MONSTER MAGNET Mainman: 'It's A Bummer When Art Doesn't Pay'

Brendan Crabb of Australia's Loud magazine recently conducted an interview with MONSTER MAGNET mainman Dave Wyndorf. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Loud: You've remarked in recent interviews that "Mastermind" is a more complete and less patched together album than (2007's) "4-Way Diablo". Can you elaborate on that?

Wyndorf: Yeah, I mean "4-Way Diablo" was… This album was written in my usual style, which is, I sit there and I write an album, where I write the whole thing all at once. "4-Way Diablo" was not that, it was pieces of this and pieces of that. It was bringing a bunch of pieces together and trying to make it into an album. It's tough to say (if) one way is worse than the other, but this album was a lot more focused. Much more focused.

Loud: The new album seems to be receiving some of the best reviews MONSTER MAGNET has had in some time. Are you at a point in your career where you just don't care about reading reviews at all?

Wyndorf: Well, you know, they always mean something to me if they're written intelligently. Hopefully, reviews are written by people who know music and love music. So when they're good and they're from smart people, I love it. Even when they're bad and they're from smart people, I don't mind it. The only time I mind is when they're bad by stupid people (laughs). There's a lot of stupid reviews out there on the Internet… The quality of writing is in peril right now. It's having a hard time… Reviewers who don't know what they're talking about. Luckily for me, I don't really get that many bad reviews, so I've been very, very lucky.

Loud: The Internet has given everyone a vehicle to express their opinion, no matter how ill-informed it may be. Go back a few decades and people would take reviews in music publications very seriously and would place a great deal of trust in certain writers. Do you think that's almost completely eradicated now?

Wyndorf: You know, I think in a lot of ways it's better now. It does give people a vehicle to express their opinions. The downside of it is there's not a lot of education behind some of the reviewers. You know what I mean? It's obviously stupid people talking. Basically, what they like to do is pretend that they know, when they're obviously really misinformed about a lot of the facts. But you can't have it all. In the old days, you had a lot of pretty good writers, but then again, they kind of lorded over the public with words. That doesn't happen anymore; now the public lords over the public. There is a certain lack of finesse in a lot of the writing which goes on. But it's very democratic now and I don't know if I like democratic writing (laughs). I like snobs (laughs).

Loud: The Internet has obviously had such a huge effect on record sales as well. MONSTER MAGNET come from a time well before that, when bands could still sell millions of albums. How do you feel about the new generation of bands who might be as popular as say, MONSTER MAGNET once were but won't sell a fraction of the number of albums and will find it difficult to make a living from playing music?

Wyndorf: It's a bummer. It's a bummer when art doesn't pay; you know what I mean? I know that may sound like a contradiction in terms, but it's hard in the modern age to educate young people to the fact that music doesn't come from nowhere. Music comes from people, people make music and they really, really try hard. It's not a shame that the Internet exists and it's not a shame that people share and it's not a shame that people even steal. It's just the way it is. The shame of the fact is that there a lot of people who really don't know what it takes to write a song. They just don't know and they don't care. They think there's like a fountain of music; you just turn this fountain on and music comes out for free. I think there's a big disconnect in what people think they deserve and what they get. Unfortunately, it's creating more music, but more bad music (laughs). It's creating a lot of shit. The real serious people, who are serious about their music, are very, very scared to make a life in music now, because you can't get paid. I would predict that there will be less good music around ten years from now and (even) less good music in 20 years from now. I really don't think it's going to get better for a long time. People would argue, they'd say, "No, no, no, an artist is going to do what they're going to do". That's bullshit — I know artists. Artists are not in this game just to fucking be sacrificial lambs. They want money — they want to live. I know a lot of people can't deal with this stuff at all; they'd just rather go do something else. I think it's showing up on the charts and I think it's showing up below the charts and it's coming up on kind of a transparent… where there's a big gas bubble between the old classic-rock bands and new bands. When that bubble pops, there's going to be nothing good around for a long time.

Read the entire interview from Loud magazine.

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