ANTHRAX's SCOTT IAN On Finally Embracing SPOTIFY: 'If You Don't Adapt, Then You Don't Survive'
April 25, 2018
Scott Ian says that Spotify has "worked out really well" for ANTHRAX even though he was initially against the streaming-music service.
While Spotify has gotten a lot of criticism for how little it pays artists for their music, many musicians have since have embraced the platform. Once one of the most recognizable and vocal artists speaking out against how streaming services treat musical artists, pop superstar Taylor Swift recently tied up with the company to release a video.
In 2015, the ANTHRAX guitarist joined Swift in speaking out against Spotify when he said that "we should be being paid more for our streams" and claiming that services like Spotify had "really devalued music."
But now, in an interview with Spain's Resurrection Fest, Ian revealed that he has changed his mind about Spotify, calling the service "a good tool for all bands" to have their music heard.
"I wasn't a fan of streaming music initially, because I'm in a band and I felt like, 'All right, well, I don't like this idea because the bands are getting ripped off,'" Ian admitted (see video below). "I still feel like the bands are getting ripped off, but at the same time, I definitely enjoy… I love being able to be in my house and basically have any song ever right on my phone, and I can go on Spotify and I can have it streaming all through my house anytime.
Adding that Spotify is "a good tool for all bands," Scott explained that streaming music "doesn't make up for a loss of record sales," but that consumers have moved their listening online, making the the streaming model the way of the future.
"If you don't adapt, then you don't survive," he said. "It's evolution, and that's really what it is. And in the last few years, we've adapted and we've accepted what's going on in the world. You can't constantly fight a battle against things you're never going to win and have no control over. So you adapt and you accept it and you figure out, 'What's the best way this is gonna work for us? And how do we use this new tool to best represent ANTHRAX?' And Spotify has actually worked out really well for us in the last few years — especially on the last record. Because we really embraced it on 'For All Kings'. And kids discover us on Spotify and then they go buy a ticket to come see us. And then they're a fan for life once they see the band live."
Last month, Scott's ANTHRAX bandmate, drummer Charlie Benante, made headlines when he said that "Apple had a big hand in destroying music" nearly 20 years ago when the music business refused to adapt to the changes brought about by the Internet. "The record companies had a big hand in it, because they got greedy," he said. "The artists got greedy when they felt, 'Oh, I can get a three-album deal for 75 million dollars,' but at the end of the day, if they're taking all that money, what happens to the lesser-known bands who are striving to become something? Where does that money come from? I mean, it was just such a mess, and it really dug a hole for itself. And now who is paying for it? Everybody."
Issued in February 2016, "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. According to Billboard, ANTHRAX was previously in the top 10 back in 1993 with "Sound Of White Noise", which debuted and peaked at No. 7. "For All Kings" also gave ANTHRAX its largest sales week for an album since "Sound Of White Noise"'s second week on sale (40,000; it debuted with 62,000).
"For All Kings" was ANTHRAX's first studio album since 2011's "Worship Music" (No. 12 peak with 28,000 sold in its first week) and follows the 2013 covers set "Anthems" (No. 52; 8,000 sold in its debut frame).