electrical wires and somebody has been stealing all the copper. You used to make 15 dollars an hour but your boss has to pay for the constant theft of copper and decides you're going to be making 10 dollars an hour now instead, for the same job. It doesn't matter if YOU think some musicians make too much. That is their job. For people to just not care how they are affecting others and their families is beyond me. Most don't make millions. Also, if anything, I can remember CD's costing 18 dollars in some stores around town in the late 90's. So music is not "outrageously" priced. Roughly 10 dollars for an album is not bad. I pay 10 bucks for a 6 pack. How much for a pack of smokes nowadays? Shut up. Try to pay for music, you'll appreciate it more. (P.S. Where I come from, if you can't afford something, oh well. You don't get it. This thought process of wanting and expecting it all when YOU...THAT'S entitlement.)
    screech n' moan
    I get where he's coming from. The internet's given everyone the ability to bitch n' complain more while contributing less. And music isn't expensive... at all. If you've got the money to pay for the ability to hop on the internet at your leisure on whatever device you own n' comment on this, then you've got the money to do what you want. People just don't WANT to pay for music because they "don't have to" anymore, and eventually it's gonna catch up to all of us when bands can't record albums anymore, because all the studios are gonna close n' there's not gonna be anything left but shit-audio-quality demos that no one wants to hear, so they just put their favorite torrented playlist on repeat for the rest of their lives while not only the industry, but the dream of being a career musician who writes original music, dies.
    Typical capitalist pig. The internet is excellent for music because it shares every song imaginable, giving guitarists far greater access to material.
    Van Guff
    Capitalist pig.. or a man trying to make a living. You decide, I know what i'd say.
    Capitalist pig. If he was just a man trying to make a living he would have a better grasp of reality, and understand that you can't spend much on music nowadays. On the other hand, if he was mad at the government for delivering such low wages or at rich(er) people who don't buy music, then that would be different.
    I think is a sword with 2 edges I mean is great for everything you can get, but now you can't make a living of music.
    Do you really think musicians were able to make a living of their music back then, just from selling CDs?
    The fact that certain musical acts have succeeded this way fools people. Making a living off art requires much more than selling CDs.
    Fucking Hell man , these people made money from records and cassettes as much as cd's !!
    im with scott on this one. yet here i am on the internet anyway. lets bring back 1990
    If it weren't for internet, I wouldn't discover so many great music from every genre. How about abolishing social media?
    I consider internet to be one of the great human inventions, up there with fire and the wheel. I just wanted to say that.
    I'm old, and I hate them newfangled things you kids use!
    Give it 15-20 years, you'll have the perspective of the passage of time and see changes in the world that you may regard as heading in the wrong direction. When you're 20 years old you really know jack shit.
    Poor Scott Ian doesn't make enough money from his rehashed 80's licks to blow on his ****ing reality tv poker shit. He doesn't even play leads fer chrissakes. WAY overpaid. Boo ****ing hoo. "Among the living" was the last decent anthrax album. He was quick to co-opt the rap scene when it was the new thing. And don't even get me started on the Supergroup(TVband) douchery. Now he just can't think of another gimmick to trick the kiddies into giving him more Ferrari and Blackjack money. Maybe if little Ted Nugent went back to playin' shitty bars for Smack Ramen and gas money he could come up with a riff that doesn't smell like my 30 year old high school gym shorts.
    The internet and today's technology is the best thing to ever happen to music. Anyone can record a high quality track with a $300 studio recording pack and upload it on the internet for anyone with internet to listen to and sell it for however much they want. Marketing can be done for free, and if you get enough of a fan base you can use crowd funding to produce albums or tours. All money that you make goes straight into your pocket, or you can use bandcamp which takes away a relatively small percentage compared to old fashioned record labels.
    " would disappear like it never existed and nobody even remembered we ever had it and things went back to the way they were, I would prefer the old way, for sure..." And before you know it, within 20 years, there would be something called the 'Transnet' invented by the human race where people would share music on ByteRivers and Scott Ian would be waiting for his next genie.
    misleading title, he prefers the days of no internet, doesn't want to abolish it.
    Might be related to this being only music website I visit regularly but so far I haven't seen any pop musician complaining about internet.. Instead within a few years we've got a handful of huge hits from complete youtube nobodies (Justin Bieber for a good example) who rose to the fame and currently make more $$ than Scott Ian on his prime. I see no reason why the same couldn't happen to a rock band and once that happens, Simmons, Corgan, Ian, Ulrich and the rest can go and die away with their "rock is dead and internet is the spawn of satan"-attitude.
    I remember those days. using your radio in hopes that your local stations would play the song and not have the DJ say something dumb at the end, buying a record for one song only to find that was the only good song. I do miss going to the store and actually buying something rather than the digital distribution stuff but feels more like a rant on "people listen to our stuff for free" rather than the ol "things were better in the ol days"
    IMO, the internet has not only ruined the music industry but has also turned society into a bunch of lazy , dependant , sods who are addicted to this sort of technology and have forgotten what it means to be human.
    This is kind of ironic because If a genie came out of the bottle and gave me the option of abolishing money and it would disappear like it never existed and nobody even remembered we ever had it. Then we wouldn't have to worry about greed. He gets his wish and I get mine, Win/Win
    Sounds good, but by taking away money you're fighting a symptom, not solving the problem. Money is well regarded because it's used as a measurement for success, and a substitute for actual goods. That combination gives it purpose. The 'problem' is that people always try to outperform eachother, which for example the music industry hasn't managed for a long time, while that same urge to compete is what has given us everything we have today. From bread, to beer, to the internet, etc. So if you get to make that wish, you'll just obliterate human culture and accomplish nothing.
    Money and power have been the roots of all mankind problems
    To be fair I'd say mankind is the only root of mankind's problems. There would be no problem in money and power if humans would try to be nice to each other.
    Yeah we've got so egotistical and self centered, it baffles me to see ppl who think that everything is ok because they don't have problems like poverty and hunger
    why is it so hard for musicians to embrace the internet for what it does for music? it makes it easier to access music, easier to discuss music, easier to purchase LPs, and especially easier for young bands to talk to others.
    But harder to make a living at. That's the point. 99.9% of artists before the web were not rich, so I don't like the argument that "oh whah, now you can't all be millionaires". The point is that now people just steal your products and it is considered basically okay, and artists just have to suck it up -- which is really wrong.
    Agent 00Awesome
    I've always liked Scott Ian but lately he's becoming a little too outspoken. Its like him and Dave Mustaine are switching places, only instead of acting crazy he's just whining about everything.
    Well. The main problem, to me, is that the horrible buisness models of the internet makes it impossible to live an artists life, atleast through music. I mean, if you want to also do music for commercials, films and teach, then, sure, you might have a chance. However, it seems impossible to truly live for what you do. The people it screws over the most are the visionaries. You're not gonna be able to muck around and experiment, explore and evolve like Floyd did. Or the Beatles. Or any of the greats. It's true that there's plenty of good stuff still coming out. But honestly, not really any GREAT stuff. I think that's what we've been missing for the past decade. Something big, something iconic, something interesting. Music as a cultural force. It seems to have always been there before, from Beatles, The Doors, Floyd, all the way up to stuff like Marilyn Manson and Eminem. Artists that had impact, and changed things, if not forever, then at least for a while. Because of the convinience of the internet, music has largely, if not entirely been reduced to a product. A nice luxury, a comfort. And anyone who dare to suggest that it could and should be more is a frickin' idiot. I really don't share that view. Poetry, painting and artistic film-making all died horrible deaths as cultural forces long ago, music endured longer. But now it is not. Now, there is nothing. There's a void. And without that kind of culture, able to affect the zeitgeist, society will stagnate. I'd argue that it already has, for a long while. What big cultural movements have there been since Grunge, and then later in the same decade, Goth? I really can't think of anything. It's all nichéd out, it's all underground. That's a problem. So while i don't disagree with the convinence of the internet-models of music sharing and listening, i would suggest that what it actually does is lessening the potential impact of the art. De-valuing it. Has to be the longest comment i ever posted.
    I actually agree with a lot of that. Yes, the internet has given a lot of people a voice, and I truly believe that there's more great music out there and being made than ever before. The difference is there's far more music that's just 'there'. It's great background music, it's catchy, all the beats and melodies are lined up perfectly and plainly. That's been my biggest problem with so called 'indie' rock. It's great that they deconstructed the bullshit rock star image, but now we're left with bland, tasteless, inoffensive 'rock' that's too scared to have riffs, be dissonant, be weird, have drum fills, dirty guitar tone, etc. People are ultra ironic, ultra cynical, and it's almost like it's seen as passe to try and write music for a larger purpose.
    there are plenty of artists around now who are constantly pushing boundaries
    Yes there are. We would hear more of them if it weren't for shitbags that can't value anything they can't spend. With the media presence he has, if Scott Ian were pushing boundaries his records would sell.
    Scott, just shut up and play your guitar for a change, alright? we want new Anthrax, not any further internet slamming!
    I love Scott and I understand his point of view, as artist is a pain in the ass that your work can be downloaded without paying anything. but in the other hand thx to internet Anthrax is more popular and more people enjoys his work and many of them still are paying for new material... I do!
    I'd be totally fine with that. Don't get me wrong though, I love the internet, but if it disappeared, along with mass cell phones, the world would be a more interesting place...again. I'd feel bad for the spoiled kids that grew up in the internet world. They'd be lining up to commit suicide without their social media and texting. Pussies.