Mike Ragogna (to Roland): What advice do you have for new artists?
Roland Orzabal: The music business has changed beyond recognition. It was so much easier in those days, I think. It was still an expanding market. It was still growing like crazy and you could make money from selling hard copies. So what advice do I have? I don’t have any advice! It’s so social media oriented nowadays, and when it comes to that, I’m not the person to ask.
MR: What about from a creative perspective?
RO: Again, I listen to a lot of new bands and I’m amazed by what they do because some of it is so retro and yet it sounds so different, so fresh. They’ve absorbed everything we’ve done and really moved on.
MR: That’s an interesting observation, because it seems like as we go through another dance/electronica era, I’m hearing aspects of everything I remembered and enjoyed in the eighties and it’s back with new inflections.
RO: Exactly. It’s fantastic. It doesn’t sound tired or pastiche. There are some fantastic people out there.
MR (to Curt): What is your advice for new artists?
CS: Oh, that’s a hard one, now, because the industry’s changing so much. Now the only advice I give to any artist is “Make the best record you can and be the best live band you can be,” and that pretty much sums it up. The live band bit is important because that is becoming the primary source of income for musicians. But you have to make a great record for people to come see you live. Making great records is basically being creative and not copying anyone else, not trying to fit into any certain genre, just being creative, and if you end up making a good record and people get to hear you, then they will come see your live shows. Live music can’t be replicated on the internet. You really have to be at a show to feel it. Even if I’m watching a webcast of something, it’s not the same.
MR: I think you just put your finger on it. It went from a two dimensional medium to a three dimensional medium with social networking and having to play live and having to present music in another format other than the delivery system of a “record.”
Curt Smith: Yeah. Nobody’s really buying records anymore, it’s harder to sell when people can just pirate it, but you can’t do it with a live concert. The other side of that is it’s much cheaper to make records now. You can do it on your laptop. It’s much cheaper to make videos now, you just have to be creative and have a creative vision, so there are certain things that technology has helped with and certain ways in which it’s hindered the business. But in the end, it’s progress and you have to move with the times and live with it. I would say live music is becoming more and more important, which I don’t think is a bad thing.