Mike Portnoy talked to Blabbermouth’s Daniel Sarkissian the impact that piracy had on the world of music, defending Metallica’s Lars Ulrich for taking a stance against Napster back in the day and of internet to be the guilty of the music industry bankruptcy. Take a look at some excerts:
“Yeah, it is. It is. Obviously, when Napster came around in the late ’90s or early 2000s, there was a big stink about it, and Lars Ulrich went in there fighting for musicians and ended up getting torn to shreds.
“But here we are almost 20 years later, and I think Lars was spot-on correct, actually.
“A band like Metallica can survive, but if you’re a new, young band and you’re trying to sell units or sell concert tickets, it’s gotta be impossible.”
“People that actually, literally just take the music for free, that’s what’s killed the industry. Like I said, when I was coming out with Dream Theater 30 years ago in the mid-’80s, you’d sell a million records then.
“Nowadays, a brand new band will come out and sell 500 units. It’s impossible for bands to make a living. They can get their music out there.
“It depends on what your goal is. If your goal is to sell units and make money, it’s impossible. If your goal is just to get your music heard, well, then you have greater outlets than ever before. So in that respect, the Internet’s been a great thing.
“When I was coming up in the ’80s, you couldn’t get your music heard unless you had a record deal, you signed a seven-album deal and you had to be in Rolling Stone magazine or be on MTV – there was no other way to get your music heard.
“That’s the good side of it – these days you can do that without having to sign your life away. So that’s the only plus side that the internet has afforded a lot of musicians today.”
On the new hopes of music:
“I don’t think we can have another Beatles or another Led Zeppelin or another U2, but those are just numbers, I’m not talking about artistic [side].
“Artistically, there’s bands that I love just as much as The Beatles, that move me just as much. I hear them creating art that is incredibly inspired.
“There’s no question that here’s still artists that come around that can move the needle.”