In the music world today, the leak of an album prior to it's release is inevitable. It's almost commonplace for sometime before an album's release date - sometimes too early, sometimes just before - some fan or someone in the industry will upload an album to the internet and everyone will get a chance to download it. I've spoken my peace, re: leaks when Grizzly Bear leaked months ago. And now, the new Portugal. The Man album The Satanic Satanist has leaked four weeks prior to it's July 21st release date. When their previous albums leaked two weeks in advance of being on store shelves, lead singer John Wayne Gourley would come out and more or less champion it, saying it's ok, give us feedback we enjoy it. But this time he painted a different picture...
In a longwinded piece posted online yesterday, Gourley points the finger directly at who was responsible before going on to talk about bands like Grizzly Bear and others who would have benefited better than they already did if it wasn't for a leak.
"I had mixed feelings when I hear the album had leaked. On one hand it was exciting to think that people were actually searching so hard in advance (We have never had an album leak more than two weeks in advance of release date). On the other hand I was somewhat frustrated, not in an angry way. Just looking back at our history of touring and shows gradually getting bigger and bigger but still watching sales drop from our low thousands to the lower thousands. It was more frustrating to hear how it leaked seeing as how all the links we had sent out were private and coded. There is a certain level of professionalism that has been lost along with the idea that is the album. To hear about these things happening from the people that should understand music as much as any musician is just heartbreaking. I am happy vinyl is coming back, it needs to. We need to have albums and music. I need to."
This is just one more example that makes me sad for the artist. It's not that they're sad but they're disappointed and it just makes me feel bad. Now, granted, I've had this album for quite some time from a source inside the band but still, makes me feel bad hearing the whole thing so far in advance. I, too, champion the return of vinyl in the marketplace and can only dream of the day when I can be my 13-year old self again, having my parents take me to the record store after school or on the weekend to get the newest albums that I was so excited to hear.
Here's another new Satanist song, it's my personal favorite, actually. No matter what you do, though, please buy this record. They have lots of awesome pre-order options on their website that you should check out. Also, read all of John's letter on their website.
Download: "Do You" [mp3]