Legendary Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen was recently interviewed by Classic Rock Revisited writer Justin R. Beckner about the decline of and changes in the music industry. Here are a few excerpts…
CRR: “The Internet changed a lot for the industry; piracy has certainly had a hand in changing the game. Do you think that piracy can be beneficial to some of those bands starting out? How has it affected you?
Yngwie: “How could it possibly be positive? If you go into a store and you see a car that you like, you can’t just drive off with it. The cost and the blood and sweat and tears that go into making music is the same thing, it’s not free. Try telling the engineer and the producer that they have to work for free. It’s utterly bizarre. It’s like just going into a store and taking things off the shelves. It’s stealing.
“The reason there are no bands coming out now is that the money that was once there is not there anymore. So what happened was, in essence, by pirating music, you kill the music industry.
“The music industry died because of the piracy, and now all the fans will have no new music. Isn’t that wonderful? It’s a direct consequence of that.”
CRR: “I think that, with piracy, we’ve lost the album art, the liner notes, the waiting in line to get the next record. It seems that there used to be this aura of awesomeness that used to surround a new record being released. Now it’s just a click away. One sad little click.”
Yngwie: “Yeah, that’s another aspect of it that I totally agree with what you’re saying. But I think that kind of got lost with the CD a little bit too.
“I think when the LP went, that’s when the art went.”
You know, when I was a little kid, I used to record cassette tapes for friends. So this music sharing thing has been going on for a long time and the internet just sped it up.”