Most musicians worth their salt got into the industry because they are passionate about their craft, but just loving what you do doesn’t necessarily pay the bills, so they would also rather their fans not steal their music by downloading it for free. But Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker grew up in a time when P2P networks like Napster and Limewire and downloading free MP3s were the norm. His stance on music being free is very much of his era: He’s fine with free music and believes that fans getting his music for free isn’t has harmful to the art or feasibility of what he does as it may seem.
In a recent interview with BBC Radio 6’s Mary Anne Hobbs, Parker said:
“For me, it just shows that it’s not really about how much you pay for it or even whether or not it’s physical — it can still have the same effect on you. I’m not really sure what that says about artists making money in the future. Like, obviously artists need to make money and stuff like that, but if you do something good or if you make good art or make good stuff, the wealth will find you in some way.
If someone says, ‘Hey man, I love your album, it really got me through a breakup, but I downloaded it for free,’ I’ll be like, ‘Good! That’s good!’ Maybe he didn’t have the money for the album, but if he still listened to it and it’s an important part of his life, that’s all I can ask for. I don’t want his twenty bucks.”