Monsters And Pirates

The one-year-old band Monster Cat has decided to put their new album Mannequins up for free downloading on The Pirate Bay.

“You downloaded our album off Pirate Bay? Did it work? We hope it did,” asked RJ (going by the pseudonym Psycho Cat) – the alternative folk-rock outfit’s guitarist and vocalist. Monster Cat had posted the link to The Pirate Bay on their official Monster Cat site.

LOUD’s download made the band happy. The five tracks album – a mix of folk-rock tracks – is free for download. The album includes original wallpaper artwork, a 15% discount to their merchandise and a well-packaged CD.

The following question comes to mind: why a self-funded album of original music (that costs each member of the band a four-figure sum) is available on what Los Angeles Times called “the world’s largest facilitator of illegal downloading”?

“As artistes, it’s worse not to get heard. This is a chance for us to get heard by an international audience,” said guitarist and lead vocalist Wang (aka Hentai Cat), who added that the band sold 450 CDs and 150 digital downloads before linking up with the site.

“The Pirate Bay has a promotional mechanism called The Promo Bay (you can read more about it here). They open it up to anyone and everyone who wants to promote their film or music,” he said.

“So the band wrote in”, said bassist Syai (aka Copy Cat), and the site asked its own Facebook group what they thought of Monster Cat.

After getting a positive response, the band’s album photo took the front page on PirateBay’s for three days. It is yet considered an unconventional solution, but many of us believe this is the future of entertaining; the band feels that this kind of advertising has worked out so far. In addition, Wang said that the traffic to their official site went up – 150.000 hits over the three days since their launch on TPB.

While the band members have no business background thus far, they agree that a business boost is essential since digital downloading is changing the patterns of music distribution, ownership and purchasing.

“As musicians, I think we should always take note of digital culture and how it’s always changing and shaping consumer habits. To us, file sharing is one of those things that is part of reality and we have to learn how to cope with it and see the opportunities…,” said RJ.

“…and co-exist with it,” said Wang, completing his sentence.

If you like the band, go to www.monstercat.net to obtain more information, and also you can check out www.loud.sg for their newly released music video – Underwater.