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Tombs’ Mike Hill Doesn’t Mind if Fans Trade MP3s

“I have no problem at all with [it], honestly,” Tombs mainman Mike Hill recently told Noisecreep when asked if he had any thoughts on people sharing music online and sending MP3s around to each other. “People have always shared music, be it on a cassette tape or whatever.”

He’s right, of course. Music aficionados have been sharing music in one form or another at least since the advent of audio cassettes in the late ’70s. Since then, it’s become increasingly easier for fans to trade music, however, with the rise of CD-R technology and later MP3s and peer-to-peer networks. Many labels and high-profile artists have been crying out against so-called illegal downloading for the better part of a decade now, claiming it’s undercutting their sales.

Hill maintains a pragmatic outlook, though. “I think that bands, at least at the stature that [Tombs is] at, don’t really make money on record sales,” he explains. “The main income stream for bands at our level is touring and merchandise sales. So that to me is a non-issue.”

But Hill goes one step further, suggesting that MP3 trading actually helps, not hinders, the success of independent artists. “In reality I feel that sharing music probably helps you as a band overall. It gets more people aware of what you’re doing and hopefully, if they’re into it, when you come through their town on tour they’ll go to the show,” he says. “That’s really always been what it’s been about for me is touring and playing live. Making records is great, recording– love it all. But the main crux of being in a band is playing live. And sharing music gets more people at the show, I think.”

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