GAMA BOMB: Rebuke Open Letter from U2’s Management

For Irish thrashers GAMA BOMB, file-sharing has proved to be an important and recurring topic of discussion.

Having released their 2009 album, Tales From the Grave in Space, online as a completely free download, GAMA BOMB’s strong feelings about file-sharing largely oppose the views of many other musicians and artists.  Tales From the Grave in Space – which remains free to download to this day – has sold just as many physical copies of the album in the short time since its release as the band’s previous album has to date, indicating that the open availability of the album as a free download hasn’t in fact harmed the band’s sales.

Paul McGuinness, manager for fellow Irish rockers U2, recently posted a lengthy article for GQ Magazine in which he discusses his views on the problems of file-sharing.

GAMA BOMB frontman Philly Byrne has written an open letter to U2’s manager Paul McGuinness in response to his article.  An excerpt follows:

U2′s manager Paul McGuinness‘ recent article is well-reasoned, well-informed and commendable in its aims – though it’s crazily short-sighted.  It falls at the last hurdle when envisioning future solutions to the problems file sharing causes for the music industry, and is filled with logical blind-spots on the current state of the business.  He’s got the numbers right, but the headspace is all wrong.

“To his credit, Mr McGuinness is here wading into an argument that, as he notes, often involves untold abuse for those willing to stick their oar in.  Furthermore, it’s one that doesn’t affect his untouchably profitable bread-and-butter, U2.  So who am I to gainsay him?

“Last year my band Gama Bomb released their third album free of cost as a download with the permission of our record company, Earache Records.  This, to my knowledge, makes us the first signed band ever to do so.

“We took this step because we personally consume music in this way and were aware our previous albums were largely being consumed as shared files.  To release another CD in the traditional way seemed futile.  Also, as a band playing a niche form of music on a small budget, we were aware of the potential PR power of such a move.  The label agreed, we did it, and that’s why I feel qualified to dust off my soap box on this one.”

Read the full letter on GAMA BOMB’s official blog.


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