DEF LEPPARD Guitarist: Music Piracy Is Not A Bad Thing For Bands Like Us

Dana Feldman of Beatweek magazine recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Beatweek: The music industry has changed profusely due to the Internet over the last several years. Do you feel that it is easier or more difficult to make it these days as an artist?

Vivian: It is completely different now than when I started. The Internet has definitely opened doors and leveled the playing field for musicians. There is really no filter now, which also means that there is a lot of crap. You really have to hunt for the good stuff.

Beatweek: Your thoughts on all of the new technology now available?

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Vivian: Technology has made it much easier to make and manipulate music. Studio-driven, machine-driven music does not always transcend into being a good live act. Many current acts are great live, but many cannot cut it live. The music is not organic.

Beatweek: The In your opinion, are these changes then damaging to new artists?

Vivian: These are very difficult times for new artists. Back in the day, a hit song could really seep into a person's DNA with radio and MTV. A hit today is not the same as a hit twenty years ago. Now there is so much competition, it is very hard to reach the people. The music scene is so overly saturated. There are no gatekeepers like there used to be.

Beatweek: The solution?

Vivian: Live music. Live music is the last frontier. This is why I personally love to play in front of a live audience. I started by playing live shows and immediately loved it. There is just no feeling like the instant satisfaction of real music in real time in front of real people. Nothing is greater than that type of instant gratification.

Beatweek: One more issue that the Internet has created is piracy. Your thoughts on this?

Vivian: Now, this is just my personal opinion not a DEF LEPPARD opinion. Many people may think this sounds crass, but again, just my personal opinion. I don't necessarily think of music piracy as a bad thing for bands like us. It is very hard on new bands, however. But, for us it has brought us younger fans. The Internet is not a bad thing in this way. I know there are kids out there who have our entire catalogue on their iPods, and I am pretty sure they didn't all pay for it. But, maybe those same kids will buy a ticket and come to a concert.

Beatweek: So, piracy for a band like DEF LEPPARD may not be a bad thing, but for new artists, this can obviously cause some problems.

Vivian: Absolutely which is why I made sure to say for bands like us it is not so bad. We do not expect to sell a lot of records, we are just thankful to have people listening to our music. That is more important than having people pay for it. It will monetize itself later down the line.

Read the entire interview from Beatweek magazine.

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