If you’re like most people, you’ve been sitting on your couch for the last few weeks, listless and lost, wondering what stand the guitarist from Blink-182 would take on how streaming music will affect the music industry. You wandered down the blind alley of Taylor Swift’s decision to pull her music from Spotify. You reacted with mild interest when punk elder statesman Billy Bragg took a few shots at Taylor’s choice. And now, thanks to a recent interview, you now have access to Tom DeLonge’s very strange analogies about the future of music.
According to DeLonge, “I tell people condoning streaming is like condoning the Chinese that are killing elephants for their tusks and carving ivory statues,” a statement that probably makes perfect sense to pop-punk guitarists who chase aliens. Not content with alienating only the Chinese, DeLonge then turns his sights on casual music fans and music streamers, saying, “It’s cool to put on your shelf but if you really think about what you’re doing it sucks. Streaming music is doing the same thing to artists—might not be killing ’em but it’s killing the industry. It might be cool for you as somebody that likes music but you’re not really thinking about the effect it has. We’ve got to value our art, you know?”
It’s a fair enough point: We need to value songs like “Dick Lips” way more than the Chinese value those ivory statues they callously put on their shelves. Or something.