By Steve Lukather
Steve Lukather has some comments on the state of the recording business today. Steve was a founding member of Toto, has released solo LP’s and is one of the most successful studio guitarists in history. He has been involved in thousands of records (if a Michael Jackson song has a guitar on it, it’s Steve). Here is what he wrote.
“I just want to know something. ALL this pontificating about how Spotify and the like are the ’ answer ’ and how ’ the artists get paid’ etc. How much? Really? WHO keeps tabs and accounting? Maybe I just don’t know. I don’t see any money and have A LOT of stuff out there over 35 years of making records.
Have you done the breakdown on what an artist get PER tune on iTunes? Pitiful. Now IF you are with a label its even worse cause they take a huge share of that. The breakdown after all is said and done for most it’s pennies.
TOO many people can make records. Period. No catalog artists are made these days. One hit wonders galore. Sad really.
Now record companies don’t give budgets like the old days when the great records were made cause they cost MONEY!! They want to make money for nothing and own you for life and a piece of EVERYTHING an artist does. You can sell a million and still OWE them! My 25 year old son has buddies who have platinum records living in a one room studio apartment…Broke.
Of course back ‘then’ record companies cared about MUSIC and nurturing artists for a LONG term career and long term money.
Sure they got the Lions share but then they invested, believed and promoted it so there was SOME justification.
Now its ’Beats’ and how many facebook hits or Youtube hits you get .. ALL which either make NO money or short term dog-shit money with no real way to account for it and truly suck for the most part.
What the fuck ? People want to be famous NOT good! It is TOO easy to play ‘pretend pop star’ now. With all the fakery and auto tune-time correction -cut and paste etc.. fuck most young people don’t know how to play a song from top to bottom in a studio in tune and in time and with feeling?? Rare.
I am in the studios all the time and hear the stories from the producers and engineers.. and yet NO ONE cares that ’ so and so’ who sold a shit load of records ( how much IS that these days? ) cant sing or play. They make ‘McRecords’ for people who don’t even really listen. It’s background music for people to either find a mate or shake their heads while texting or skyping or doing other things. Environmental noise for the multi-tasker.
Gone are the days of loving , dissecting, discussing the inner workings of ’AN ALBUM”… sitting in silence while it plays.. looking at the liner notes and the few photo’s IN the studio .. imagining what a magic place it music be to make such music…Gone. You need a fucking jewelers eye to read the credits IF one even cares. Most don’t. So if you keep blaming the ‘old antiquated artists’ who are the only REAL ones left.. who MAY make a great record once in awhile but may be overlooked cause the media chooses to care more about who is super gluing meat to their bodies and other ridiculous HYPE and bullshit to get attention rather than LISTENING hard to the music being made we might be in a different place.
When we were kids ( yes I will be 108 this year) there were only a handful or artists and they WERE great cause they HAD to be.
You could choose not to like some but outside the teenage fodder most deserved their success and NO ONE sounded alike! No one!
We live in a McWorld that moves way too fast and now even the drugs suck. I mean when I was young and got high I never got naked foaming at the mouth and tried to eat someone’s face off.
Time to put on Dark Side of the Moon and chill. Have a nice day and may real music come back and fill our ears. ( there IS some great stuff but you know what I mean ..)
REAL music played by REAL musicians. They ARE out there.
They just don’t get a lot of press anymore, or at all.”