STRYPER's MICHAEL SWEET Weighs In On U2 Album Giveaway: 'I Think It Does Devalue Music'

September 18, 2014

Michael Sweet of Christian hard rockers STRYPER is the latest musician to comment on U2's decision to team with Apple to put the Irish rock band's new album, "Songs Of Innocence", on every single iTunes account in the world for free regardless of whether it was wanted or not.

Writing on his Facebook page, Sweet said: "Although the music world seems to be out of desperation trying to find new ways to 'market and promote' the art, unfortunately, giving it away for free (U2 was paid 100 million dollars by Apple, so I guess it really wasn't entirely free) to the consumer does raise some concerns in my mind and I'm sure with many other artists as well.

"First: Why would anyone want to continue buying music when the trend is to receive it for free in their inbox? I think it does devalue music, especially the music of all the little fish in this enormous pond.

"Second: It seems to me that the door is slowly closing and sealing for most other bands to have the same opportunities. Only a select few will see the light of these astronomical paydays and the rest will have to work even harder, only to see less fruit from their labor.

"I've never done this for the money. It was (and still is) simply for the love of music.

"Music has more value to me than I could ever express.

"Although what seems to be a 'good deed' to some (that may have even been carried out with relatively good intentions by others) is still a little disheartening to those who need to clock in earlier and clock out later than ever before just to try to pay for picks, sticks and stings.

"I hope this all works out, for the love of music..."

While 33 million of the world's 500 million iTunes users have accessed the U2 album, there have been complaints about it as well. Apple gave an online tutorial on how to remove it, while BUCKCHERRY guitarist Keith Nelson dissed the Irish supergroup for devaluing their own music.

While U2 continues to be one of the world's biggest group, the band's last effort, 2009's "No Line On The Horizon", was considered a commercial failure — although the two-year supporting tour was the highest-grossing in history.

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