TP tells Rolling Stone what frosts his flakes:
- 1 Radio is not even worth listening to
“I don’t really give a flying fuck about any of it. I’ve tuned out. But I was elated when my song was banned. I mean, nothing could have complimented me more than to hear they just banned it at such-and-such a station because it’s anti-radio. Now, in 2002 to have a song banned that doesn’t have a dirty word, doesn’t advocate violence — it’s fascinating, you know. Like, what are you afraid of? No record has ever been made that was more pro-radio, you know.
“I remember when the radio meant something. We enjoyed the people who were on it, even if we hated them. They had personalities. They were people of taste, who we trusted. And I see that vanishing. I thought it was a good metaphor to start the album.”
2 All anyone thinks about is money
“You don’t hear any more of, ‘Hey, we did something creative and we turned a profit, how about that?’ Everywhere we look, we want to make the most money possible. This is a dangerous, corrupt notion. That’s where you see the advent of programming on the radio, and radio research, all these silly things. That has made pop music what it is today. Everything — morals, truth — is all going out the window in favor of profit.
“I don’t think it’s a good attitude in your life to feel that you have to be rich to have self-esteem. You know, I saw a billboard in New York I wish I had photographed. It was for the TNN network. It said three words against a patriotic background of red, white and blue – BIGGER, YOUNGER, RICHER. Now, I find that fascinating: ‘Bigger, younger, richer.’ This whole idea of being wealthy has gone too far. I never ride in a limousine, you know. I feel gross if I get in a limousine. One good thing about the Sixties was it sort of was the opposite back then. You looked silly trying to appear rich.”
3 It’s ridiculous to make people pay twenty dollars for a CD
“It’s funny how the music industry is enraged about the Internet and the way things are copied without being paid for. But you know why people steal the music? Because they can’t afford the music. I’m not condoning downloading music for free. I don’t think that’s really fair, but I understand it. If you brought CD prices back down to $8.98, you would solve a lot of the industry’s problems. You are already seeing it a little — the White Stripes albums selling for $9.99. Everyone still makes a healthy profit; it might get the music business back on its feet.”
4 Only a complete greedhead would charge $150 for a concert ticket
“My top price is about sixty-five dollars, and I turn a very healthy profit on that; I make millions on the road. I see no reason to bring the price up, even though I have heard many an anxious promoter say, ‘We could charge 150 bucks for this.’ I would like to do this again and maybe come through and not leave a bad taste in people’s mouths. I was at one of our gigs recently, and I was just stunned driving in that it cost thirty dollars to park your car. It’s so wrong to say, ‘OK, we’ve got them on the ticket and we’ve got them on the beer and we’ve got on everything else, let’s get them on the damn parking.’ You got to care about the person you’re dealing with.”
5 Record labels don’t care about artists
“An act like ours wouldn’t even be around today if someone hadn’t brought us along and let us make mistakes and grow at our own pace. Today it seems that if you don’t have a hit — or even if you do — they have no use for you the next time. It’s like, ‘Well, why wait for these guys to come back with another hit when we can bring in somebody else?’ It’s an asinine way to conduct yourself. These people are looking at balance sheets, not music. Most people involved in putting this music on the air or bringing it to us aren’t really listening to it.”…
His peeves number ten in all.