A Question of Integrity
I'm a musician and songwriter. I could be accused of having no integrity if I wrote a song that I felt was CRAP solely in order to make money. If I submit a load of songs that I am happy with for an album, however, it is entirely likely that the record company could choose a single that may not necessarily be representative of my work as a whole.My integrity is intact, but it could be seen that I had made a move solely for commercial reasons.Equally, so long as I do not allow my songs to be used to advertise companies who contravene my principles, then my integrity is intact. The only person who knows my principles is *me*. The only people whose principles remain written and unchanged are religious fundamentalists. For everybody else...principles change as we grow older and our perception of the world changes.It doesn't matter a flying fuck what I said in an interview two years ago. That was then. If a decision arrives on my plate today than it will be taken using my priciples of today, based on the way I see the world TODAY.
If my music is used in a way that appears to devalue it, like maybe a coffee commercial, then it is an issue of poor judgement of public opinion, not integrity. However... a piece of music is a free-standing entity, and there is no practical difference between advertising on television and the hype generated by a bands' press officer.A record is a product that is bought and sold, and to tell our artists that they may not use publicity to sell their products is to subject them to unfair treatment...or is it a case of good old fashioned english snobbery?.... We english traditionally hate people who are richer and more successful than ourselves.
If Moby was happy with the songs that he wrote for 'Play', then his integrity is intact. It doesn't matter where he got samples from... the only person who can judge his integrity is himself. Maybe if Moby chose to hide behind reams of backing singers and glitz then the integrity police would have grounds for suspicion... but who are these people casting the first stone?
Perhaps in days of old, religion was the opium of the masses, but when you look around you today, though less than it used to be,* music* is the religion of the young. That is a phenomenon of being young, not a phenomenon of the music. No musician is, or has ever been worth having blind faith in or following. We're a bunch of people who like to get up and entertain... and that is all it is... no more. If a piece of music inspires somebody to think or question, then that's a great thing, but it doesn't mean that it's creator is any less human or frail than their listener.To have somebody come up to you and say that you've changed their life... well it's a good feeling to have somehow made a difference to the world in a small way...but it's also really scary to encounter that kind of belief...hey...it was just a song.... we're a bunch of chumps who like to show off on stage... there's no more to it....
Luckily we have Eminem to use as an example:Stan would be the number one person accusing Moby of selling out.
We* made a glass monument to Moby's principles and then *we threw stones and smashed it to pieces. Moby, in the meantime, is just getting on with his life. Perhaps before subjecting our artists to the Spanish Inquisition we need to make some enquiries about ourselves......