Thom Yorke has attacked Spotify again, labelling the music streaming service “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse”.
The comments follow Yorke’s decision, alongside producer Nigel Godrich, to remove the Atoms For Peace album they made together from the service while Yorke’s solo album ‘The Eraser’ was also removed. Godrich went on to explain his position criticising the low royalty rates paid to artists – who he said received “f*ck all” from the service.
Now, in a new interview with Sopitas in Mexico, Yorke has issued his most direct statement on Spotify yet. Describing the situation as “a big transition” he says: “I feel like as musicians we need to fight the Spotify thing. I feel that in some ways what’s happening in the mainstream is the last gasp of the old industry. Once that does finally die, which it will, something else will happen. But it’s all about how we change the way we listen to music, it’s all about what happens next in terms of technology, in terms of how people talk to each other about music, and a lot of it could be really fucking bad. I don’t subscribe to the whole thing that a lot of people do within the music industry that’s ‘well this is all we’ve got left. we’ll just have to do this.’ I just don’t agree.”
Yorke goes on to add: “When we did the ‘In Rainbows’ thing what was most exciting was the idea you could have a direct connection between you as a musician and your audience. You cut all of it out, it’s just that and that. And then all these fuckers get in a way, like Spotify suddenly trying to become the gatekeepers to the whole process. We don’t need you to do it. No artists needs you to do it. We can build the shit ourselves, so fuck off. But because they’re using old music, because they’re using the majors… the majors are all over it because they see a way of re-selling all their old stuff for free, make a fortune, and not die. That’s why to me, Spotify the whole thing, is such a massive battle, because it’s about the future of all music. It’s about whether we believe there’s a future in music”
Ending his thoughts by looking to the future, Yorke surmises: “To me this isn’t the mainstream, this is is like the last fart, the last desperate fart of a dying corpse. What happens next is the important part.”
Spotify has previously told NME that its long-term goal is to make sure artists are properly remunerated for putting their music on the service. Radiohead albums such as ‘The Bends’, ‘OK Computer’ and ‘Kid A’ – all released on EMI and all produced by Godrich are still available to stream on Spotify.