We're all well aware that streaming services pay artists next to nothing, especially when some of that payout is going to labels and middlemen. In an interview with Rock Feed, Corey Taylor details why that's effectively killing smaller bands and forcing everyone to tour as much as they possibly can.
"My problem now, as it always has been, is that the artist is still not paid fairly," said Taylor as transcribed by Metal Injection. "That's the good thing about physical copies – you have to compensate them for the work that they do. A lot of that money goes back to recouping the money that made [the music]. Streaming doesn't do that unless you negotiate your contract in a certain way. It's doing deals with devils that a lot of people maybe don't even understand.
"It's the old addage where if fans feel like they've been done dirty, they yell at you like 'well I pay your salary.' No you don't, because if you try to get everything for free and you get it from [streaming services] – the [streaming services] don't pay the artist. They pay the fucking label. The label then doesn't have to pay us, and that's one of the reasons I want that legislation to go through [ed. note: it appears Taylor is talking about House Concurrent Resolution 102].
"Because then maybe younger bands can have a fighting chance to fucking stick around. Maybe a younger band will have time to develop and become something they couldn't before. Maybe bands can have their music make money for them instead of having to spend 350 fucking days on the road, so they completely lose their home life. That's the problem.
"Streaming, for better or for fucking worse, is driving the little guy out of business. People can sit there and go 'well that's easy for you to say.' That's why I'm saying it. I'm not making fucking shit from streaming. You have to stream billions to make hundreds. Do you know how fucking sad that is? It's insane and it fucks over people who put their blood, sweat, and tears into this."
He continued: "There's a reason we have to stay on the road as much as we do. It's because we don't make any fucking money unless we stay on the road, because the chips are stacked against us."
Taylor's point about artists not being able to properly develop their sound is certainly a huge issue, as is the home-work balance. Of course some folks will always have that "grind until you drop" mentality, but it's certainly not the healthiest way to approach art (or your own health and wellbeing).
Taylor also touched on merch cuts, who like every other musician talking about it, thinks they're complete bullshit.
"What a lot of people don't realize is that the venues make them hand their shit over. A lot of venues – and you can fucking quote me on this, those bastards – won't even let you sell anything until you give them a percentage of something they didn't have a fucking thing to fucking do with in the first fucking place."