Mumford & Sons critical of Jay Z’s Tidal: ‘We wouldn’t have joined even if they had asked’

Marcus Mumford says that 'smaller bands should get paid more' by Jay Z's streaming service

Mumford and Sons have criticised Jay-Z‘s new music streaming service, Tidal.

Tidal launched last month (March 30), with the likes of Kanye West, Madonna, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Arcade Fire, Jack White, Daft Punk and more all attending the launch and signing an official Tidal charter.

Jay Z has claimed that the platform will be more beneficial for artists, but Mumford & Sons did not appear convinced in a recent interview with The Daily Beast.


“We wouldn’t have joined it anyway, even if they had asked. We don’t want to be tribal,” Marcus Mumford said. “I think smaller bands should get paid more for it. Bigger bands have other ways of making money, so I don’t think you can complain. When they say it’s artist-owned, it’s owned by those rich, wealthy artists… I don’t want to align myself with Spotify, Beats, Tidal, or whatever. We want people to listen to our music in their most comfortable way, and if they’re not up for paying for it, I don’t really care.”

However, Mumford did add that the music industry is more democratic than it was in the past. He stated: “Smaller bands have a better opportunity in the music industry now than they’ve ever had, because you don’t need to have a record deal to have your music listened to worldwide. It’s democratised the music industry.”

Guitarist Winston Marshall continued: “We don’t want to be part of some Tidal ‘streaming revolution’ nor do we want to be Taylor Swift and be anti-it. I don’t understand her argument, either… This is how people are going to listen to music now – streaming. So diversify as a band. It doesn’t mean selling your songs to adverts. We look at our albums as standalone pieces of art, and also as adverts for our live shows.”

Lily Allen has also criticised Tidal recently. Allen said earlier in April: “I love Jay Z so much, but TIDAL is [so] expensive compared to other perfectly good streaming services… He’s taken the biggest artists & made them exclusive to TIDAL… people are going to swarm back to pirate sites in droves sending traffic to torrent sites.”

Mumford and Sons’ third album, ‘Wilder Mind’, comes out on May 4, following on from 2009’s ‘Sigh No More’ and 2012’s ‘Babel’. It was recorded at Air Studios, London and produced by James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Haim, Florence + The Machine). A number of the new songs were written at Aaron Dessner of The National’s studios in Brooklyn, New York.

Ben Lovett recently told NME that the band’s change in sound is a “natural departure”. The band have already shared the single ‘Believe’ and played the album in full at intimate fan-club shows in London, Berlin, Los Angeles, Toronto and New York over the past month.