Toronto Mike

Another Interview With Custom

A Microphone

I posted my Interview with Custom last month but I conducted a second interview with him for Smells Like Sour.  Here it is in case you missed it over there.

Q: What do you think of "illegal" music downloads and the lawsuits by the RIAA against music fans in the U.S.?
A: i think that guys who host gigantic servers full of music and film to give out for free should be dealt with. this is different than fans sharing songs they love. that is an ancient tradition which is beautiful. from the sixties and seventies when people would gather in dorm rooms to listen to whole new albums together, to mix tapes, to campfire like singalongs. where does one draw the line. hey mister was downloaded millions of times. i'm glad people are enjoying the song, but....

Q: Do you think a new business model will emerge, one in which gives the artist control (and ownership) of the creative product?
A: Artist's can and have been able to control their product forever. I don't know why everyone is whining. If you want to make your shit like we all do at your home studio and then put it on the web or burn cds for your friends etc. you can. If you want to be on the radio and mtv and get to people around the world you need someone to spend money for you. that's the record company. in what business does someone do all that for you and not have ownership and control? hopefully there will be new models coming out of this market correction. because fifteen dollar cds are a tough sell at this point.

Q: What are your thoughts about the need for direct communication between artists and their fans?
A: i have mixed emotions about this. even as i write answers to your questions here, which i think are important and interesting, i think it's not really my job. my job is to communicate through my recordings and performances. that is the direct communication i am interested in. that is ultimately what it is all about.

Q: Your upcoming album is peppered with politically-charged lyrics. Can you tell us about your opinions and thoughts conveyed in the music?
A: i hope they are decoded by the listener as they stand without much further intervention by me.

Q: Do you think it is important for artists to speak out on political and social issues?
A: i do. since conventional news media does not seem to relay any news it is important for us at least to raise the awareness to ask the question why? or what is really going on? unfortunately it's a seemingly dangerous thing to do. there is a great deal of actual censorship going on right now and any sort of 'anti-american' sentiment will get squashed quite quickly. even thought it seems very obvious that people should be questioning, questioning itself it seems is considered 'anti american'. it is highly improbable that any band could release a song right now that said 'should we really be at war right now'. the gatekeepers (radio etc) would make short work of that, and that is scary.

Q: When will Smells Like Sour be able to release a preview of your upcoming video?
A: usa is being previewed right now. i hope people respond to it.

Q: What are your musical influences? What tunes did you listen to during your formative years and what are you listening to today?
A: i've been hearing the new mars volta song frequently lately on the radio in la. i like it alot. i am excited about the new nin record, i hear it is a masterpiece and i have always found trent r to be extremely inspiring. prince the cure pink floyd biggie the clash sex pistols and all the obvious things have inspired me. talk talk laughing stock is a sick record. i don't know. tons of shit.

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