Tim Clark of Forbes.com recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Forbes.com: Like it or not, ANTHRAX is a brand. How do you protect and nurture it?
Scott: Branding is such a huge part of what we do which means protecting the brand at all costs. You could also say this is a baby we all have to take care of. That includes five guys in the band, management, our agent and the head of our record label. If one person misses a feeding a lot of shit will go wrong. If we do our job and write good songs then people are still going to want to be involved with us. We’ve played some of the biggest shows in our career, in the last two years, in places we’ve never been before. That really shows us how many people all over the world want to be involved in this brand.
Forbes.com: Does ANTHRAX use social media to stay in touch with fans?
Scott: I’d say social media is one of the few positives that the Internet has given the music business. Certainly Twitter is something I have embraced since I got into it a year ago. To be able to talk to people without a middle man… it’s a great way for me to express myself. I think you get to know people a little bit better through Twitter. It’s a really cool window into the world and a really great tool to market your band. I have about 60,000 followers on Twitter and ANTHRAX has about the same. It would be really interesting to know how many people found out about the new record because of us tweeting about it. I bet it’s a pretty big percentage. You’re able to motivate people directly. It doesn’t take weeks for budgets to be approved, ads placed in magazines. Just go online and there’s 60,000 people that want to hear what you have to say.
Forbes.com: So you think there’s also a dark side to social media and the Internet?
Scott: All that I love about Twitter doesn’t make up for the amount of music that is stolen. So I would gladly give up the Internet. If someone gave me the power tomorrow to push a button and erase the Internet from our lives — and that means people would actually go out and start buying music again — I’d push that button in a second. It includes more than music. Movies, magazines, newspapers – all of these businesses would be reborn. Content isn’t free. The bottom line is that people are stealing and stealing is wrong. Before torrent sites, the only way to steal music was to walk into a record store and walk out with it. You know you’d face a consequence if you got caught. Most people grow up learning that. With the Internet, there is no consequence.
Read the entire interview from Forbes.com.