Jon Schaffer, founder and creative force behind American metal icons Iced Earth, today released this statement about the Internet music-listening service Spotify:
“A lot of fans have contacted us regarding Century Media’s decision to pull all of its bands from Spotify,” Schaffer said regarding the 9 August statement from the metal label. “I want our fans to know that we had nothing to do with that decision. We understand Century Media’s position. The music industry has been deeply and irrevocably affected by illegal downloading on the Internet. I understand that all too well. In fact, all professional musicians today understand that.
“But Spotify is one of the most important developments in music I’ve seen in quite awhile. It allows fans to search for music from bands all over the world – sometimes rare, impossible to find, or out-of-print music. They hear it, decide they like it, and seek it out to buy it from a variety of sources – legal sources like iTunes, Amazon, or Amazon Marketplace.
“That’s a good thing. Stealing music is not. But sampling it on Spotify – which is legal and highly regarded worldwide – is not stealing it.
“If it were up to me, I’d put Iced Earth’s music back on Spotify. But I also have to respect the wishes of Century Media, our record label. They’re only trying to protect the best interests of their bands. So, I ask fans of Iced Earth to be respectful as well. Maybe additional dialogue with Century Media will change their minds. In the meantime, let’s all just agree to disagree on this one and wait to see what the future holds.”
For Iced Earth, the future holds the release of Dystopia, the band’s 10th studio album, scheduled for release in Europe on October 17th, and in the U.S. on October 18th both via Century Media. Two bonus tracks are also being recording for inclusion on special editions of the album.
The release of Dystopia will be followed by the most extensive world tour Iced Earth has ever undertaken.
The European leg of the 2011-2012 World Dystopia Tour has been posted here, as well as on all official social-media sites. The tour begins October 30th in Bochum, Germany.