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Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe to Apple Music: ‘F— These Satanic Corporations’

Newcombe, whose colorful personality was captured in the 2004 documentary D.I.G., took a dig of his own at Apple which he described as "satanic" in a string of tweets.

Brian Jonestown Massacre frontman Anton Newcombe has joined the growing chorus of disapproval for Apple’s new streaming service by claiming the computer giant threatened to remove his band’s music from iTunes if he didn’t agree to Apple Music’s three-month royalty-free trial.

Newcombe, whose colorful personality was captured in the 2004 documentary DIG!, took a dig of his own at Apple’s negotiating tactics and accused the company of “satanic” behavior in a string of tweets. 

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He wrote that Apple “has a new deal they offered me: they said we want to stream your music free for 3 months..I said what if I say no, and they said ‘we’ll take your music off itunes.’ hard ball? fuck these satanic corporations.”

He added, “They shouldn’t threaten people to work for free. It’s not ok for these fucking idiots to decide art has no value.”

It’s an opinion that a growing cadre of independent companies and artists share in the wake of the new streaming model’s controversial decision to not pay royalties during free, three-month trials.

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On Wednesday, Australia’s independent music companies trade body AIR voiced its concerns over the royalty-free arrangement and told its members it wouldn’t endorse the contract on offer. The trade body also noted “many of our members have already expressed very real concerns about the consequences” of signing on the dotted line. U.S. indies body A2IM issued an alert last week to its own membership in which it noted iTunes download royalties could be cannibalized by Apple Music and it urged members to “not feel rushed to sign Apple’s current offer.”

Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon has told his Twitter followers he’s unimpressed with Apple Music (though he gave glowing praise to Spotify) while Beggars Group chairman Martin Mills’ has spoken about what he sees as a raw deal for indies.

Apple execs have refuted claims that artists and labels have been bullied into offering their catalog for the streaming service. In an interview with the Sunday Times, Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, stated: “We’re not telling customers that want to buy that they’re doing the wrong thing, just like we’re not telling artists that want to make their music available for sale that it’s a bad thing.”

Read Newcombe’s tweets below.