It’s Out There: Regarding Album Leaks

*please note that these views and opinion are my own and do not reflect those of others

I’ve put off posting this because I didn’t want to fuel the fire that is an album leak. Yeah, I know, talking about file sharing is sooo overdone. But after being asked numerous times over the past week, I realized that some people just aren’t aware and this is really the reason my tumblr exists so here it goes…. Truth is, shit happens. Sometimes people that are supposed to be discreet betrays that trust by leaking music. Then, people find it and download it. However, as much damage as leaking music does, it’s really those that talk about it that make it worse. It’s a chain reaction- the word spreads, more people download it, blog about it, host it on their tumblr’s, etc. Some of you might argue that it doesn’t matter who leaks it, someone else will and that people will download regardless.  My gripe is with the people that blatantly talk about downloading the album before the release. They rub it in other fans faces that they have the album. Some choose to wait for a reason- to listen/ see an album the way it’s mean to be heard and the way LIGHTS wants to present it to you. LIGHTS is as much of a visual artist as a musical one and spends a lot of time crafting the visuals that come along with the music. When you downloaded the album did you get that? No.

Does listening to a leaked album make you less of a fan? No, I wouldn’t say you are. But, maybe a little impatient and insensitive towards others. Being excited about an album and waiting for it to be released is part of being a fan. Half the fun is waiting anxiously for album release day, waiting for the album to come on the mail, walking into a store and finding it on the shelf, or waiting for that 100% when the album is finished being downloaded in iTunes. However, my favorite part is the collective experience of flocking to the forum or talking to your friends about hearing the album and you didn’t get that chance because you heard it early and may have ruined someone else’s experience.

Some of you may have noticed that outside of Canada, the label being listed is Last Gang Records. LIGHTS is releasing Siberia independently outside of Canada. What does this mean? It means that this album is self funded  with no support from a label for recording, touring, etc. There are a few people doing a lot. To get an idea, I’m a volunteer. I’m working on this album on my own time because I believe in it. Don’t worry, im not looking for you to pity us or feel bad for the situation. It is what it is. What I need is for you to understand.

There are people that are going to take advantage of the fact that the music is out there and see it as “free”. They might even argue that an artist makes money off of touring and merch so they don’t feel the need to buy an album. Yes, that’s how most artists make the bulk of their money but they also have to sell a lot of tickets and touring is very expensive (but I won’t get into that). Unfortunately, the music industry is a little slow and chart positions, album sales, etc. are still a very important factor. For example, if an artist doesn’t meet a certain goal or projections, it can affect how much time is spent marketing an album or the opportunities that are offered. For example, if I were a recording artist and I was expected to sell 10,000 albums and only sold 5,000 a red flag goes up. Do they want to pitch a radio station on an artist that didn’t meet projections? No. They’d spend the resources elsewhere on an artist that can sell albums. A decision like that can ruin an album.

This is my long- winded way of saying that your actions result in unintended consequences.

When I get my copy of a new album, im going to enjoy unwrapping the plastic covering, hearing the pop of the CD when it first gets removed from the case, and flipping through the artwork. Some of you are going to miss out on that experience. But, whether you downloaded the album early or plan on waiting, thank you for being a fan and listening. Either way, I hope that you will support artists like LIGHTS by valuing music because the music isn’t free but the experiences, the emotions, and memories that come with supporting an artist are! Which do you value more?