Marillion Use P2P for Album Release
Widely recognized as the first band to truly embrace the internet's potential to interact with fans since circa 1996, Marillion have taken the step of partnering with internet technology company, Music Glue, to harness the legal use of P2P sites and release their 15th studio album, Happiness Is The Road.
Having downloaded a song, an interactive window appears on the music fan's computer with a video message from Marillion speaking directly to the consumer, telling them about their new album, the band's latest news, the forthcoming Marillion tour and all the products and merchandise available at marillion.com.
Music fans can listen to the track, and have the option to join the email mailing list, allowing access to a DRM-free version of the track.
Marillion in no way condone the use of P2P sites for the illegal distribution of copyrighted material. By giving their consent to distribute Happiness is The Road using the Music Glue model, Marillion are embracing the potential worldwide super-distribution of P2P networks to connect with downloaders, enabling an interactive dialogue rather than having no contact at all with potential new fans.
On adopting this new model for distribution Marillion's keyboard player Mark Kelly said, "While we don't condone illegal file sharing, it's a fact of life that a lot of music fans do it. We want to know who our file sharing fans are. If they like our new album enough, then we want to persuade them to pay something for it or at least come and see us on tour. Music Glue is the means to achieve this goal and to give us back something positive from the dire situation most artists find themselves in today."
Music Glue founder Mark Meharry adds, "Until now, fans that acquire music via P2P networks have been treated as thieves by the global recording industry. From a legal perspective it is difficult to argue in favour of the fans on this issue, however, from a commercial point of view, P2P provides access to more fans, on a global scale, than ever thought possible via traditional distribution methods. If you talk to the young, modern music fan (which we do on a regular basis) they see the situation very differently and believe that they are loyal and financially supportive of the artists they love, by purchasing gig tickets & merchandise, plus they happily consume sponsored branding as part of the overall experience. Music Glue allows creators of music to interact with these fans via P2P in a positive way that actually generates revenue. Our model requires a paradigm shift, away from the traditional legal perspective and forward to commercial common sense."
Happiness Is The Road is a 110-minute two-CD set co-produced by the band and Michael Hunter. The first disc is entitled Essencean adventurous musical trip exploring life's biggest question, "What's it all about?!." Alongside their signature rock orchestration, Happiness Is The Road also references elements of pop, dub and soul, and draws influence from artists as diverse as The Beach Boys and Marvin Gaye to Interpol, The Doors, Traffic, Pink Floyd and David Bowie. The album also sees Marillion experimenting with a host of new instruments including dulcimers, glockenspiels, a harmonium, French horns, a harp and a zither, and even sleigh bells, and has been expertly crafted into a multi-dimensional sonic landscape by Michael Hunter.
The second half of the Happiness Is The Road double album is The Hard Shoulder, a collection of songs that draw their inspiration from far and wide including space aliens, America, love found and lost, sanity found and lost, and Sinead O'Connor. According to Marillion's lead-singer Steve H, the two albums that form Happiness Is The Road are a truly complete and contrasting set, "In many ways, Happiness Is The Road represents our broadest and most wide-ranging collection of influences to date. The music was written in the usual way - by jamming and listening, more jamming, more listening; but with this album I think we've pushed our boundaries and redefined the Marillion sound once again."
Marillion have sold more than 15 million albums in a career spanning three decades and the release of Happiness Is The Road also sees the band embarking on a string of live dates across the UK this autumn.
Full UK Tour Dates:
8 Nov Ironworks, Inverness
9 Nov ABC, Glasgow
10 Nov - The Basement, Newcastle
11 Nov - Colston Hall, Bristol
13 Nov - LMUSU, Leeds
14 Nov - Academy, Manchester
15 Nov - Opera House, Bournemouth
17 Nov - JB's, Dudley
18 Nov - Rock City, Nottingham
19 Nov - Forum, London
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