SOAD: 'If Everyone Gets Music for Free, No One Will Be Able to Create'

System drummer is not a fan of piracy.

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In a recent Reddit AMA, System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan discussed his thoughts on file sharing and piracy. Dolmayan was asked by Reddit user empw;

"Any thoughts on digital distribution? I would think with an album titled 'Steal This Album' you'd be all for it, and piracy as well."

To which the drummer responded:

"The name of the album was ironic. If everyone gets it for free, no one will be able to create."

He also addressed rumors that System of a Down was breaking up, stating that this was not the case. However, the drummer admitted that the group had no plans to release a new album as of yet.

Dolmayan is currently working on a covers album project with James Hazley. Under the monicker of These Grey Men, the pair are rearranging tracks by the likes of David Bowie, Radiohead and Outkast. The record is being funded through Kickstarter. You can check out the pledge here.

43 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Good thing I bought their music then or they wouldn't be releasing all these new albums.
    I just laughed out loud so hard the person behind me jumped and shot milk out of their nose. +2 points
    I'll sail the seven seas of MP3 piracy if a new album comes out and i'm unsure if it will be good. If I download it and I like it, I go buy it on vinyl and in all probability, go see the band when they come in my area. If I download it and it sucks, I delete it.
    It would be better to use something like Spotify, if that's an option at all. That way, you have no legal worries, they get a fraction of a cent and 1/100 of a sale for each song you play at least 30 seconds of.
    The problem with that mentality is it's very easy to tell yourself that a record is not worth paying for because it's mediocre to your standards, when you should have payed to listen to it in the first place. Those musicians gave up their time and money to produce that record and as far as I see it, if you have the privilege to listen to it, you should pay for it.
    Exactly my thoughts! It's so hard to recoup the money you borrow off your label to record if people just download it! The privilege of hearing the song should always come with a price unless the artist deems it free. Artists need to value their work
    I get down votes for saying artists should value their hard work? Great group of musicians on here!
    not actually musicians. Just music "fans", and by fans I mean people who listen to music, but aren't as supportive as you'd hope.
    The sad truth is that making quality recordings and spreading them so that people outside your hometown can hear em takes money, and if you're a musician focusing on your music, then it's kind of weird for people to expect you to hold a job while your at it, and then still be able to put 110% into creating new stuff and putting it out and paying for it and paying for touring and stuff. It's just as insane as having a plumber come over and not paying him for fixing your damn toilet. Even though the work musicians do only creates sound and no plumbing, it's still work and they need to be paid accordingy.
    I support the anti piracy stand. As a musician I depend on income from sales to supplement my living. If you work in this industry you should get paid. If someone who flips burgers for a living, or someone who drives a bus, went into work one day and their boss told them they weren't getting paid then most people would walk out. Music should not be free unless the artist decides. As musicians, if we personal cannot value out own work then why should anyone else. If my band release an ep and we feel it is worth £5 a copy then we will sell it for that. Piracy harms hard working musicians and the knock on effect is that the next generation of bands will not know how to value their craft.
    So its impossible to create music unless I get paid for it? So whenever I whistle freely, I should get paid?
    No, but making music costs money. Even if you were to do it at home, a CD costs around £0.07 each, then you've got things like distribution fees. What about digital? iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, CDBaby? They all cost cash too. Fine, how about setting up your own site? Well, you'd need to buy or rent a server capable of serving lots of high size files. Music costs money to make. A lot.
    Talk about recording costs, and time to make the music. Its all expensive, but we do it for the love.
    even if you somehow get a really nice person to donate studio time, instrument use and things like that... At the smallest level, those artist's are taking time to go to the studio, time that they're not going to be able to work but their rent stays the same, it takes food to feed them so that they have energy to play and sing, bus fair or gas money to get to the studio, etc.
    It is worth mentioning that music can be done outside of profit reasons. I'm going to assume most people who play guitar on this site do not make a great income with it (if at all) and/or do not gain a very high return from all the gear they spend on. While it's not a music career there's definitely a lot of people doing it for the passion. So I don't think music would just disappear without money, but if you value studio production and live shows and all that stuff then it's only fair to support your favorite musicians so they can afford to continue such endeavors.
    Why don't they just do a kickstarter/crowdfunding campaign for a new SOAD album? It seems like there are a lot of fans that are willing to pay to hear these guys record new music. Set a dollar limit, promote the campaign, if that amount is reached, make the album and release it online for anyone to access.
    I don't think money has anything to do with them not releasing an album
    This is exactly why most musicians are only musicians. Not to be seen as a hater, but most don't understand business. This is the biggest flaw within musicians who only want to be musicians. If you know your shit are are creative in a business sense, the money will follow. I advise musicians to give their music away for free all the time. If you want to grow your audience, give it away. SOAD should open up shop and create all their t-shirts themselves. Hire people to do it for them and open a warehouse. Privatize everything when possible. Publishing is a big one too.
    I think that, although piracy is mostly wrong, you can benefit from it. For example, Iron Maiden is touring in areas where their music is being pirated, and they're making a killing. So you can turn it into a positive.
    And that attitude is precisely why bands have to spend three years touring an album just to pay off the costs of making it. There is no positive in piracy. Sure, bands tour more but I'm pretty certain that the increase in gig tickets prices is linked to this. Bands are just redirecting their revenue streams. Going to a gig used to be cheaper because bands made money off record sales. Now, piracy harms that so they have to charge more to continue making enough money. The money doesn't just go to the bands like most people think. There are staff to pay, record label feels, publishing, tour overheads and more!
    He's right. every disagreeing wants to pay the artists nothing. you are all missing the point.
    i always thought these guys were posers... but anyways, yeah, coz most of their money comes from distribution sale and not SHOWS... greedy musicians keep on bein greedy. no surprise here.