Mumford & Sons 'wouldn't join Tidal even if asked' and rule out 'doing a Taylor Swift'

The folk-pop band think smaller bands should be paid more on Jay Z's service

Mumford & Sons have attacked Jay Z’s new streaming service Tidal, describing the high-profile musicians behind it as “new school f**king plutocrats”.

Frontman Marcus Mumford is so against the £19.99-per-month company promoted by the likes of Madonna, Kanye West and Rihanna, that he insists his band “wouldn’t have joined it anyway, even if they had asked”.

“I’m not into the tribalistic aspect of it – that’s just commercial bulls**t,” he told The Daily Beast. “We just want to play music and I don’t want to align myself with Spotify, Beats, Tidal or whatever. We want people to listen to our music in their most comfortable way, and if they’re not up for paying for it, I don’t really care.”

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Jay-Z launches Tidal with fellow high-profile musicians in New York

Mumford added that smaller bands should be paid more as bigger bands have other ways of making money, such as by touring. “A band of our size shouldn’t be complaining,” he said. “When they say it’s artist-owned, it’s owned by those rich, wealthy artists.”

Guitarist Winston Marshall drew upon Taylor Swift’s anti-Spotify stance, which the folk-pop group do not agree with either. “We don’t want to be part of some Tidal ‘streaming revolution’, nor do I understand [Swift’s] argument,” he said.

“The focus is slightly missed. Music is changing, it’s f**king changing. This is how people are going to listen to music now – streaming. So diversify as a band. It doesn’t mean selling your songs to adverts.”

 

Mumford backed up Marshall’s comments by suggesting that small bands have a better opportunity in the music industry now than ever before, because their songs can be listened to worldwide without securing a record deal.

“It’s democratized the music industry,” he said. “So as much as it sucks and they need to figure out how to represent people fairly financially, you’ve never been able to get your music listened to more easily.”

Mumford & Sons, whose third album Wilder Mind is released on 4 May, are by no means the first to criticise Tidal. Lily Allen recently said that although she “loves Jay Z so much”, his service is too expensive and will lead to music fans “swarming back to pirate sites in droves”.

The US rapper insists that Tidal is not intended as a direct rival to Spotify, but rather to “strike an honest blow” in shaping the future of the music industry to benefit artists, producers and others working on music.

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