Tame Impala’s genius Kevin Parker recently held an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on the world’s favourite internet hole, Reddit, which saw the surprise unveiling of a new song, as well as revealing just how little Tame have made from overseas sales.
Reddit user lambington4 asked, “Hi Kevin! How do you feel about people downloading and streaming your music for free?” to which Kev served up a massive response, the crux of it noting that Tame Impala had made barely any profit from international record sales.
“Up until recently, from all of Tame Impala’s record sales outside of Australia I had received…. zero dollars. Someone high up spent the money before it got to me. I may never get that money” he said, “then Blackberry and some tequila brand or something put my song in an ad. Then I bought a house and set up a studio.”
He went on to explain this further, “I know what you’re thinking…’wait so…when I bought an album I was helping some businessman pay for his mansion on an island somewhere, and when some dude bought a mobile phone he was helping to pay an artist? WHHHYY?’ I’ll tell you why, IT’S MONEY. It doesn’t always go where you want it to go. It’s like a shopping trolley with a bung wheel.”
But Parker doesn’t want any fan to worry about the lack of money he’s making from his own music, giving his best advice to not only Tame Impala loyalists, but music lovers in general, “As far as I’m concerned the best thing you can do for an artist is LISTEN to the music…fall in love with it…….talk about it………get it however you can get it….Let the corporations pay for” before quickly quipping “this is just my brain rambling remember, I’m sure there are holes in my theories… for example I realise not everyone’s music is suited to a mobile phone ad, and it would be lame if artists tailored their music for that purpose.”
So there you have it, despite being one of the most popular bands in the world right now, continually on the touring circuit with two epic records under their belt, Tame Impala have only just started to make some form of bank from album sales. Crazy stuff, huh?
If you want to check out the tell-all Q&A session with Kevin Parker – jump over to the Reddit thread.