Indiepower TV recently conducted an interview with KISS guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley. You can now watch the chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On what advice he would give to new artists who are thinking about getting into the music business:
Stanley: “It goes back to the same thing: learn to walk before you run. Pick up an acoustic guitar before you pick up an electric guitar. It’s harder, it’s less forgiving, and it’ll give you a better foundation for playing an electric guitar. In terms of wanting to get into the music business or any of the related businesses, if you have any doubts about it, find something else to do, because you should only get involved in music if you are compelled, if you have no choice. If it’s not a rational decision, if it’s something that is an emotional commitment, then do it. But if you have any questions about whether you should do something else, the answer is yeah. If you feel that, then by all means find something else to do.”
“It’s a much tougher time now [than it used to be]. The idea of that pot of gold at the end isn’t there for most. So I caution everybody that if this isn’t a true passion of yours, don’t do it, because there’s too many disappointments. And with the demise of record companies — and certainly the record companies that once championed artists… When we first started out, most bands got a three-album commitment; they were nurturing you and developing you for three albums. Now you put out a single and if it doesn’t work, you’re history. So, for me, it’s a serious thing. If you wanna commit yourself to music, do it understanding the downside.
On how technology has made it easier for new bands to create music and make albums without having to learn to play all the instruments first:
Stanley: “Well, there’s no substitute for playing live. You’re never going to learn your craft by being on a talent show on television. To be great as a performer, you have to go out and perform. You can go to the gym all you want, but you don’t find out how good you are as a fighter ’till you get in the ring, and then you perfect what you do. So there’s no substitute for going out and playing.”
On how illegal music downloading has affected artists’ ability to survive:
Stanley: “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.”
“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.”