Exactly. Well‚ how long‚ if it keeps staying at this level‚ how long do you think you could keep doing it for?
I don't know. That's just such an intertwined question; it's so much more. It depends‚ because you've gotta ask yourself‚ well… you know‚ it's tough to have one or the other. It's tough to just have… nothing stays the same. I think it probably is a moot question. People either lose interest and you go‚ "This isn't cool‚ it's not paying off‚ it's not going anywhere‚" or whatever. "Let's just get days off and have fun and do it on the weekend once in a while." Or it moves forward and continues to be successful and stuff. I think it's sort of rare that you just stay at the exact same level for 10 years. [laughter]
Howlin Rain‚ it looks like you guys are doing some Black Crowes shows in the fall?
Yeah. See‚ that's just fun‚ you know? Things are already organized for you. I just came off tour‚ so maybe I'm giving it a bit of a bad rap. There's some nights that are nice‚ when you're sitting around a dinner table in Barcelona with a giant spread of food‚ toasting your buddies in the band‚ and you're like‚ "All right‚ here's our night off. This is the life‚" you know? I mean‚ that's pretty nice‚ but it's just… it's very hard work. There's something physically and soul crushing about it that's kind of strange.
I understand. So you guys are going to Europe in a few weeks‚ right?
Has Howlin Rain played over in Europe yet?
Yeah‚ actually we did do a tour over in Europe -- England and some Scandinavian dates. It was when originally they thought that Magnificent Fiend was gonna come out at a certain time‚ and it ended coming out quite a bit later‚ but we kept the dates. So we rolled around there. They were cool. Some of them were pretty fun.
Were you well received over there?
Yeah‚ you know‚ for having the first record out… it was kind of a weird time to go‚ because the first record had been out for a couple of years‚ and even the press hadn't kicked in about the new record yet. So‚ yeah‚ it was actually a really good reception for that. It was super fun‚ and I think these shows are going to be a little more well received. Because there's press going on and an album release‚ something to tour around.
So do you feel like you're sort of at the start of something new? The start of a new potential with a new band maybe taking off‚ or do you feel like it's another chapter and page in the life of playing music?
Well‚ a little bit of both. I mean‚ it's healthy for anything you do to feel like you keep rolling over new chapters and making changes. And I just made a deal with a new record label‚ and working with some new people in an environment where I haven't worked before‚ and kind of toying around with a little bit different level. But really‚ for me‚ not that much. I mean‚ in the years when we worked with Sub Pop‚ they were a really high-powered record label and stuff‚ and I got plenty of a taste of working with them through high-power distribution and larger indie budgets and stuff like that. So‚ I don't know. All that stuff aside‚ yeah… if you're looking to last and leave a legacy like that‚ it's all just chapters. And you just try to make this one as positive and artistically rich as the last one or the one before. Hopefully‚ you make it richer despite the ups and downs of business and all those complications.
Yeah. Where do you stand on the new modern digital music age? Do you feel like people should have full access to your music or what?
You mean free?
[laughs]Yeah‚ somewhat free. How do you feel about people getting your music free?
Well‚ it means I have to spend a lot more time out on the road to make a living‚ and I told you how I feel about the road. So‚ you know‚ not that nice. [laughter] I mean‚ how would it be if I went to somebody's work‚ where they make 12 bucks an hour‚ and tricked them into working for four hours a day for nothing? Kind of like‚ "Yeah clock in! Oh‚ the clock was broken for the first four hours‚ ha‚ ha. You know‚ it happens every day." I still work‚ I still do that‚ it's my job. But they're like‚ "Yeah‚ but I tricked you. I got it out of you for free‚ and you can't stop me‚" you know? And there's laws against it‚ and there's laws against your employer getting free hours out of you‚ but if you're on salary or something‚ they do it anyway‚ and don't you feel a little bit burned about that?
In a way‚ I think that people feel like when they take the music‚ they're sticking it to the major labels and sticking it to the corporations‚ because those are the ones that earn or whatever. And they're like‚ "Yeah‚ we're taking it out of their hands‚" but‚ in a way‚ I think it hurts the artist‚ too. I mean‚ the music industry's already set up to fuck the artists over seven ways from Sunday. The rules of this industry for how the artists should be protected and paid‚ those rules were made by the fuckin' crooks. And they're still in place. There's not really a union. It's just still so squirrelly‚ that for the public to find one more way to fuck over a paycheck for a fuckin' artist‚ who most of them are fuckin' starving anyway‚ and then to think that they've made a big blow towards the corporate industry and taking the power back into their hands‚ I think it's a little misguided.
Have I ever downloaded something illegally? Of course I have! There were times when I didn't have music‚ and I was like‚ fuck it. I mean‚ I didn't have any money. I was between jobs or whatever it is‚ but I still need my music. I've gotta listen to this stuff. If I wanna write music‚ I wanna play music‚ I've gotta have it coming to me. And I fucking took it just like everybody else. But‚ at the same time‚ there came a point where I was like‚ fuck this. People get a list of music they want‚ or they get an album in their head that they want‚ and they go to it‚ and now you only have to you go online and get it. And even on iTunes it's kind of true‚ too‚ where you only get what you desire; you only get what your imagination knew or what your knowledge was capable of. You're like‚ I want this Leonard Cohen album‚ and I went to it and I got it and now it's in my collection.
And now I don't need to hear any other Leonard Cohen.
If you go to a record store‚ you'd go and flipping through Leonard Cohen‚ you'd go‚ "Oh‚ fuck‚ man -- Captain Beyond!" You know‚ you pull it out and you're like‚ "Dude‚ three dollars!" You go a little further and you're like‚ "Comas‚ oh my God‚ I've heard of this record‚ but I've never heard it. This is fucking amazing." You take that home. And then you get your Leonard Cohen record and you go home‚ and the Leonard Cohen record‚ you just shelve it‚ 'cause it wasn't that good anyways or whatever‚ and you're like‚ "This fuckin' Comas record changed my life." So I give you Exhibit A as to what you're missing out on by taking chance out of your life. By compartmentalizing your passions in one more fuckin' way. Anyways‚ that's that.
And believe me‚ too‚ if the people are fucking over the corporations and are fucking over the labels‚ you're just gonna turn that fucking back around on… The employees are the artists‚ you know? At the end‚ some big-time corporation isn't going to allow the sting to keep hitting them in the head. What they do is they fire 20‚000 employees. Or they fucking give artists really fucked-up record deals; the deals get worse and worse. Instead of getting big advances‚ you get small advances. Instead of getting a good royalty rate‚ you get a smaller one. Instead of getting publishing‚ you get less publishing or whatever.