Neil Young Slams Digital Music Industry
Neil Young slammed the leaders of the digital music era for creating an environment “where the artist is paid last, if at all.”
Music-News.com reported that the singer-songwriter posted a letter on his Neil Young Archives website, sharing his thoughts after listening to Broken Arrow, his 1996 album with Crazy Horse.
“Young artists today -- great authors, songwriters and musicians at the beginning of their creative output -- are challenged to make ends meet in the digital world, a world where the artist is paid last, if at all, by the Tech Giants,” he wrote. “Broken Arrow is soulful. Real. Not trying to be anything it wasn’t. I was beginning to see that hits were overrated and that hit-makers were falling like flies.”
Young quoted his lyrics from “Music Arcade” – “There’s a comet in the sky tonight / Makes me feel like I’m alright / I’m movin’ pretty fast / For my size” – noting they were “kind of how I felt at the time.” “Today, in the age of FaceBook, Google, and Amazon, it’s hard to tell how a new and growing musical artist could make it in the way we did," he said. "The Tech Giants have figured out a way to use all the great music of everyone from all time, without reporting an artist’s number of plays or paying a fucking cent to the musicians. Aren’t they great companies! It makes you wonder where the next generation of artists will come from. How will they survive?”
He then turned his ire directly on Google. “‘Don’t Be Evil.’ That was Google’s corporate motto as they directed users to pirate sites to get artists’ creations and not pay," he said. "Amazing tech breakthrough! Meanwhile, they reap the bucks from ads people read while listening to music made by the artists. Google just changed their motto to ‘Do the Right Thing,’ but haven’t changed anything else as they continue to rip off the artist community, building their wealth on music’s back and paying nothing to the artists.”
Nothing that Google now owned YouTube, Young asked, “Guess who’s next?”
Young has pioneered his own digital developments in an attempt to maximize the audience experience and said that his Archives were “moving into a future that is really different from what we have now.”"It will not be easy," he noted. "We are going to break a few rules and give you what you want.”
The veteran artists recently revealed details of the archival album Roxy – Tonight’s the Night, which will be released in April.