Nine Inch Nails will release their new album, Bad Witch, on June 22nd. Pre-orders are now up. The band have also announced new tour dates but the catch is that the ticket pre-sale is happening at physical locations:
The promise of a world made better by computers and online connectivity has failed us in many ways, particularly when it comes to ticketing. Everything about the process sucks and everyone loses except the reseller. We’ve decided to try something different that will also likely suck, but in a different way. We’re hoping many of you will be happy with the results, while some may do what they always do and bitch about it.
You (an actual human being) show up at the box office, interact with the ticket seller (another actual human being) and purchase up to four tickets that will actually be handed to you on the spot. The tickets will not be available online or anywhere else before or during that day. All seats (including the best seats) will be available first come, first serve. You may actually encounter other actual human beings with similar interests likely wearing black clothing during the process and potentially interact with them. The experience has the potential to be enjoyable. Nine Inch Nails has always been about bringing people together, living life to the fullest and good times.
I was bummed out by the result. It took the wind out of my sails as far as thinking of direct-to-customer as a sustainable business for a musician. In a way, that experience gave me a preemptive look at music today. You’re not making money from albums; instead they’re a vessel for making people aware of you. That’s what led me to thinking that a singular subscription service clearly is the only way this problem is going to be solved. If we can convert as many music fans as possible to the value of that, in a post-ownership world, it would be the best way to go.
What has crept in is that everyone’s a commentator now. The internet is giving voice to everybody thinking that someone gives a shit what they have to say and they have the right. I think, in general, that has created a toxic environment for artists and led to some very safe music. Artists are trying to make music to please the tastemakers that tell the sheep what to like. It’s a vicious cycle and I think it’s unhealthy. I don’t see any Princes emerging on the scene today. I see a lot of people making formulaic, made to please, vegan restaurant patron-type shit. And I think it creates an environment where people are too fuckin’ worried about what other people have to say. And people who have never made anything think it’s OK to talk shit about stuff they have no right to talk about. You got a Facebook account? Nobody gives a fuck. You haven’t achieved anything.
I’m not sure how he really feels about this.