Last night I went to Maxwells to see Jesse from Brand New play a solo show. It was very very good and I regret just missing a PATH train and missing the start, but I was there for his question and answer session with the crowd, which, for that kind of thing, was remarkably earnest. He seems genuinely frustrated with a lot of things that are going on in his life, yet feels embarrassed to ever complain about anything because so much has gone right for his band.
Anyway, main point. Last night he gave the best defense of Music Piracy I've ever heard. Quite simply, he said steal away. He genuinely does not care if he sells any records because no matter how many he can move, he'll never see a dime from them anyway. And this is coming from someone who has sold a Million or so albums. He's never gotten anything from them and never expects to. The label pays him up front and he makes money on tour,not from every or any album sold. Granted, it's easy for him to say because he's established himself to the point where he doesn't have to care about Soundscan or rankings or rely on what the label has to offer anymore, but it's for the most part true for anyone who can look beyond the traditional sense of success. He also said he regrets signing with Interscope, a major, tho he admits it was the easy way out and the best way to actually make a living as a musician. Also played some music. Threw in an Archers of Loaf cover and a great version of Leonard Cohen's Chelsea Hotel #2. Fun stuff.
(pic via the Underrated's Flickr)