Elbow: 'Music pirates are going to hell'

Words by Greg Cochrane, interview by Natalie Jamieson
Newsbeat entertainment reporters

image copyrightbbc
image captionElbow's Guy Garvey says music pirates are "going to hell"

Elbow's Guy Garvey has said that file-sharers who can afford to buy music but decide not to are "going to hell".

The 36-year-old singer said he understood if people who couldn't afford music "rip it" but that for others there is "no excuse".

"Without the live side nobody's making any money," he said.

The band's 2008 LP The Seldom Seen Kid won the Mercury Prize and sold more than 600,000 copies in the UK.

'Can't afford' music

Garvey was asked if he was worried about their as-yet-untitled fifth album being leaked before its release in spring 2011.

"If you genuinely can't afford music then of course you're going to rip it," the singer said.

"If you can afford it and you don't pay for it then you're going to hell and you've got your own room. Especially when it's a smaller band. There's no excuse."

He added that he felt his band were in a privileged position 20 years into their career to now have a supportive record label.

"You come across people [record labels] who've dropped Elbow all the time. If you throw a rock in London you'll hit one.

"We're lucky to have a paymaster in the current climate. It's not lost on us."

'Dedicated' fanbase

The Bury band experienced a significant upturn in sales after they won the Mercury Prize in 2008.

"We've got a dedicated fanbase who've always been there since the very first record," Garvey remarked.

"To have it suddenly expanded in that way. It must be 700% more people listening to the stuff - it was just incredibly flattering.

"If we never have a record that's as successful as that one again, it's still going to be something amazing."

However, he admitted that it has put a certain amount of pressure on the group as they apply the final touches to the new album.

"We get asked a lot of whether the success of The Seldom Seen Kid has put any pressure on us for this new record - I'm sure it has.

"We've never taken writing and recording records that lightly. I can't remember an album where we weren't concentrated on it for a long time.

"It's not like we're suddenly now thinking more about the numbers than we are about the music."

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