During a recent interview with American Blues Scene magazine, CINDERELLA frontman Tom Keifer gave his thoughts on the subject of illegal music downloading.
"I think there's been a mindset of entitlement with a certain percentage of the population out there, but with others I don't think it's intentionally done to harm anyone," he said. "I just think that people don't think about it, you know? It's just kind of like become the accepted norm almost. I don't know how that will change; I'm just not sure. I guess through continuing to educate people and really make them realize that ultimately it affects the art and the quality of music that they're receiving.
"The general mentality not only impacts the art itself and new artists and arts development, but just in general the idea of piracy, there's more to it. It impacts four major industries.
"Everyone's so concerned about the economy, and I don't hear a lot of people in Washington talking about this, but there's four major industries impacted by piracy: music, software, literature and movies. That's a huge segment of our economy. It is. And everyone's just kind of, like, 'Fuck it.' I mean, it's like, we already have laws in the books, they're called copyright laws, it's just no one's enforcing them on the Internet because they just think the Internet is this other crazy place where laws don't apply or something.
"I don't know what they're thinking in Washington, but we have laws to stop all this, and my understanding is there's even technology, it just needs to be legislated as to who is responsible for installing it. Whether it's the servers or whatever. I've read a lot about it and it's just kind of crazy the way this bleeds into our economy, down to trucking and retailing and across the board in those four industries, it's a huge impact. Look at all the retail stores that have closed, between movies and music, it's just crazy. It's huge, I mean, it's millions of jobs there's no doubt about that."
He added: "Walk into a bookstore with a copying machine and just start copying books, and see how long they would get away with it.
"I don't think it's malicious, I don't think it's malicious on people's part, it's just become an accepted convenience to people, and I think until people realize how much it impacts our economy and how it affects jobs and how it affects the art and the artists who are trying to create this, and ultimately the quality of music and art. I think when maybe society needs to feel that impact before they make a change, you know? When artists can't afford to be artists anymore, and art suffers, and all the music and art that we're getting and literature and movies just outright suck, then maybe people will say, 'Wow, did we do this?'"
Keifer's debut solo album, "The Way Life Goes", was released in April 2013 via Merovee Records (through Warner Music Group's Independent Label Group).
In a interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, Keifer was asked if, with where the industry is now, there was any point where he struggled with the idea of whether it still made sense to put out an album vs. just putting out songs. "Well, I gotta be honest, I just didn't even think about it," he said. "I always made records, and I grew up on records. And when we started this, that was the idea. You know, over the 10-year period that we made this record, we weren't thinking about markets, trends or technology.
"To be honest, we went through three different recording formats during the making of this record. That's how fast technology and trends were moving. So it went from two-inch tape to one of the first digital RADAR machines and then into Pro Tools. We literally saw three different technologies come and go, and we just weren't thinking about any of it. Obviously, you want your record to be released, but you can't think about that when you're making a record. You've just gotta think about [the record]. It's why we produced it independently of a label, with the idea of shopping it to a label eventually, because you know, every artist wants their music to be released and heard. But during the making of it, we didn't think about any of that. [We were just focused] on making the music."