Saddle Creek Liz Powell is more than just the creative genius behind Montreal…
- Posted on Sep 29th 2010 3:30PM by Melody Lau
Powell is trying to explain the misconception of the level of success most people fail to understand -- something she expressed recently through a series of heated status updates posted on the band's Facebook page about a month ago. Angry at the amount of illegal downloads that occurred around the release of their latest record, 'Cloak and Cipher,' Powell wrote:
To all you lovely people who are ripping off the album, contrary to what y'all may believe, I live in a rented apartment, have no car, my 2 visas are maxed out so I can float the band until we start making money. Not very glamorous, eh? Anyways, you are definitely not helping our situation. Food for thought.
"I kind of see it as mass mob lynching," she says. "Some people just see it as a shift in paradigm, but I see it as you stealing right from my pocket. If you don't pay for the record, how do we expect the next record to be made -- it's just simple economics."
To Powell's surprise, though, comments immediately piled underneath the initial post online with responses and emotions mixed on the topic of file sharing.
"A 17-year-old girl from Ireland thanked me for enlightening her because she said she just grew up in the generation where she would never think of buying music; it's just not part of their language or understanding," Powell shares. "She just believed that Land of Talk existed on her iPod, and whenever she brought them up that's when they existed, and when she didn't, we're just a rock band with nice cars and nice houses."
Musicians also showed support, thanking Powell for the post. Downloading may be part of our everyday activities, but Powell adds that "people in the music industry talk about it and we're just all confused."
As for those who jumped on the defensive, Powell brushes them off as the real culprits and subjects of her post. "I'm not militantly against people downloading music. I'm not trying to make anyone feel guilty unless you want to feel guilty. I just wanted perspective," says Powell. "Those who were defensive are usually those who feel guilty."
In a state where artists are still wrapping their heads around the conundrum of the internet and the struggle to make money in an era where downloading happens as frequently as brushing your teeth, Powell mulls over the worth of an artist.
"What's the dollar value of an album? I don't know, how many hours go into it?" Powell asks. "I broke it down, and I probably get paid eight cents an hour in this current climate, whereas, if I was born 15 years earlier, I could have been retired and have two Great Danes sitting here with diamond collars."
"We're just rolling with the punches," she says. "Money doesn't just grow on guitars, though."