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Roger Waters ‘Angry’ Over State of Music Industry: ‘It’s Just Stealing!’

Roger Waters
Bryan Bedder, Getty Images

The difficulties that younger musicians are facing in trying to make a living these days have not gone unnoticed by the generations that came before them. In a new interview, Roger Waters lashed out at the people who have created the technology that has resulted in putting less money in the hands of artists.

Speaking to the Times, the former Pink Floyd bassist calls himself “enormously privileged to have been born in 1943 and not 1983, to have been around when there was a music business and the takeover of Silicon Valley hadn’t happened and, in consequence, you could still make a living writing and recording songs and playing them to people.”

And while Waters admits that the diminishing sales of records “doesn’t change my life in any way,” he is still “angry” at “this gallery of rogues and thieves [who interject] themselves between the people who aspire to be creative and their potential audience and steal every f—ing cent anybody ever made and put it in their pockets to buy f—ing huge mega-yachts and Gulfstream Fives with. These…thieves! It’s just stealing! And that they’re allowed to get away with it is just incredible.”

However, Waters also does save some of his ire for the audience, who have taken full advantage of the technology. “I blame the punters as well to some extent,” he continues, “a whole generation that’s grown up who believe that music should be free. I mean why not make everything free? Then you could walk into a shop and say ‘I like that television’ and you walk out with it. No! Somebody made that and you have to buy it! ‘Oh, I’ll just pick up few apples.’ No! Some farmer grew those and brought them here to be sold!”

Waters’ words echo those spoken by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of Kiss to Billboard last week. “I think we’re very fortunate to have come out when we did, and to not be relying upon an industry that has basically committed suicide,” Stanley said.

“It’s really sad for the new artists. Where’s the next Elvis [Presley], where’s the next Beatles, where’s the [Led] Zeppelin? They’re out there but they don’t have a chance […] What are they gonna do? Give away their music for free? They’re gonna be living in their mom’s basement, unfortunately, and they’re never gonna get the chance that we did which is the saddest part of all for the new bands because there should always be a new generation of bands.”

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