You won’t find either of the Black Keys’ last two albums on Spotify and their beefs with the streaming service have been well-documented. Drummer Patrick Carney hasn’t softened his stance, as evidenced by an Oct. 15 interview with The Seattle Times. But it wasn’t all about Spotify; he also had some harsh words for U2’s Apple-sanctioned Songs of Innocence extravaganza.
Carney opined that U2 “devalued their music completely” by dropping it into every iTunes user’s library for free. “(It) sends a huge mixed message to bands… that are just struggling to get by. I think that they were thinking it’s super generous of them to do something like that.”
The general consensus has felt more violated by U2’s alleged intrusiveness in the whole gimmick, though given Carney’s insistence on making a living off music, his stance makes sense.
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Spotify was his next target:
“My whole thing about music is: if somebody’s making money then the artist should be getting a fair cut of it. The owner of Spotify is worth something like 3 billion dollars…he’s richer than Paul McCartney and he’s 30 and he’s never written a song.”
In a 2012 Rolling Stone interview, Carney called Spotify board member (and Napster founder) Sean Parker an “asshole,” saying, “That guy has $2 billion that he made from figuring out ways to steal royalties from artists, and that’s the bottom line… the idea of a streaming service, like Netflix for music, I’m not totally against it. It’s just we won’t put all of our music on it until there are enough subscribers for it to make sense.”
The Keys are taking a brief break in their North American tour, with an Oct. 24 date in Minneapolis up next.