ST: Now that Napster’s dead, I think that the RIAA is going after a bunch of other peer-to-peer sharing networks. What are your thoughts on file sharing and piracy?
GP: We have completely no problem with file sharing. We just consider it the exchanging of tapes. And we’ve always had a really open policy about our stuff — when people come to our shows, we tell them to bring cameras, bring tape recorders, bring video recorders, we don’t care. People can come in and tape our gigs and they can trade them. We’re not into when people sell our shit as bootlegs and try to make a profit off of it. We think that’s a different line that’s being crossed.
But when it’s just the music being shared, that’s what it’s about to us. It’s not like we get a lot of radio airplay. File sharing is our radio; that’s the way people hear our stuff. I think people underestimate the enthusiasm of people who dig music — they dig it because they want to hear it, not because they want to steal it. It’s not like there’s this vicarious thieving thrill; they’re into the music; it’s an enthusiasm for the sound.
ST: They just want to get the word out.
GP: Yeah, exactly. They download your stuff, they dig it, they go out and buy the record. We never shared in the industry freakout about it because it’s not important to us. Our main thing has always been access to our music, making it as easy as possible, making it as cheap as possible, so why would we have any problem with file sharing? It’s redundant.