METAL CHURCH guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof has told Canada's The Metal Voice in a new interview that he has grown to appreciate the dramatic changes in the music business in the last couple of decades, with the massive expansion of the Internet, the collapse of physical sales and the emergence of on-demand streaming services.
"I really like the new music business," he said (hear audio below). "There's more good about the new music business than there is bad. And it took me a couple of years to get my head around this, but there really is. Now it's more direct artist to fans. Us old guys can still have a career legitimately and put out records, and things like that, and it's not the 'he-lives, he-dies' thing that the record companies used to be. The big bucks aren't there anymore and the big sales aren't there anymore, but you don't need to, because your expenses aren't nearly as much. So there's a lot of good upsides. The downside, obviously, is the piracy. But we still get to have a career, 'cause you can bypass… It's direct artist to fans, like I said, and that makes it possible for us to continue as long as people still show up at our shows and still wanna buy our records, or download it."
Vanderhoof also talked about METAL CHURCH's days as a major-label act in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when significant recording costs had to be recouped by the record companies before they paid the artists any royalties.
"The downside of it is suddenly, after a period of time, you find out how the business works, which, in our particular case, wasn't working in our favor," he recalled. "Because then you get the management thing and then you get the big-label thing and then you realize the word… you finally, suddenly learn the definition of the word 'recoup.' And then the light bulb starts going on about how this works and then you realize that there's no way you can make any kind of money unless you break huge, like METALLICA or something, you break big. Other than that, you're operating in debt and you're never gonna get out. That's also part of the reason why I wanted to kind of recuse myself from that part and learn to make records [as a producer], 'cause I saw the pecking order and saw how the payment structure worked — how everybody gets paid first and the band gets paid last."
METAL CHURCH's 12th full-length studio album, "Damned If You Do", will be released on December 7 via Rat Pak Records. The effort will also be available in Europe via Nuclear Blast and Japan via King Records. The latest release is the follow-up to 2016's "XI", which saw the return of legendary frontman Mike Howe.