Saul Williams Agrees That It's Way Too Early To Be Disheartened
from the it's-an-emo-thing dept
Earlier this month, we wrote about Trent Reznor’s disappointment in how his “free download” experiment with Saul Williams had progressed. He wasn’t completely disappointed. He was quite happy about how much attention the album had received, but he had hoped that more people would choose to pay for the higher quality downloads. He did an interview with News.com yesterday that got some attention for a throw away line about having ISPs pay a $5/month “music tax” to let people download, but most of the interview reiterated the points he made in his original blog post: he’s excited about the attention Williams was getting and how many people were listening to the music, but in the back of his mind he had hoped more people would pay.
What’s much more interesting, however, is that News.com has now interviewed Saul Williams, and he appears to be much more pleased with the results, and seems to agree with our view that it’s way too early to be disappointed:
“I’m actually extremely optimistic. The only thing that I really have kept in mind is that, one, we’re two months into a project…. I think it’s early in the game. I’m not disappointed at all.”
He also notes that, since the music business is all about touring these days, anyway, the direct money from sales is less important:
“the lifespan from my last album, from touring, which is really how I made my income and everything, lasted for two years.”
As for Reznor’s disheartened response, Williams chalks it up to two factors. First, it’s just Reznor’s nature:
“I don’t think Trent is as truly disappointed as he sounds in that blog. You got to think of him this way…listen to his music (he laughs). In my opinion, oh, he might not like this, but I think he’s the king of emo.”
Secondly, given the amount of time he’s spent in the traditional recording industry, it’s hardwired into his brain:
“I think Trent’s disappointment probably stems from being in the music business for over 20 years and remembering a time that was very different, when sales reflected something different, when there was no such thing as downloads…. Trent comes from that world. So I think his disappointed stems from being heavily invested in the past. For modern times, for modern numbers we’re looking great, especially for being just two months into a project.”
It’s nice to see Williams recognize that this is a long-term experiment and the early results are more encouraging than disheartening.