Bill Curtis (Fatback Band) – August 2012

(The following newsletter is being shared with the permission of Mr. Curtis. Enjoy!)

An Old Frame with a New Picture

The new music industry in some ways is like the old music industry, but with a newer approach, that addresses today’s technology. The techie builds a whole new industry for themselves by using our music to sell their product. Think about it. The tech companies out in Silicon Valley were not in the music business, so they didn’t have the creative artist in mind when they started out (willing to bet you). I feel like if they did…why didn’t they build a way the artist could get something for use of their music? As I said, music wasn’t their thing, and please don’t get me wrong, I love all the new technology. I just want know why is it so hard to remove the third party out the picture for independent? If steaming is the next big thing… where does Indy fit in? We need our own Spotify/Mog for the small Indy’s that will pay each individual in their own account. No, Spotify is not for the small Indy’s… never was and will never be for the Indy. Ok, so why did they go to old gatekeepers and give them all that front money… (That the artist will never see)? Who are they sending royalties to? The labels, which will never pay the artist because of the way they have their account system set up (only a few of top artists will see some). There is nothing out there that I know of that musicians can get paid directly for sale of his music without going through a third party and believe me, that third party is not kicking down any doors or breaking his neck to get your music heard. What you are doing is just placing your music on their site and it just sits there. No, that’s not their job to get you heard…creating new apps for you to buy and think you getting your music heard. I’ll take that back, nobody buying That’s what it’s all about, selling you apps.

When Label was king, they use to pay to get what they wanted heard. They controlled distribution and that’s the whole key…distribution. Yes we all are on an equal playing field in a way; let me explain what I mean. I don’t care how great your music is if you can’t get it heard it ain’t worth a damn. The labels lost control when the internet came along but the net haven’t figured out how get your music heard and you get paid. And the labels are blocking and buying anything that looks like it’s getting close to getting in the marketplace. Distribution, This is where the money is and the label knows that. Why don’t you think Spotify want just come out tell us exactly how they pay? It’s because the labels are in partners with them. What they want to do is, put the old school into the new school, where they can just give us what they want us to have. No transparency.

Spotify know not to do anything that will upset their partners. Believe me if a tech company came up with an ideal how each indy artist could get paid from steaming, what I mean negotiate your own deal worldwide if they did (1) They couldn’t get the backing financially (2)if they did get money they would put them out of business, mafia style. When all the old gatekeepers are gone and out of the picture, maybe then we might see a new music industry and music people running the industry again and not techies.

If you haven’t notice, old music is out-selling new music for the first time. I wonder why, anyone have any ideas? Is it because there’s too much new music to choose from or is it because they are just making good music and not great music? Could it be that new music has too much competition with texting, video games and computers? Maybe young buyers are losing their interest in new music or could it be because the prices went down on the old catalogs. On the other hand electronic music is gaining grounds and feeling no pains. They are drawing more people than the so call big acts. Why, because of the experience. That’s what the people want; an experience, they want be in it and music can give you that when it’s done right. Go out and get caught up in a musical experience and see what I’m talking about. If it doesn’t happen then that act sucks, Oh! I didn’t mean that, I meant they are not quite ready for prime time.

Outta here! Bill is still running his mouth. Just writing what I feel and tell it how I see it! ”An Old Frame with a New Picture.”

Will be in the Uk for two shows:

November 17th
The Coronet
28 New Kent Road
London SE1 6TJ

Newcastle November 18th
Hoochie Coochie
54-56 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6SF

Places on the internet you can find Fatback Band music

For the albums back in the days:
Ace Records

For all the new music “Bill Curtis and Friends w/The Fatback Band”:
Reverb Nation


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