ANTHRAX's CHARLIE BENANTE Says YouTube's Business Model Is Based On 'Stealing'

August 27, 2016

In a brand new interview with Fangoria, ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante spoke about how the importance of making music videos has changed in the three decades since the band's inception. He said: "I don't think there is that real urgency to do a video in the way it once was. I mean, when you were doing a record, you were already picking like two or three songs that were going to be your videos. The video was basically gonna be this huge marketing tool that would shoot your record sales from ten copies to ten thousand copies. It's not like that anymore, because the whole world has changed. The business model has changed completely. Basically, the floor has dropped out. There really is no other way of marketing your record like the old-school way. Now you have to think of other ways to reach people."

He continued: "The problem with YouTube is it's based on, you know… how do I put this? Basically stealing. Basically, YouTube is taking things that already existed and not paying for it, yet profiting from it.

"I remember the days of early rap and they could throw as many samples of as many songs as they wanted to and no one stopped it until someone said, 'What a minute. I'm not getting paid for the song that I created and you built a song around.' They stopped it. Now, the same thing that happened with that needs to happen with this. It needs to be policed and it needs to be stopped.

"My whole thing is, people who do this… you steal this… you steal that… whatever… what happens if the tables were turned and you go to work every day but your paycheck is deducted 75% and it is just given away. How would you feel?"

Benante also talked about how autograph signings and/or private performances and access to soundchecks have become a revenue producer for bands like ANTHRAX on the road, either through sponsorships, ticket bundle upsells, or VIP programs orchestrated by promoters, venues, or private entities. He said: "In the past, we'd have time to kind of explore the city or country that we were in. Nowadays, I don't really get the luxury to do that because I have to be at the venue to do a meet-and-greet and to do signings and to do this… to do that. It costs money to tour. You have to pay for a bus and so many other things that factor into it. At the end of a tour, you look at the spreadsheet, you see the columns and you're, like, 'Jesus Christ! What the fuck?' It's a hard business to be in. In the past, it was hard, but now this business has almost stopped."

NINE INCH NAILS mainman Trent Reznor and MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx have both criticized YouTube in recent weeks over its royalty payments to artists for streaming their videos, which is considered not as satisfactory or fair as those of Apple Music and Spotify.

ANTHRAX's latest album, "For All Kings" sold 34,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 9 on The Billboard 200 chart.

ANTHRAX will join forces with SLAYER and DEATH ANGEL this fall for a seven-week North American tour. The dates start in Cleveland on September 9 and will hit both major and secondary markets across the continent.

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