In the newest issue of NME, the Smiths guitar legend Johnny Marr has a column, and he’s taken the opportunity to pop some shit off. More specifically, he’s joined the growing mass of musicians who don’t have anything nice to say about the streaming service Spotify. Marr’s problem’s with the service aren’t with its habit of paying a pittance to musicians, though if you pressed him on that, he probably wouldn’t be too thrilled about it. Rather, his real issue is that it’s too convenient. Here’s what he writes:
I think it entirely hampers new bands. I can’t think of anything more opposite to punk rock than Spotify. I have no answer to the economic side of the music industry, but I do think we certainly shouldn’t stop valuing what bands do. I don’t like great things being throwaway… Pop culture isn’t just about “the music, man.” It’s a way of life, and an aesthetic, and it’s not just about pressing a button and getting something entirely for convenience. Put it this way: we’re soon going to start seeing the difficulties of innovative music trying to swim in that huge tide.
But speaking of new bands, Marr has nothing nice to say about one of them: HAIM. Marr’s beef isn’t with the band’s music; it’s that they posed for a photo with the conservative British prime minister David Cameron and dedicated a song to him during a performance: “It’s really simple: they made themselves look like idiots. It’s ridiculous. No-one put a gun to their head. The Conservatives tried to do the same thing with the Smiths, to re-appropriate us in a false way, to be cool by association.” Nobody should tell Marr about Destiny’s Child playing George W. Bush’s first Inaugural Ball; it might ruin Beyoncé for him.
Meanwhile, Marr does have nice things to say about Grimes and Chvrches leader Lauren Mayberry, both of whom spoke plainly about misogyny within the music business: “I wonder why we’re going backwards in that regard.”