Frank Black Is Cool With Streaming Because iTunes Is Apparently Too Confusing

Frank Black spoke to The Daily Beast’s James Joiner about the making of Pixies’ forthcoming record, and inadvertently, about how confusing iTunes is. I get it. Every time my computer asks me if I want to update iTunes I angrily close the window like, “Hell no!” Each new format is less convenient than the last, and as it turns out, Black totally agrees with that: “It’s kind of annoying.” However, Black does use streaming services like Spotify because they’re much easier to navigate. Here are some tidbits from the exchange:

With services like Spotify and Tidal, the landscape has changed a lot since you started almost 30 years ago. What are your thoughts on streaming?

I’m fine with streaming. That’s all I listen to now. iTunes is too much of a pain in the ass. I have an iTunes account, but I mean, Jesus, between the Cloud and the iTunes Match and “did I buy this?” and “did I not buy it?” and “did I lose it?” and all that shit, it’s kind of annoying. That was the best setup a few years ago, but now that there’s streaming—which can be annoying too, because it’s all just accounts and passwords—it’s a little bit of an annoyance, like a lot of technology. But in general it seems to work.

What about from a financial aspect?

I can’t worry about that. It’s like, how many things can I fucking worry about, you know? I’ve got a lawyer, I’ve got an agent, I’ve got a publisher. They can worry about that stuff. I don’t have time to fucking take a stance on everything. There’s an opportunity for my music to be heard and potentially paid for? Great, do it. Is it the best that I can be paid? Is it the worst that I can be paid? I don’t know. I don’t really have a lot of options. All you can do is play your cards, and hopefully it all works out. Right now all I can really focus on is making music and trying to make sure whatever is owed to me from a financial point of view is collected by those agents who are authorized to collect it for me.

At one point, Joiner points out that debates over services like Spotify and Tidal have barely anything to do with layout, and everything to do with money. Black’s response is, well, really real.

But don’t bands make exponentially less money than they used to?

I can get all involved and take a stance and develop an opinion, but at the end of the day, I’ve got too much to do. I’ve got five kids. I just want to fucking play music and make art. I’m not criticizing other people who have highly developed opinions about all this, but I just don’t have time for it. I don’t have any interest in it. I just want to play music, and fortunately I’ve got my t-shirt money, I’ve got my concert ticket money, I’ve got my commercial usage money. It’s no different than when I started out. Technology changes and formats change, but it’s basically you generate creative content, you try to get it heard, you try to get it paid for, you try to collect what is due to you, and, you know, file for your taxes (laughs). What else can I do?

Black also addresses Kim Deal’s departure from Pixies; read the full interview here.