"Hopefully in five years' time, people will have got fed up of X-Factor"
"It's going to be difficult to keep this positive!" said Graeme Park to me as we wandered, post-interview, back into the grand foyer of the new Creative Industries Centre of Glyndŵr University. Graeme, a DJ of international repute, is a lecturer at Glyndŵr, and is the host of a series of seminars that are taking place in the swish surrounds of the on-site TV studio.
Park was joined last Thursday by Simon Gavin, a music industry veteran and current head of Verve records, and Mancunian legend Peter Hook, of Joy Division and New Order. The three of them were in Wrexham to discuss the state of the music industry in 2011, in this new digital world we find ourselves, with all its well-rehearsed arguments, its pros and cons. But get anyone together who make their livings from music and it's par for the course that the conclusions will be maudlin at best, hand-wringingly woeful at worst.
But in the end, in front of an appreciative, rapt audience, the three music heads swapped thoughts, anecdotes and laughs that showed that while there are challenges to the way people make and sell music, things are to a large degree as they ever were: passionate, good songs are always the priority.
However, this event gave me the opportunity to probe a little deeper into the issues with the panel prior to the seminar itself (and let's be honest, the chance to talk to Hooky should never be passed up).
Take a listen to what these three music big cheeses have to say about where they are in the music business, their attitudes towards the web and its implications for their business, and where they think we'll be in five years' time:
"For a lot of new bands coming now they will never have the commercial success that [I] had because it doesn't exist; because people take your music without paying for it."
"Technology is fantastic... out of that has sprung some amazing things. But unfortunately out of that has mainly sprung a load of tedious, unoriginal, poorly-produced nonsense that would never have seen the light of day as recently as the 90s."
"It's such a tiny business now."