THE AGONIST Singer: ‘Nobody Wants To Buy An Album When They Can Just Download It For Free’

Metalluminati conducted an interview with singer Alissa White-Gluz of Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based melodic death metallers THE AGONIST when the band played at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, California on April 26 with KITTIE. You can now watch the chat below.

On illegal music downloading:

Alissa White-Gluz: “When we signed with Century Media, everyone was downloading, but there was still a decent amount of people that would go to record stores and buy CDs. Now, in Montreal at least — I don’t know how it is everywhere else — but they’re all shut down; none of them even exist anymore. And it really sucks because I’d like to think that I’m a musician and not a fashion designer, but I’m really just selling t-shirts at the merch stand. Because nobody buys albums — nobody wants to buy a physical album when they can just download it for free. As long as somebody will still physically come to the show and support us, and buy our merch, then I don’t really care if they download it. But otherwise, it’s literally like me telling you to go work in an office from 9 to 5 and then give me all your pay. For example, this last album took us two years to do, and for a good chunk of that time, I didn’t have time to work a day job, so that’s like directly taking money out of my pocket.”

On what labels should do to increase revenue from digital music sales:

Alissa White-Gluz: “I think labels just need to dissolve and not exist anymore. I think it just needs to be all independent. Because I really feel like a lot of people who wanna support a band, they come to the show and buy the t-shirts because they’re physically putting money in the band’s hands and they don’t feel like they’re doing that if they go to a CD store, and it’s true — you’re not, really. The problem is that when it comes to getting tours, a lot of the time, the industry looks at how many CDs you’ve sold to see if you’re worthy of being on tour or not, so when people don’t buy your CD because they don’t wanna put money in the label’s hands, they’re actually hurting us — not even financially, but they’re hurting us because we can’t go on tour to sell them stuff directly. It’s like a vicious cycle, and I really feel like labels are becoming obsolete. We’re self-managed and we have been for a really long time. It’s just one of those kinds of things — if you want something done, you have to do it yourself. That’s what we do. And we have a really, really big online following — some of the biggest online followings out of all the Century Media bands, and there’s lot of bands that are bigger than us on that label. I think it’s really just a matter of directly telling people, ‘Hey, you know what?! If you want our album, you can…’ If we weren’t on a label, we would just be pulling a RADIOHEAD and saying, ‘You know what?! Donate to us what you want.’ Because we would get a lot more money that way. I’ve never seen a cent of royalties.”

THE AGONIST‘s new song “Ideomotor” can be streamed using the SoundCloud player below (courtesy of ). The track comes off the band’s long-awaited third studio album, “Prisoners”, which is scheduled for releaase on June 5 (one day earlier internationally) via Century Media Records. Produced by Christian Donaldson (CRYPTOPSY) and mixed by Tue Madsen (THE HAUNTED, DARK TRANQUILLITY, SUICIDE SILENCE), the CD “picks right up where 2009’s ‘Lullabies For The Dormant Mind’ left off, with soaring melodies over complex metal passages that fans of thinking-man’s metal can appreciate,” according to a press release.

THE AGONIST is selling digital download cards throughout their tour with KITTIE. The brand new track “Ideomotor” and the previously limited-edition EP-only track “The Escape” is available for immediate download, with the remainder of the album available on release date.

In a recent interview with, Alissa White-Gluz stated about the musical direction of the follow-up to 2009’s “Lullabies For A Dormant Mind”, “I wouldn’t say it’s heavier or more melodic. I think it sounds more mature. It has the same sort of schizophrenic side that ‘Lullabies’ has, but it also has some other I guess what you would call classic influences. Like, there’s some PANTERA influence, there’s some RADIOHEAD influence. I mean, there’s a lot of influences that we didn’t really have before.”