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Nikki Sixx(Motley Crüe) on dowloading

Dr Rock: What do you make of free music downloads?

Nikki Sixx: I think it's wonderful. I like anything that's viral like that, I call it viral marketing, it spreads. Anything that spreads is good. It passes the word, you know. If we have to depend upon marketing companies to spread our message or our passion or our love then we're depending on a short stretch of time. Hence albums come out, you hear about them for six weeks and they dissapear. It's either made enough money for us to invest into the next project it hasn't and now we're going to invest in this new thing. For them it's all numbers and graphs and I can't live like that. When bands try to stop the very thing that started music in the first place which was in our case or in Tracii's case "Have you heard of this band called The Germs? Here's a cassette I made you. Have you heard of this fucking band called Aerosmith? Look at this picture I cut out of Creem magazine." And they made a fuckin' cassette, you know, and it had Kiss and Aerosmith and Rush on it. And I was like "what the fuck are you listening to and where do I get that?" And you'd go to the store "do you have material by a band called Aerosmith?" and they're like "who??" And there's 20 other kids from our highschool going there and they'd go "you better order 2 records."

Tracii Guns: That's how M�tley Cr�e started in L.A., they had a programme on Kenny T, it was a local music show. Everybody knew that M�tley Cr�e was gonna be on there but no one had really heard them yet. They'd sort of played the Kooky's and the Starwood, that was it. And when they played 'Live Wire' on the radio, everybody at my highschool recorded it on cassette. Whoever was cool had it in their cars, you know. And that was it. The downloading thing, all it is is a revolution.

Nikki Sixx: It's a revolution. It's the fans taking over the business. One time we found this posting on the Brides' messageboard - "I can't believe the Brides were stupid enough to put their songs on the internet before the album was released. I thought to myself "wow, this sounds like a guy that should work in a record company." Everybody knew about the Brides Of Destruction before the album came out. We didn't have a record company, we didn't have marketing, we didn't have press, nothing. It was all off the internet. Only. Gene Simmons said to me "There's only about 1200 people that matter to the internet." Well, OK, so let's just say that's true. There's 1200 people in 100 countries. That's a lot better than Tracii getting a cassette of 'Live Wire' and giving it to his friend Joe who gave it to his girlfriend Cindy. That was only in Los Angeles. Imagine if you could do that in 120 countries! It's fucking wonderful, man! People have heard of this band way before they ever heard of M�tley Cr�e and L.A. Guns. Way before. Because of that we're getting feedback, what it is that's working about the band, that helps us to become aware of ourselves, to become a band.

Tracii Guns: Do you know what else is interesting about it is that if I was a guy in M�tley Cr�e, we sold our records. They're sold. People are downloading our already published music, we're already making our money on it. We don't need to worry about that. So I think maybe they're in a unique position to be relying on this huge amount of fans to buy the product. We need them to buy the new product but that's called fan support. If our fans are downloading the music online, 20 percent of those people are still gonna buy our record. OK, so Brides Of Destruction are absolutely in favour of downloads.

Nikki Sixx: The other thing is, how can you be angry or agressive towards the very people who are only just passionate because they love your music? An example would be, without being insulting to Metallica, the people that were dying to get Metallica downloads are the very core people who love them the most. It wasn't millions of people and their next album would only sell 80 copies. Those people were like "have you heard this new fucking jello of this new Metallica song?" And then someone comes out and says "those people are a bunch of fucking shits, a bunch of assholes and thieves." I feel bad now and then they feel bad too. "What the fuck are you doing?"

Tracii Guns: New artists make most of their money on radio publishing and if people are downloading music, they still get their music played on the radio. And if people are downloading music and like it they're gonna request their songs on the radio. It's great marketing.

Nikki Sixx: It's all good, I love it.

The original interview can be found here:

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