Pink Floyd member Roger Waters is the latest in a string of artists to slam Silicon Valley executives for being “rogues and thieves” because of the way they have reshaped the music industry, reported Rolling Stones.
“I feel enormously privileged to have been born in 1943 and not 1983,” Waters told The Times.
Criticising executives of some of the world’s high-tech corporations, he said, “To have been around when there was a music business and the takeover by Silicon Valley hadn’t happened and, in consequence, you could still make a living writing and recording songs and playing them to people.” He added, “When this gallery of rogues and thieves had not yet injected themselves between the people, who aspire to be creative, and their potential audience, and steal every cent anybody ever made.”
Waters is among the increasing group of artists, who have voiced their disregard for music streaming services, such as Spotify, due to the low pay-per-stream they offer to the artists.
“The amounts these services pay per stream is minuscule — their idea being that if enough people use the service, those tiny grains of sand will pile up,” wrote Scottish musician and former Talking Heads band member, David Byrne.
Even Waters’ Pink Floyd bandmate, drummer Nick Mason, faulted Apple and questioned how they had distributed U2’s album Songs of Innocence.
“Look, U2 are a great band, and Bono’s an extraordinary individual, so this isn’t an anti-U2 tirade,” Mason said. “But it highlights a vital aspect of the whole idea of music in the 21st century. What’s also interesting is that Apple seems to have gotten off scot-free. No one’s blaming them. Apple has done great things, but it has also contributed to the devaluation process [of music].”
Ruling out a possible Pink Floyd reunion in the near future, Waters stated that it was “out of the question” after the band had clarified that The Endless River would be their final studio album.
“Life, after all, gets shorter and shorter the closer you get to the end of it and time becomes more and more precious and, in my view, it should be entirely devoted to doing the things you want to do. One can’t look backwards,” said Waters.