Monday, September 17, 2012
Steve Albini Attacks The Flaming Lips for Turning Audience Into 'Slave Labor'
Chicago, IL - September 17, 2012
Now that former Rapeman Producer/Songwriter Steve Albini has assailed former Dresden Dolls band member Amanda Palmer for what he alleges is exploiting her fan base after asking them to perform as her backing musicians without financial compensation, he how has his sights set on a new foe.
Oklahoma psych-popsters The Flaming Lips, and their now-traditional concert practice of outfitting audience members into animal costumes and making them frolic onstage behind the band.
"An artist should always strive to be financially and artistically autonomous", says the 50-year-old Musician/Producer. "But when you're asking your audience to make up more than half of the entertainment you're providing, it amounts to slave labor."
"If a homeless man can figure out how to live self-sufficiently on these mean city streets, then so can The Flaming Lips. A better business model, it seems to me, would be to simply add 50 members to your band and pay them to dance onstage dressed as a bunny each night. It's only right and natural."
But that's not all: Mr. Albini is preparing to battle with another injustice he sees in today's corporate rock industry: asking the audience to clap along with your music.
"I happen to catch a set by The Dum Dum Girls", Albini continues, "And there was one point of the show where the band began clapping to the beat during an instrumental passage. The audience began to mimic this clapping and essentially take it over from the band. Why not reward each audience member with a $20 bill for asking them to carry the rhythm section on their back? They're fans, which means they're going to do almost anything you ask them to, but this doesn't give you an excuse to abuse your privileges as an artist."
As for future plans, Albini has announced he will be bringing his fight into other areas of the entertainment industry, including magicians who ask for volunteers to be sawed in half, and comedians who expect the audience to answer such questions as "Who here is married?" while waiving any monetary benefits.