Most of us know the guitarist and singer-songwriter Bob Weir as a founding member of the Grateful Dead. But Weir is also the founder of Tamalpais Research Institute (TRI), a state-of-the-art performance studio which offers musicians the opportunity to distribute their work in high-end digital form.
I had the great honor to interview Weir yesterday at SFMusicTech. And it was, so to speak, a trip. Weir talked to me about why information doesn’t really want to be free and how even musicians need to make a living. Most of all, though, Weir talked to me about the decline of quality standards in the digital music industry. MP3 music, he explained, is an “assault on our nervous system.” While even CDs sound dreadful, he insisted.
So, I asked, how much is the Grateful Dead responsible for this decline in standards? After all, I reminded him, they were the first band to encourage their fans to give away poorly recorded copies of their work for free.
This is the first in a series of interviews from Brian Zisk’s iconic SFMusicTech. Next up, a rather feisty encounter with one of the bad boys of the Internet – Bit Torrent founder Bram Cohen.