Mumford & Sons may have ditched their banjos for electric guitars on their new album, but that doesn't mean they're down for all things high-tech. In fact, they've made it pretty clear in a new interview with the Daily Beast that they're very much anti-Tidal, Jay Z's new not-so-for-the-people music-streaming service — even if they've embraced streaming as an unavoidable part of their lives. Here's what Marcus Mumford had to say about Hov's latest gimmick:
"We wouldn’t have joined it anyway, even if they had asked. We don’t want to be tribal. I think smaller bands should get paid more for it, too. Bigger bands have other ways of making money, so I don’t think you can complain. A band of our size shouldn’t be complaining. And when they say it’s artist-owned, it’s owned by those rich, wealthy artists.
What I’m not into is the tribalistic aspect of it — people trying to corner bits of the market, and put their face on it. That’s just commercial bullshit. We hire people to do that for us rather than having to do that ourselves. We just want to play music, and I don’t want to align myself with Spotify, Beats, Tidal, or whatever. We want people to listen to our music in their most comfortable way, and if they’re not up for paying for it, I don’t really care.
Smaller bands have a better opportunity in the music industry now than they’ve ever had, because you don’t need to have a record deal to have your music listened to worldwide. It’s democratized the music industry. So as much as it sucks, and they need to figure out how to represent people fairly financially, you’ve never been able to get your music."
Guitarist Winston Marshall also chimed in about how their stance on streaming differs from Taylor Swift's:
"We don’t want to be part of some Tidal ‘streaming revolution’ nor do we want to be Taylor Swift and be anti-it. I don’t understand her argument, either. The focus is slightly missed. Music is changing. It’s fucking changing. This is how people are going to listen to music now—streaming. So diversify as a band. It doesn’t mean selling your songs to adverts. We look at our albums as stand-alone pieces of art, and also as adverts for our live shows."
And although Marcus had the most to say about Tidal, Winston had the lasting burn, calling out Tidal's multiple celebrity owners for being "new school fucking plutocrats." In other words, don't expect Mumford to work with most of the music biz's one percent anytime soon.