BIO: Boston's multiplatinum metal growlers debuted at No. 1 this past April with their new album, IV (Republic/Universal).
TONY ROMBOLA (guitarist): The downloading thing - it is what it is. It's the evolution. We went from records to cassettes to CDs, and now we're moving on. It's the natural evolution. Eventually, your phone, wristwatch, or ring will be able to do the same thing. We have to accept it. The thing I don't like about it is when you buy a download, there's nothing in your hand. There was always something special about buying an album. I'd always look through the whole thing, and it was big, with big artwork.
SHANNON LARKIN (drummer): I agree; I really miss having something in my hands. That's the tragic part. Is the CD going away for good? I'm no Nostradamus, but ... [laughs] I'm a collector. When a record came out, I'd read the lyrics and look at pictures of the band while I was listening to it. I'll miss that, for sure.
What can artists do? That's a really, really good question.
All we can do is make music.
BIO: Singer/songwriter/guitarist (foreground) for Welsh alt-rockers who condense 10 years of brash jamming onto two discs' worth of Live from Dakota (Nettwerk).
MAN OF MYSTERY: I do wonder if we're taking away the mystery a little with downloads. I'd like people to just show up at the record shop the day of release and find out what the record looks like then. One thing I used to like about purchasing a CD on the first day was that I knew nothing about the album. I didn't know what the songs sounded like, I didn't know how many songs were on the album. Now you can get previews, streamings, and all the artwork before it's out. That bores me.
HAND-HOLDING: I'm coming to terms with the way things are done these days. It's a new thing for me, but I'm going with the flow. If I didn't, I'd be an idiot. I've recently downloaded new albums by the Red Hot Chili Peppers [Stadium Arcadium] and Gnarls Barkley [St. Elsewhere], and I can take them with me when I go for a walk in the park or go for a run, but I still miss holding the CD sleeve in my hand. The digital booklet does nothing for me. What I usually do is buy every album twice anyway, because I want to hold it in my hand.
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