Robert Smith Has Room in His Mouth

For more of his foot, apparently. In an attempt to clarify his previous statements, The Cure front man digs in on his position that artists, namely musicians, should stop giving it away for free, so to speak.

NO I AM NOT CONFUSING ‘ARTISTIC VALUE’ WITH’COMMERCIAL VALUE’

>MERELY QUESTIONING THE DUMB ACCEPTANCE OF THE ‘FREEART IS THE ‘NEW’ PARADIGM – THATS JUST THE WAY IT IS’ MANTRA

Maybe it’s the all capital letters, or maybe it’s the bilious tone of Smith’s post, but he comes off angrier than before, laying much of the blame for his anger at the feet of the “idiot critics,” or “professional apologists.” The point is, Smith says, is that if artists start devaluing their own work, then consumers will do the same, and that in turn pollutes  the creative process.

Despite the harsh tone (which may have been the result of a hangover) this is an important discussion going forward. I’m still torn. Radiohead was able to give away In Rainbows on a pay-what-you-like scale, because they’re already rich. My band gives away our stuff for free because we have to; that’s the competitive model today. Smith’s position is a fine one, despite the fact that he continues to come off as a bitter retiree, and all this talk of artist integrity and the purity of the creative process seems a little overblown. Let’s not shit ourselves. This guy wrote “Close to Me,” he didn’t paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. That doesn’t mean it’s worthless…

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