When Napster exploded onto the scene in 1999, not every musician responded by frothing at the mouth. In this exclusive clip from the Napster documentary Downloaded, you’ll see that artists’ reactions were as diverse as the music they make. Trent Reznor’s smug braininess meets multiple Spice Girls and everybody walks away wondering how Spice Girls haven’t heard of the internet. In 1999. Seriously?
In fairness, you couldn’t possibly expect Snoop Dogg, Metallica, Seal and David Bowie to fully grasp the impact Napster would go on to have. It represented a complicated technological development that was changing the very foundation of the business that made them stars in the first place. So some of them tried to stoke what they saw as a consumer revolution, while others cried out that downloading was theft.
Th varied reactions foreshadowed the debates we’ve been having about digital music ever since. At least a few of the artists represented in the clip have changed their tune in the years since Napster first made buying music obsolete. Just last year at a Spotify event in New York, Metallica’s Lars Urlich publicly made peace with Napster co-founder (and Spotify investor) Sean Parker.
We’ve been looking forward to the Napster documentary since we first saw the trailer, and it’s nice to see that it’s finally going to be available to your eyeballs and brains. Downloaded will have its official opening on Friday at the Sundance Cinemas in Los Angeles, where director Alex Winter (yes the Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures Alex Winter) will be on hand for Q&A session after the 7PM show.
Head over the flick’s Facebook page for more information on how to see it.