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Red Hot Chili Peppers Angered by Stadium Arcadium Leak

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Fleamail is something that used to occur every blue moon. The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist will email the band’s official website every now and then with unedited ramblings. Fleamail was so rare that people on the official board would go ballistic for a few hours, commenting on every sentence, picking it apart. Now, Fleamail is a bit more frequent, but it’s still the same old ramblings fans have come to know and love. A couple of weeks ago, he was pissed with an interviewer. This week, he’s pissed with you.

By ‘you’ I mean two people. The first one is the person who put the Red Hot Chili Peppers long awaited Stadium Arcadium online, days before it is due to be released. The second person is you — the person who downloads the album.

“For people to just steal a poor sound quality version of it for free because some asshole stole it and put it on the internet is sad to me,” Flea writes in his email to the site, following confirmation of the news.

Their record company, Warner Bros distributes promotional copies to the media for previewing. Each CD is shrink wrapped and it is a condition that after the wrap is removed, whatever the owner does with the CD is their responsibility. Also, each CD is individually watermarked so that leaks can easily be traced. This technique has also been used with upcoming movie and DVD releases.

As many of you know, not only is it illegal to download copyrighted music from the Internet, it is also illegal to release it before its official release date and to download it before its official release date.

Leaked albums are nothing new. A few weeks ago, news dropped that Tool’s 10,000 Days was leaked weeks before its official release. The band was known to be angered by this news and singer Maynard James Keenan told his Coachella crowd:

New album comes out tomorrow at midnight. I know you fuckers all downloaded it already. Do me a favor. I’m trying to buy this gold nugget shaped like a piece of popcorn, for a ring. So I need you to buy a bunch of records so I can afford that. Big ole gold nugget. Like four of ’em. Then when I hit you in the face for taking my photo, it’ll look like someone hit you with a bowl of popcorn. Help me out, will ya? I’m destitute.

If you want a leaked album, it’s not hard to find one. There are communities all over the Internet that are set up for the pure purpose of swapping leaked albums. Forget the usual torrent sites, some of these forums contain up to the minute leaks. Posters are either journalists who have received a promotional copy or people involved in the post production of the actual CD.

Album leaks will never end if record companies continue to send out promotional copies, have different release dates world wide, and don’t step up security in post production plants. Until then, the new Paul Simon album is already being downloaded as we speak. Poor Paul Simon.

If Warner Bros. catch the pirate who uploaded Stadium Arcadium, they will face up to 11 years in jail if found guilty by the U.S courts.

If you download Stadium Arcadium, Flea says “yes, it is stealing from us, and that is lame.”

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About Jessa

  • Guppusmaximus

    Great Article Jessa…. My biggest gripe is for the band. I can understand Flea being upset about the theft of RHCP’s material because it’s their bread & butter but he portrays it in the sense of “Sound Quality”. I mean, come on… If The Chili’s cared so much about sound quality then the new album would’ve been egineered for either SACD or DVD Audio, which it wasn’t. So, to say that the people who are downloading(stealing) their work aren’t going to hear every little nuance is bunch of BULLSH!T!!

    Flea, I agree with you about downloading being lame, to an extent. I do feel most of the people who download it and like it, will actually buy this cd when it’s officially released but give us a break with this lame ass audiophile approach…

    Let’s just hope this cd is better than their last:)

  • fornus

    I Broke John Frusciante’s Heart!

    I just downloaded the Pepper’s latest release and I’m happy to report that Flea’s fears are unwarranted — the sound quality is great! John Frusciante need not cry himself to sleep tonight because I believe I have heard the songs the way they were intended to be heard. By the way, Stadium Arcadium freakin’ rocks! I had really low expectations after the last turd they released, but this might be their best record yet.

    Flea should stop worrying about things he can’t control and enjoy making music in one of the best bands ever. I’m sure this release will add to his already considerable riches. Also Flea’s whining makes him sound like a bit of a hypocrite. Consider that in the 4/27/2006 edition of Fleamail Flea wrote:

    “i still love william blake alot
    i have been looking at all his art it is so great
    you can find lots of it on the internet
    i wonder if it is possible for anyone to be so pure and great and
    powerful in this modern world…”

    I wonder if William Blake, an artist who was not widely known during his life, is rolling over in his grave because Flea has been looking at low quality jpegs of his engravings for free on the Internet? If Flea wants to be great and pure like Blake maybe he should re-examine his motives. Does he want to make great music or does he want to make boatloads of cash? The saddest aspect of capitalism is that it creates an inauthentic society. Our motives are always impure. Nothing is done purely for the sake of doing. A doctor doesn’t treat patients simply to make them healthy, an athlete doesn’t compete simply for the love of his sport, and it seems that Flea doesn’t create music simply to create great music. In the end every one of our actions must first be justified financially.

    Flea, I love your band’s new record. I live on a tight budget, but hopefully I will be able to justify purchasing Stadium Arcadium next week. After all I would hate to piss all over your band’s hard work by simply enjoying it.

  • Guppusmaximus

    Fornus…. I agree whole heartedly. I have yet to see the internet, as a downloading tool, bankrupt any of these artists. I could see this argument coming from a no-name musician down the street who is trying to get by, but most of those people are usually the first to post their material.

    I remember when I was younger,my friends and I used to trade tapes of the bands we loved. My point?? I still wanted the real thing…ya know? I wanted the art work… I wanted the lyrics,etc. Nowadays, I can see alot of these artists’ ulterior motives. You are definately correct… It’s the cash. Forget the integrity of the art…..

  • matt

    Ok.. Of course I downloaded the album because i’m a huge RHCP fan. I got every song at 192 kbps so the quality sounds great. My roommate is buying the album so I’m not, but Stadium Arcadium should sell great. It’s the best album i’ve heard in a hell of a while.

  • Joey

    Flea ain’t never happy.

  • outsider

    I’m not guilty of downloading this album yet, but the past three albums I have downloaded before release date I also was first in line to buy. Tool being one of them… though I did go on to kill my eyes with the stereoscopic glasses.

  • whats the big deal

    artits make millions anyway, why can’t they be happy with waht they got?

    I downloaded the album, its crap, so I wont be buying it, il still keep it thought for a few tunes, and I dont care that Im not paying for it. You guys are rich anyway

  • Tom

    I understand the issue, but its not like they wont make a lot of money through concerts etc. But then, as with most albums i download, if i like it i actually buy it, and this one i’ll definately still buy.

  • flea i hope you die……….

  • ZeroMP

    — Okay three things —

    First: Red Hot Chili Peppers BLOW on ICE.
    Just my personal opinion of course, but they do.

    Second: Bands shouldn’t blame the fans for downloading music BEFORE the release date – how about blaming the studio that leaked it? The people who downloaded it two days before the release date constitute the more devoted Chili fans – those that are more likely to rush out on the release date and buy the CD! Everyone who downloads it AFTER the date it drops are less likely to have ever paid for it.

    Third: Red Hot Chili Peppers blow.

    Additionally, Guppusmaximus said: “…most of the people who download it and like it, will actually buy this cd when it’s officially released…”

    ….ya.. or they’ll at least BURN it! Hahahaha!
    Although I do agree with you that the audiophile shit is a bunch of crap. Flea is just being a little cry-baby like Lars Ulrich and the rest of those posers. Get over it.

  • Namesbond

    I downloaded and purchased 10,000 Days. No rush for Stadium Arcadium because I’m still disecting 10,000 Days.

  • ulysses-31

    Most people who downloads music buy cds anyway. if you love the band then you will wanna get there new albums as quick as possable if that meens downloading itthen so be it. I have done it will loads of band, but if its a good album i will buy it. Its a sort of try before you by. As soon as the music companys realise that the better off we all will be.

  • Scott Tavvy

    Ban the internet thats what i say.. That would put a stop to people downloading….Whats the internet done for us anyway…….Errrr

  • bucketbake

    no seriously the album is tired, the more u mature the less ur work sparkles……i’m glad i donwloaded it cause i’ve saved money on an album i’ll listen to once with nothing on it to warrant coming back to it and it’ll take seconds to delete it from my itunes.

    As for the whole downloading thing…..ur the music business, we’re the internet, find a better business model and practice don’t be so naive as to think we won’t grab whats freely available – do better and stop whining, u r actually responsible.

  • ry

    i like the red hot chilli peppers but internet downloading is not a crime, it makes it more accessible for people to really get into the band, since downloading started independent bands have been given a rise in the music scene and a chance to get very well known, Underoath’s album leaked this way too but in a way i think its a postive thing because i heard it and it is absolutely amazing!!, just makes me want to buy the full length in all its glory when it comes out even more!!, i can imagine the same with the chilli peppers, music is universal.

  • Downloader

    Isn’t it stealing from the fans when you promote an album and hype it up as great, only to dissapoint the fan with complete junk? When Flea starts worrying about how he’s gonna pay his bills then maybe he’ll have a valid point. Hey Flea I got an idea….. why not put all of that energy into making a good release? And to everyone LYING saying they download and then buy….. you’re not fooling anyone. I download and do not buy. I haven’t purchased a CD since 1997 and I never will purchase one again.

  • stinkyface

    …or tell the world about the leak, and inform more people to download your record.

  • Guppusmaximus

    I find it hysterical that most of the bands who whine about this crap are the ones who couldn’t put a decent album together to save their lives!! Lars started bitching after Metallica released the worst attempt in Metal history,”Load”.RHCP haven’t put out a solid cd since BSSM, now Flea’s cryin.
    F*ck man, these guys should take a lesson from Iron Maiden,Opeth,Dream Theater and alot of other bands who have been putting forth excellent material for 10-20+ years… Stop producing sh!t and people will buy your albums instead of D/l’ing it,listening to it and then trashing it!!

    ZeroMP: I wouldn’t waste my blank media to burn this 192/VBR garbage, but I hear what you are sayin…

  • Guppusmaximus

    “And to everyone LYING saying they download and then buy….. you’re not fooling anyone.”

    Yeah, Maybe if you listen to the garbage in the mainstream,but if it’s an album from a kick ass band I will usually buy the CD. The Bands that I know I will enjoy their work because 95% of the D/L’s are usually 128-192Kbps or VBR and I can’t stand it most of the time…

  • Firebug

    Cry more n00b(Flea). I’m gonna throw a tantrum cause I’m rich and I can. But I agree with ZeroMP. I wouldn’t waste my bandwidth to DL this crap.

  • vercetti

    oooh pooor millionaire rock group, fucking dick heads, your still gunna make a ton of cash, quit crying and get a real job

  • LeakeyJeeUnit

    Yeah, he’s actually changed his mind now:
    “after the other morning when i found out our record had leaked
    i freaked
    it leaked i freaked
    after calming down a little bit
    and finding out more about what actually happens
    it has been bought to my attention by some intelligent people
    that most of the people who down load the record before it comes out
    are people who really love our music and believe in what we do
    and they go out and get the real thing anyway
    but of course they can not wait to hear it
    and are willing to hear a substandard version first
    because they are excited to hear it
    and of course i understand and i would do the same thing
    it just really scared me that people would be hearing something
    without the depth of sound that we strive for”

  • You

    Okay, RHCP is good and all, and I love their music, but they have turned into a corporate whore so I don’t give a crap as to what they have to say financially because I am sure that they have whored themselves to iTunes and the concert ticket codes that you can only get if you pre-order the album thru iTunes. All these big bands are just sell outs anyways, I think these bands need to start listening to Nirvana and be more like Kurt, and tackle real problems.

  • You

    PS on top of which their website has this little thing where you have to pay to be in a fan club I mean what the hell is that sh!t, come on, I don’t have to pay to be a fan, you corporate sell outs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • djhoward

    As an alternative approach …. look at what Neil Young has done with his new cd. You can go to his website and “listen” to the whole thing, but not download it.

    I like this approach because Neil has decided the message of the songs is more important, and he gives a full preview for free before you decide whether you want to buy it, which is only fair.

    It’s only fair because cd’s and dvd’s are two retail commodities that are not returnable. Once you rip that cellophane off the case, there is no returning it whether it sucks or not. Hell, even movie theatres where I live will give refunds in the first 15 minutes of a movie if you don’t like it, but no such accommodation when it comes to cd’s or dvd’s.

    Maybe it’s time for other artists to embrace this “try before you buy” philosophy.

    RHCP created the demand for leaked copies themselves by being so secretive about their new release. Stadium Arcadium is a double album of 28 songs (yeah, I’m old, I still call them albums) and yet they have bombarded our ears with the same ONE released single (Dani California) for a couple months till I’m ready to beat flea over the head with the radio.

    Then there is the whole double album thing as well. How many double albums over the years have been full of shit filler (like stadium arcadium) and could have easily been whittled down to a single album of the better material? How much respect are you showing your fans by doubling their cost for a bunch of extra shit they don’t really want ? RHCP original plan was to release 3 single albums 6 months apart, but they opted for a double instead. At least their original plan would have given fans more choice in what to buy.

  • wow

    You are all pathetic. Does anyone respect musicians or their music? This is their job. Sure they make a good amount of money, but that isn’t the point. It is their product that they have produced; they deserve to be reimbursed for the purchase of it. You’ve piled up a lot of bullshit in saying that it you are justified in downloading the album illegally. This isn’t buyer beware. It’s $15 to gamble on music. If it sucks, you don’t buy from the band again. But I expect you are all fans otherwise you wouldn’t be stealing albums or talking about old ones. This album is worth every penny, but even if it wasn’t the artist still deserves to get paid for it. Quit trying to justify your illogical excuses for stealing. Because tat’s exactly what it is. Stealing from a candy store is undoubtedly parallel to this, and I wouldn’t expect anyone to condone that action. Grow up, show some respect, and don’t be so cheap.

  • I agree

    Further. Being a corporate sellout and asking for some respect seem to be thrown into the same camp nowadays. You think Kurt Cobain ripped up his paycheck and meditated? I think Cobain gets too much credit. But anyway, being a musician is a living. Quite being self-righteous and recognize that this is what they do. They may be pure artists and excellent songwriters, but they deserve the money that their product generates. Downloading full albums and never buying any is a crime, both legally and morally. It’s selfish. I don’t want to sound like Mother Goose, but seriously guys, have some respect. If Led Zeppelin had a new album leaked, do you think they’d be happy? Pink Floyd? Any of the amazing bands of all time? Of course they’d be pissed, it’s their livelyhood, they deserve their due.

  • 89 cents

    I think there are goods and bads to downloading. I think that the beginning of downloading music dilemma back in ’99 with Napster was great because now artists can’t do their “One-hit wonder” albums anymore and eventually led to sites that sell each song seperately for 99 cents or less. Now you can preview any song from any album with sites like Real Rhapsody and you can download the album at a slight fraction of the cost, download the songs you like, or you can decide you like the record and then go out and buy it. However, I don’t agree with downloading an entire album for free off some torrent site. This is their livelihood they dont have to do this. Are they super rich? Yes. But do they need to do this? No. They can say screw you and you will never hear another song from them again because your too cheap to afford a $15 album, and you somehow believe that because of that your better than everyone else and shouldn’t have to buy it.

  • adder

    it is a load of crap. glad i aint paid for it and never fukin will

  • niceboy

    I dont get why ppl download it illegally, MSN Music Uk sells the album as a download for £7.95. Thats 30p for a song, you £8 will be saved quickly if you dnt eat out much!

    By the way.. their songs are wicked!

  • Neo-X

    Yes, as many others have, i too also Downloaded the new album “stadium Arcadium”, and i Have to admit, Its pretty Damn Good. I have a vast music colletion, of which many cd’s only contain 1, or maybe 2 songs that i would ever listen to, as far as the good albums go, I always buy them when i can afford them.
    I bought “californication”, and “by the way” and i will buy the new one. it may take me a few months, and til then i have my dlded copy. if i wanted to be malicious i would do something better than “stealing” music. while most people think pirating music hurts the industry/artist, look at it this way, if your CD isnt any good, I WOULDNT BUY IT ANYWAY! so no loss, right? take it as a compliment that i would waste my time and bandwidth to listen to your music which i couldnt afford as it is. youll get my money (RHCP), not right away, but SEROIUS PROPS to “Stadium Arcadium”

  • angelica

    im not too sure about this whole downloading st. arc thing. im a good fan and waited for the cd to come out and bought it. i wasnt impressed, and yes, they could have spared us the double album by putting the best into one cd, but still, i dont think 20euros is going to kill anyone.
    flea is right and wrong- some might buy it and hate it, others mught download it and wish they bought it- either way i think the musician should have the right to be paid for what he/she gives to the world. and flea isnt just any musician, rhcp are a hell of a good band composed of 4 talented musicians.
    what i dont like is the fact that on their site it says you have to pay to become an ‘official fan’ of theirs, and as people mentioned, the way purchasing tickets and cds of theirs online has all become sponsored by itunes. they are billionares and there are poor kids out there who would do anything to have the right to obtain special seating at a concert as a consequence of being an ‘official fan.’
    rhcp have their pros and cons… in this case i think that the cd should be bought because personally i am against downloading music in general. if anything, listen to a friend’s cd or maybe download a couple of song, and if you dont like it, stay away from buying the cd. if you’re interested, then buy it- good music deserves to be paid for. and people should chill about the whole quality of the album thing- its a matter of opinion. some people like it, others dont. i personally think its not nearly as good as their old stuff but im not raging and swearing about it.

  • angelica

    and oh yea, PLEASE dont compare rhcp to dream theater or opeth! bleh

  • Chris

    Um, did I hear a different album from other people. I was expecting much more after the “By The Way” album. I think that on this album they have a significantly weaker group sound. I like alot of the songs but I think they could have easily chopped it down to single CD and made more of an effort to get better performances of some of their songs. The strongest tracks in my opinion are 21st Century, She’s Only 18, Tell Me Baby, Strip My Mind, Torture Me, Slow Cheetah, and Desecration Smile.
    Did anyone see the same fantastic potential that I did in the “By The Way” CD? I thought it was musically rich and incredibly positive. I was really dissapointed by “Stadium Arcadium” but I certainly don’t hate it.

  • angelica

    i agree

  • Edge

    Guess what, Flea? I wouldn’t have bought it…or shown an interest in your band…if I hadn’t downloaded it first. See, music today is 99% bloated corporate $hit. BTW, I truly love the album – its the best double album release since Physical Graffitti. I am now a fan. Don’t pi$$ on me gifted little man.

  • Suziesmile

    who ever the dumbass is who said flea should die should go die. if flea died, no more red hot chili peppers. anthony and him have been friends since high school, and no one could ever replace the sound of them. just cus he is pissed off because people started stealing music illegally off the web doesnt mean he should die. it is dumb to download illegal crappy copies of songs offline.

    I love RHCP and i always will..


  • Shash

    Again, I too am kinda a hypocrite for saying this, cause i previously had downloaded all of the Chilis’ songs, but once I realized that they were all four gods to me, i went out and bought every single album of theirs’ that I could. I guess this must be the case with many people, and for some (like me) the albums of the artists you love are’t even available!! (Case in point : there’s not a single copy of By The Way available in the whole of frickin’ India!!!!)
    The rest of the time I don’t have the fuckin’ money to buy them. But I guess, the people who REALLY are lame by dowloading music are those who have the money, have access to the album, proclaim themselves as great fans, but then don’t have the respect for the artist they supposedly “love” to buy one fuckin’ cd. THAT, I think, is lame.
    Otherwise, downloading is AWESOME. Personally, i wouldn’t have heard of most of the artists that I love, if it wasn’t for downloading.
    But for the self proclaimed “fans”, the least you can do is buy an album, man.

    P.S – the whole thing with paying to be a fan on their site is absolute bullshit. I can’t believe that they (John Frusciante in particular) actually approved of this. How incredibly lame. But, if your world revolves around them and you still aren’t registered (like moi), i guess we’re the types who don’t allow minor things like this to come in the way of our shameless idol worship…..i mean fandom.

    Hail the Chili, may it be with all of you, always.

  • shorne

    no one should pay for their crap, after their abysmal performance at reading 2007

  • RhCP-Rocks

    I downloaded only Snow and Dani California…
    I’m a huge fan and buyed the CD as fast as possible.. It’s crap that Flea blame every single fan who can’t wait and downloaded the album…
    Blame the f* studio that leaked the album.

    RhCP 4EvER

  • RhCP-Rocks

    You pay more for the download(internet connection etc.) then for the album!!

    You all are pathetic that all of you are making exuses for your illigal copie of Stadium!
    Blame on you! Artists have money indeed..
    I play in a band, we made one album and it is on the internet. nobody listens to our music, but its still on the internet.

    Be FAIR and JUST BUY Stadium, NOT download it

  • RHCP hypocrisy

    How can he say that the quality is poor, I know alot of people went to the 2007 Reading Festival to hear the RHCPs and they were really awful. I think they might well have been miming! Or high!

    Utter Rubbish, I’m not paying a penny for their crap.

  • rhcp 6402

    if you really love the band youd go out and buy the album and not download. anyone who is coplaning about how fleas mad shut the fuck up and get real. you owe them you really dont understand anything about the peppers if just down load a simple mono track with if you new any thing about the albums setup youd know what they ment. stadium arcadium is suposst to have a huge fealing to it. so stop wining its there music your using there stuff so dont complain.