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Steven Wilson Interview 2011 - part 2 (English subtitles) by Germán Pulido

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I think the way it’s heading is, it seems to be heading, is is the two extremes which is that there will be, ahmm, the download side of things. the people there will always the vast majority who’ll always be happy just to have the songs on their iPod, or or through Spotify whatever it is. And the other extreme is that the people who want the physical product are now being offered more and more elaborate forms of packaging. For example, last couple of albums I’ve done, and this album is the same, I’m doing 120 page beautiful hardback book, 10x10 hardback book. Ehmm, with a bonus CD of outtakes, a bluray with videos, ahh photos of the lyrics, my original handwritten lyrics, and all sorts of things. So, it becomes a real kind of immersive experience, you know? You don’t just buy the music, you buy the background as well, you buy the demos, you buy the films, you buy the lyrics, the notes, and all comes in a kind of package that you can explore over a period of weeks, you know? So I think those would be the two extremes, the kind of middle part, the just the generic CD... I can’t see there’s any point in that anymore really. Ahmm in fact you go into record stores and now you see less and less space is given over to just regular CD's, you get vinyl, you get special packaging special editions, but the regular CD's... because it wasn’t neither one thing nor the other, it wasn’t art and it wasn’t software… I don’t think it really has any purpose anymore. Well it… I think, any band… it is very expensive. Any band that has a fan base can do it. And the reason I say that, it’s because fans, and when I say fans I don’t mean people who have just got a couple of songs on their iPod, I mean people who know about the band and maybe follow the band, have been to see the band live a few times, those kind of people of whom I’m lucky to have you know? Enough, Ehmm they would, they don’t even look at the… I mean I… I don’t… I speak for myself here, but when there’s a band I really like, and they do a special edition, I don’t even care what the price is I don’t care. 50 quid, 100 quid yeah whatever, it’s a beautiful thing, I wanna own it... I don’t care. So if… and the other thing is of course the internet now means that you can sell directly… Artist… I mean look what Radiohead are doing, they are selling like 250.000 copies of their special edition through their website, directly to their fans. They’re making more money than they ever made from those albums they sold millions of copies when they were on EMI, because EMI were paying them like a 75 per royalty per copy. That’s the difference you can so… now you can make say… if you… if it’s an artist you can sell 2000 or 3000 copies of a very expensive special edition to your fan base directly through the internet, then you don’t need to worry about selling selling any other CD'S, that would pay for the whole project. And I think more and more artists now are realizing now that that’s kind of the way to go now. Ehmm... I do, I do….yeah I mean… unfortunately there’s not many artists that are so committed to the idea of presentation that I am, and I don’t know why that is. I think it’s partly just a cultural thing because I grew up at a time, the very tail end of the great era for vinyl, so I still remember how special it was to buy vinyl records. A lot of the other bands I deal with, a bit younger than me, and they’ve kind of grown up through CD, so for them they never had that same of kind of, eehmmm they never felt that same magic, about buying the physical thing. So for them special packaging is not so important… Ehh, but I’ll tell you who is important for it’s the record companies… because the record companies know that unless they give something special now to the potential buyer, they are just, they are just gonna download it. And they’re losing so much of their sales to internet, that they really have started last 5 or 6 years, record companies have really started to think so hard about how they can persuade someone they should still invest in a piece of music. So they’re the ones in a way… which is ironic in a way, you’d think it’d be the artist driving it, but in a way it’s the record companies driving that interest in special packaging. There is, there will always be a place for record companies, because, ehmm, there’s always gonna be new artists, and when there are news artists, that don’t have an established fan base, there’s no fan base to sell to, through, through the internet. You can try to build up a fan base through Facebook or whatever, but I think right now, at this time in history, that’s almost impossible, because there are 50 millions bands on the internet. Few years ago, when the Arctic Monkeys came out, their big story was that, this is a band that broke through MySpace. The problem was, the problem was as soon as the Arctic Monkeys came along and said that, you know? This is how they did it, everyone else overnight set up a MySpace page. Consequence was that there’s now 5 million MySpace pages and no one even looks any of them. So I think now, the internet is so flooded with music that is not possible to break through, through the internet. So we still need record companies who will market and promote music, and use the kind of conventional means of publicity and distribution. But I think once you’re an established band, like Radiohead or like, like myself, it’s... it’s much easier to step back and and, ahh, start to think about how to market directly to your fans. But I’m still working with record companies, because I still think there’s a lot of people that are out there that have never heard of me, I know there’s a lot of people who have never heard of me, and I still wanna share my music with as many people as possible, and I still need record companies to do that, cause I don’t have the means to reach new people as easily as they do.

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 28 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Producer: faceCulture, Netherlands, Music and Video News
Director: faceCulture, Netherlands, Music and Video News
Views: 89
Posted by: german.dpa on Apr 18, 2013

Steven talks about music these days.

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