In a brand new interview with Digital Trends, KISS frontman Paul Stanley was asked for his views on streaming-music services like Spotify and Apple Music. He said: “It’s a choice. It’s a convenience, for sure. And then it just comes down to, is the artist being paid? What happened when the Internet got involved in music is that, initially — and to this day, in some ways — it was stolen property. And it’s really not fair when an artist is making a deal based upon ‘take it or leave it.’
“I don’t believe that most artists are getting what they deserve; they’re getting what they can. And that’s ass-backwards. That’s the tail wagging the dog. When somebody is, in essence, saying, ‘I will do this with or without you.’ Well, you don’t have much to stand on, and that’s the unfairness. That’s the injustice of the Internet.”
Earlier in the year, Stanley spoke to Indiepower TV about how illegal music downloading has affected artists’ ability to survive. He said: “Unfortunately, with the Internet and with social media being what it is, I think that ethics and morality have found their way to the backseat with a generation, perhaps, that somehow believes that music should be free. And that’s coming from people who expect to get paid for the job they’re doing, which is very ironic. So they wanna be salaried for their job, but they want your music for free. So it’s a twisted logic. And I’m sorry to see people have to negotiate with one hand tied behind their back because they don’t really have a choice; it’s either take what you can get in the market, or get nothing. So it’s tough out there. I don’t envy anybody starting. And it’s all well and good to say, ‘I’m only doing this for the love of music,’ but when you can’t feed yourself or you can’t pay the rent, you’ll think twice.”
He continued: “The size of your success is much more limited than it once was, and the chances of your success are much more limited than they once were. Once again, it’s always interesting when somebody who’s downloading files, stealing music, or ‘sharing’ music… That’s kind of like sharing somebody’s car that they don’t know that you took their car out. But, ‘We’re sharing your car.’ So it’s just very interesting to be in a position where somebody’s saying, ‘Well, you’re rich enough.’ Well, I’ll decide when I’m rich enough. So things have become a bit distorted, and hopefully the water will find its level again.
“I don’t worry about me, honestly. The ethics are what bothers me. But I’m more concerned with the person who’s starting out now and how this all impacts them. I’m done. Look, my rent’s paid. I’m in good shape.”
KISS kicked off the “Freedom To Rock” tour on July 4 with in Tucson, Arizona. The trek is hitting 40 cities through the summer — many of them places that the band has either never played or hasn’t played in years.