Clutch frontman Neil Fallon says piracy probably helped grow his band's fan base.
He believes illegal downloads expanded Clutch’s reach and in turn brought more people to shows. As long as those who illegally download their music then come to gigs and buy a t-shirt, he says he “all right with that.”
Fallon tells Pop Culture Madness: “In the 90s we had the backing of every major label on planet Earth. We got signed and dropped and signed and dropped. Nothing ever really happened for Clutch, we had very small shows — even if we got played on the radio.
“It was only when people started pirating music that our shows got bigger. I mean I can’t say that for a fact, but I hazard a guess that if someone liked the band they heard for free, even though it was illegal, then they came to our show and bought a t-shirt and has become a lifelong fan. I’m all right with that.”
But Fallon does have a problem with a different form of modern technology and how it relates to music. He weighed in on the issue of mobile phones at gigs, saying “turn it off.”
He adds: “Music recorded is a static thing. Every time you listen to Four Sticks by Led Zeppelin, it’s gonna sound the same, but if you have the opportunity to see a band, that live experience — unless they use a lot of pre-recorded tracks — is gonna be a one-time event. And if you’re spending your time holding a phone, you’re not participating in it.
“At least that’s the way I feel. I kind of treat concerts the way I do a dinner – turn your phone off. I don’t get so irritated from the perspective of the stage. If someone wants to do that, fine, but personally, I remember concerts much better from the 80s and 90s than I do a lot of these with the phone.”