In a rare interview, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has warned young musicians not to tie themselves to the “sinking ship” of the music industry, suggesting it will soon collapse. The singer said it is “only a matter of time — months rather than years — before the music business establishment completely folds,” he said in an interview for a school textbook.
He advises musicians to self-release music rather than yearn for a major label contract, suggesting the loss of the mainstream music industry will be “no great loss to the world.”
His group, who were previously signed to EMI, shook the industry after offering a ‘pay what you want’ system for the digital release of ‘In Rainbows’ in 2007. The model has since become a common option for groups selling their music online with stores such as BandCamp.com.
Although the concept of the whole music establishment folding may seem implausible, it could be agreed that the annual deluge of music graduates often find they have few full-time prospects. The RIAA report that music piracy is now costing 71,060 US jobs and $2.7 billion (£1.86 billion) in workers’ earnings every year. However, hard times have encouraged some of the most prolific music movements in history. The modern affordability of recording equipment and global distribution could be the factors that prove Thom Yorke right.
The interview was for a new school textbook, The Rax Active Citizen Toolkit, which aims to engage young people with political issues, and also features interviews with Ms Dynamite and newsreader Jon Snow.