Anthrax Ian thinks up to four people illegally downloaded Worship Music for every one who bought it… and demands retribution

Anthrax

Lost sales: Anthrax

Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian believes that for every fan who’s bought new album Worship Music, as many as four have illegally downloaded it.

And he says filesharers should be denied access to the internet.

The thrash act’s long-awaited tenth album sold 30,000 copies in its first week of release in September. But Ian remembers a time when Anthrax sold five times as many records – and blames downloading for the decline.

He tells the New Times: “The fact that we sold 30,000 the first week and entered at number 12 was awesome, for 2011.

“If you put that in 2011 we would have sold probably 250,000 the first week and been number 12. In 1993 Sound of White Noise entered the charts at number seven and it sold like 110,000 copies.

“A lot of it has to do, of course, with what other records come out the same week as you, and all that. But it just sucks that 30,000 is considered a huge success in 2011.”

Asked if he thinks a lot of fans stole the album, Ian says: “I don’t think – I know they did. People have this sense of entitlement now where thy think music is free and that’s the way it is.”

The guitarist maintains filesharing is the equivalent of stealing a CD. “Before the internet, the only way to steal music was to walk into a music store and physically walk out with something,” he says. “You were stealing and you knew it. If you got caught you were going to get into trouble.

“On the internet there’s no consequence for stealing. Until there is a consequence it’s going to happen more and more and more – and people are going to see less and less and less original and good content from the record industry and movie industry.”

Ian points out: “It’s not free for us to make these records,” and says the punishment should fit the crime.

“You lose your internet – that’s it, no more internet for you. Seriously. Like you drive drunk, you lose the privilege of driving. You download illegally, you lose the privilege of having the internet.

“Why these service providers don’t stop the torrent sites and put a consequence on this, I have no idea. Everybody complains about the trillions of dollars being lost but nobody does anything about it.

“Believe me, if I could do something about it, I would.”

Related stories: