The following interview was conducted with Ralf Muller, a member of Toronto-based 22Hertz, who have decided to imprint their latest single, “Get the Hell Out,” onto the Bitcoin block chain. The song is featured in the 7th edition of the CCN Podcast.
I heard about bitcoin in 2011 while writing the first album, Detonate. I didn’t understand it, so I said to myself, if this is any good I’ll hear about it again in the future. Then in early 2013 I heard about it again, put more time into it and I awoke. We are getting about 3% sales in Bitcoin. I’m sure it will grow with time. Haven’t checked my tips lately.
What drove the decision to make downloads free?
We are a new band completely independent and want as much exposure as possible. This is the secret of getting popular, well that along with talent. Also bands(successful bands under labels) only earn about 4-7% from records sales (CD’s, MP3’s). Who cares if I lose 7%? These days it’s gonna end up on the Internet anyways for free, so why fight it?
Do you have live events? Do you talk to people about Bitcoin at them?
We started live shows in January. We talk about Bitcoin but not during the performance however, I do have a little surprise coming up for some future shows.
Also read: BitShares Out to Make P2P Music Profitable
Have any of you guys been in other bands?
Yes, we all have been in other bands. I think that’s the case for most musicians.
Do you like other coins? Have you thought about doing one of the Counterparty artist coins, like TatianaCoin?
I find bitcoin the most attractive because it has the most secure network with all that peta-hash of power. I like all things that are decentralized. This is the future. Can’t wait for a decentralized social network.
What do you see as the biggest benefit of cryptocurrency for artists?
Direct payment from fan to the band. No middle men. No fees. Global and fast.
You seem to have a high-quality sound. How did you fund the recording of your album?
Thanks for your comment. I paid the studio in regular old fiat cash because I didn’t know much about Bitcoin then. However, blasting Bitcoin information to new people that I meet in the industry makes me annoying sometimes (I think).
What does the name 22Hertz mean?
It’s kind of a concept where you are at the edge of perception. Humans can hear roughly from 20-20,000hz. Oh and 20hertz.com was already taken.
Is the whole band as into Bitcoin as you are?
They didn’t even know what the hell that was when I first met them. However, I am constantly nagging for them to educate themselves and it seems to be working. I don’t want to force anybody to use/adopt Bitcoin. I just want them to learn about it and all the benefits then they can make up their own mind. They have definitely garnered an interest though.
Are you guys holding the Bitcoin you’ve gotten in sales, using it to buy equipment etc., or converting it to dollars?
All Bitcoin sales are not converted, I repeat, not converted into fiat. The idea is once the value goes up, which most likely it will, we can then invest it back into the band. Don’t forget at present we are a completely an independent band with no help from anyone.
Where did the idea to store a song in the block chain come from?
There was an article I read a few months ago where someone stored a book in the block chain for copyright purposes. I thought that was cool.
How do you feel about streaming music services, like Grooveshark, getting shut down by the RIAA? Do you feel like the RIAA could represent your interests as an artist?
The big record labels have the most to lose with streaming and/or people getting music for free, It’s their main business model. They are a ‘centralized’ group and shape what the population gets exposed to. They (not the public) decide who gets famous in the overwhelming majority of cases. These gatekeepers have a huge influence over the RIAA. Centralized power is the cause of 95+ percent of the world’s misery. As an artist struggling to get recognition, the RIAA has nothing to offer me. Streaming music and the music itself in digital format should always be free IMHO.
What are your thoughts on cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin?
I like anything that’s decentralized, where the power is spread over the population and not centralized to a small group who then has all the power. I’m always reading up on cryptocurrency news and there are a few that seem interesting. POS coins have yet to prove if they will get adopted by the masses. So long as the network is resilient enough to brush off attacks, I will probably like it.
What we really need is a coin based on proof of unique human (POUH) however, at this point the government will have to get involved but I think it can solve the majority of problems we find in cryptocurrency right now.
Last modified: June 5, 2015 12:27 UTC