Reznor Urges Musicians To Ditch Labels07 April 2009
Reznor's band Nine Inch Nails broke away from their deal with Universal in 2007, after a tempestuous relationship with the music giant.
The singer describes the experience as "liberating" - insisting big labels make too much money from musicians and are completely out of touch with the industry.
Reznor says, "Anyone who's an executive at a record label does not understand what the internet is, how it works, how people use it, how fans and consumers interact - no idea. I'm surprised they know how to use email. They have built a business around selling plastic discs, and nobody wants plastic discs any more. They're in such a state of denial it's impossible for them to understand what's happening.
"One of the biggest wake-up calls of my career was when I saw a record contract. I said, 'Wait - you sell it for $18.98 and I make 80 cents? And I have to pay you back the money you lent me to make it and then you own it? Who the f**k made that rule? Oh! The record labels made it because artists are dumb and they'll sign anything' - like I did. When we found out we'd been released (from their recording contract) it was like, 'Thank God!'. But 20 minutes later it was, 'Uh-oh, now what are we going to do?' It was incredibly liberating, and it was terrifying."
And Reznor adds that musicians should be exploring other ways to sell their own music, rather than relying on labels: "As an artist, you are now the marketer."
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