First Take: Little Steven Van Zandt Page 3

Or what FM radio used to be, back in its heyday. Yeah, that's right, that's right. Only in that regard, because of the technology, FM essentially replaced AM for a while. Although AM kinda sneaked back with the news programs and all that. The FCC favored FM over AM, and it just kinda roared right by them.

As things continue to change, Sirius will become beneficial not only to the listener, but also to the artist. And that's the role that people tend to forget - somewhere along the way, terrestrial radio became separated. Economic necessities of the artists and the companies became only concerned with mollifying and keeping an audience tuned in only to sell them advertising. That wasn't the way it was for 20-25 years - there was a very healthy relationship between radio, artists, and record companies. I mean, radio sold records, right? [laughs] Somewhere along the way, that changed for the worst. For everybody.

Sirius is bringing back more emphasis on the artists, the independent artists who are the future. The major record companies are pretty much over - they're walking around, but they're dead men - and the future is going to be some form of independent way of support, an independent alliance of sorts between various support systems. Sirius will make deals directly with the retailer, directly with the downloader, and my record company will be independent, but with a direct distribution alliance. Keep your overhead and expectations low and your quality high, and create a new sort of business model that's able to survive in this fragmented world.

To CD or Not CD

I know you've never been a fan of the CD format... [Read Mike's previous interview with Little Steven] No, I haven't.

Downloading music files is a way or life for so many people these days. Is it possible that the CD is on its last legs? No, I think it's going to be a while yet. It's all about the sampling rate. Get a higher sampling rate and better sound quality on these portable devices, and that may make the usefulness of an actual disc irrelevant.

I don't think the record companies can get away with asking people to buy the catalog yet one more time. But they will try.

You've always been an analog proponent as both a musician and a producer, so it must be hard listening to CDs. CDs are the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the public. God forbid that anyone A/B their compact discs with vinyl records. God forbid that ever happened, because it would be over. There'd be riots in the streets.