July 14, 2000 16:54
The singer reckons the only way people will hear his new album is to offer downloads via the Internet...
Johnson, who has been outspoken against Napster, has penned a 1,700 word essay which is published on his Website www.thethe.com. In it he states that he believes the only way fans "will finally get the chance to hear this album and hopefully support me by purchasing this CD and future releases" is to release the record one track at a time on a weekly basis as MP3 via his Webster.
In the essay, Johnson also blasts the major label Interscope/Universal, who own his current label Nothing Records. He said: "After a seven year lay-off I released 'NakedSelf', an album that is generally considered one of the best of my career. Yet the reaction from Interscope/Universal has been destructive and negative in the extreme.
"Their utter dependence on the radio means that the good ship The The is abandoned as soon as the fear of no-play takes hold. They can think of no alternative and why should they when they can swiftly move on to the next act on the plank?
"As Universal/Interscope seem either incapable or unwilling (or both) to distribute and promote my album properly, and as they've refused to give it back to me, then I've been forced to consider alternative ways of reaching my audience."
Johnson describes being signed to the Universal conglomerate as like "being trapped on a cruise on the Marie Celeste. The lights are on but nobody's home."
He adds that his love for his new album is the main motivation for his actions. He continued: "For me to just walk away from 'NakedSelf' now would be like leaving a baby on a doorstep and I just can't do it. I believe in this album too much. This is not a decision I've taken lightly."
There is currently no comment from The The's UK spokesperson regarding the situation, or as to whether by posting the tracks as MP3 files, he is in breach of contract.