Sleater-Kinney are a rock band from Washington state. One of the guitarists bears a striking similarity to my wife. They recently released an impassioned plea to their fans not to leak or trade their albums online:
We know that most people who download indie songs/albums for free find other ways of supporting the bands they love. And we acknowledge that it is a new era and that many people discover music through file sharing…It’s scary to imagine that this leak might actually affect our livelihoods, but ultimately this isn’t about the fear of people not supporting us financially as indie artists. We don’t think of ‘The Woods’ as some product getting out there early, we think of it as our art and lives and dreams. For us it’s about respect and about people supporting us by being aware of our artistic intent. We ask that you please respect our wishes to present this record the way we intended.
It’s rare to hear a band speak out on the subject, and I think their approach–forthright and genuine–works pretty well. I would like to hear their thoughts on what the music industry should become. They are, after all, on a label called Kill Rock Stars. Maybe a more thorough look around their site will turn that up.