The Music Biz Stinks, But Concerts Still Rock

Question: Are you unhappy\r\nwith the turbulence of the music industry?


Josh Ritter: It’s\r\ngoing through lots of upheaval I guess, but it’s also funny, the people \r\nthat\r\nare screaming the most about it are the ones who have the microphones.  You know, if you are a major record\r\nlabel—and I’ve been a part of several—it must be awful because you \r\nhave... you’re\r\nstill working on stuff that you love hopefully you love music and you \r\ngot into\r\nit for that reason, and you’re losing the ability to do what you’re \r\nsupposed to\r\ndo, which is sell music. 


I mean, I could complain about that myself, but I \r\ndon’t\r\nbecause it’s just, I think it’s not worth it and it’s also, you know, \r\nthat’s\r\nthe way it is.  Millions of people\r\nstill listen to the music, they may not pay for it, but they’re still\r\nlistening.  And hopefully, like\r\nthere is still a way that they will keep coming to the shows.  The shows are—I feel like, in the last\r\nfour or five years, the shows have gotten incredible.  I’ve\r\n started to see so many more shows that I love because I\r\nthought the people were professional. \r\nThey’re doing it because they love it, and the show has to be \r\ngood\r\nbecause that’s the only way now. \r\nPeople hear a song and it’s like an advertisement for the show, \r\nyou\r\nknow. 


Plus I think that it’s incredible still, you can be\r\n a part\r\nof somebody’s life for 3 ½ to 4 minutes. \r\nSo, I could—you know, it’s useless to complain about that stuff.


Question: Which artists\r\non the current music scene deserve greater visibility?

\r\n\r\nJosh Ritter:\r\nYeah, well that’s—I mean visible or invisible, I’d say like there’s \r\nstill some\r\npeople that are doing it like incredibly well.  You\r\n know, I think that Glen Hansard, both in The Frames and\r\nThe Swell Season, is one of the most amazing live shows I have ever \r\nseen.  I think that my very impressive wife,\r\nDawn Landes, is amazing.  And I\r\nlove seeing—Ray LaMontagne is incredible. \r\nI love seeing him play. \r\nGillian Welch is proof that you can do something with two people \r\nthat’s\r\npretty life changing.  And then\r\nthere’s just so, so much music happening right now that it’s hard to \r\nname them\r\nall. 

Recorded April 5, 2010
Interviewed by Austin \r\nAllen

Josh Ritter can’t complain about today’s recording industry: the concerts are improving and some lesser-known artists are doing great work.

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