The list of artists who don’t much like Spotify — and, specifically, the streaming service’s practice of paying artists very little money — has lately grown to include distinguished types like Thom Yorke and David Byrne, and now it also includes the anthemic British skronk-rockers Foals. As Music Week reports, frontman Yannis Philippakis recently told Britain’s Channel 4:

“I’d rather somebody stole the record on vinyl than bought it or streamed it on Spotify. I think you should listen to music on vinyl and I think basically anything is better than [Spotify]. … It’s like going to a restaurant when the chef and all the waiting staff have worked their asses off, and you leave coppers as a tip, and you don’t even pay the bill. That’s basically what Spotify’s like, I think.”

Foals albums are still available on Spotify for now, but look for that to change.

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Comments (31)
  1. Sorry but that’s an idiotic comment.

    • Agreed. I love Foals and I love vinyl, but that’s just the dumbest, most hipster thing I’ve ever heard. I’ll listen to Foals however I damn well please, thank you very much.

  2. I don’t think Foals have the clout to take their music off Spotify. I’ve bought all of their records, but I’m a happy Premium Spotify customer. Artists are always moaning, and often for justifiable reasons – the industry has done them no favors in terms of figuring out an adequate business model that satisfies all parties. But streaming music is here to stay.

    • Yeah, i share similar thoughts, after all there’s sense in their moaning because someone is getting the big money, cliched as it is, ”follow the money”, the logic is, if you’re employed and think you’re not getting paid as much as you should be, well, two options, go on a strike or look for another job. And thinking of it the musician’s strike used to be indie distribution, but now and even those are entangled in the Spotify business model.

      Not saying musicians should look for another job either, just sayin i completely understand their decision of pulling off their music, even for no effect. But this a pretty big discussion, i confess i don’t care a lot, since i steal most of the music i listen to.

  3. This section should be titled, “Where’s The Logic”

    It’s apparently not a money thing- (he wants you to steal the album)

  4. It almost seems like he’s talking more about the superior sound quality of vinyl than griping about the Spotify’s low payouts.

  5. Dear moaning artists,
    Your label did an initial licensing deal for their catalog with Spotify and got paid millions. Since it’s not a royalty deal, your label probably found a way to pocket all that money leaving you with nothing.
    Again, Spotify paid millions – you didn’t get any of that money – it’s because of your label.
    Go moan to your label!

  6. Damon from Galaxie 500 fame had a really great article regarding Spotify, Pandora, and the like. I’m not sure if I read it on Stereogum or elsewhere, but in it, he really made clear just how big of a shaft artists are getting. If I remember correctly, he said something to the effect of “Tugboat got about 5,000 plays in a year on Spotify. That translated to roughly $1 and some change. Split between three people.” Spotify and Pandora and others pays thousandths of a percent on a penny to the artist. It’s beyond minuscule.

    As for the “clout” argument, regardless whether a band is as “powerful” as Atoms For Peace or as niche as Xiu Xiu, the artist has every right to maintain their integrity and speak out against these services. Even if their label has their hands tied, they still have more than enough clout, as it were, to voice their disdain for getting ripped off.

    Lastly, everyone knows vinyl is better. It’s just not as convenient as digital formats. The greatest uncompressed digital format still wont’ sound as good as raw analog. That, however, is another beef for another time.

    • Damon Krukowski has definitely been putting out a steady stream of great think pieces on the subject that have been more informed and constructive than all the high-profile criticisms I’ve read – hopefully he can get elected chairperson of The UN Taskforce For Fair and Sustainable Music Streaming Models ={p

      Mostly why I’m commenting though is this kind of funny habit I’ve noticed of ‘gummers referencing an article, review, interview, whatever, that they’ve read, and (deliberately?) neglecting to mention the source, which, 99 times out of 100, is P4K.

      To all those commentors out there with a fear of getting P4K-shamed; it’s ok! We’ve read the same thing over there, too!

  7. “I think people should listen to music on vinyl”
    Let me just install a turntable right here at my work station to go with the one in my car.


  8. I discovered Foals on Spotify and saw their show because of that exposure. So the artist gets their money because thats what they do, their musicians. What if Cd’s and Vinyl didnt exist? How would they make a living? They would tour and that what the business supports now.

  9. The quote doesn’t make any more sense in the context of the original article, where he likens Spotify use to barely leaving a tip after a restaurant meal.

    No dilemmas for me anyway, as I can’t stand Foals and will not be stealing nor buying nor streaming their albums (and that seems to be Iannis’ baffling order of preference for Foals consumption).

    Quite apart from the streaming debate, I’m really tired of the ‘vinyl sounds best’ fuss. I have an LP collection and I enjoy owning and playing some of my favourite albums in that format, but I’m under no illusions about 180g virgin vinyl and other such nonsense. There are a lot of people who don’t have a clue what they’re talking about (nor a decent turntable and sound system) who are preaching about the sonic wonders of vinyl. I recommend reading this:

  10. I don’t think I have ever heard a Foals song, so I won’t comment on the band. I will say, though, that I get his point about vinyl. I mean, if you’re a chef and you create a solid dish that someone decides to mush up in a blender, add water and drink through a straw, you might be inclined to recommend that they eat it the way it was intended.

    I have vinyl and I like it, but I also listen to digital. As a music consumer, I typically do what I can to hear music when I want (working out, at the office, in the kitchen, etc…) If I MADE music, I might have a different opinion.

    The guy is free to have his opinion on the issue. I don’t care. Maybe I will open Spotify and listen to a Foals song.

  11. It’s no coincidence that some of the artists who work the hardest to make sublime-sounding recordings like Foals and Thom Yorke are the most against Spotify’s shitty-quality mp3′s.

  12. Surprised to see people passionately backing the corporation over the artist. I agree with a lot of the criticisms Thom Yorke made about Spotify and I’ve never really liked the service myself. Yannis isn’t making a very good argument though, or even much sense. It was a random interview, not exactly a written statement so he may not of expressed his thoughts on the matter in as cohesive a way as he may of liked (I know I often say the wrong thing when asked a question on the spot, and think of something better and more clear later). Or perhaps I’m just giving him the benefit of the doubt because I heart Foals.

  13. Maybe people would have backed Yannis if he didn’t sound like a douche since his first interview. But even if he was a nice guy, saying you should buy a vinyl and stop using spotify is like saying you should play music et stop listening to it.
    That’s just insane/stupid nonsense.

    Also, I use spotify, I buy vinyls, cds, and t shirts, and I wouldn’t buy more without the use of spotify.

  14. Foals are like the Mandy Moore of indie bands.

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