Thievery Corporation’s Eric Hilton on “Illegal Downloading”

One of the hallmarks of the ’60s’ and early ’70s’ revolution was summed up by The Who’s finale on the 1971 Who’s Next album, “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” which ends with the all too prophetic words, “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.”

Recently, when being interviewed by Max Keiser on the RT network’s Keiser Report TV show, Eric Hilton of the Washington, D.C. based band Thievery Corporation used the words to describe the current situation musicians face, now that the music biz jungle has moved from a shrink wrapped buy-it-in-a-store product to the more abstract and ephemeral digital download.


In this day and age when politically active bands have trouble getting airplay on radio–a medium that always played it safe but now does so with absolute gusto–it’s refreshing when a band feels free to speak-out with such intelligent candor.

In case you don’t know, Thievery Corporation has been around since 1995 and has released at least six albums, most if not all on their Eighteenth Street Lounge Music (ESL Music) record label. They’ve opened for Paul McCartney and have been regularly featured at Lollapalooza.

They’re also known for taking progressive stances on a host of issues. According to Wikipedia:

“Tracks such as ‘Amerimacka’ and ‘Revolution Solution’ from their album The Cosmic Game and ‘Richest Man in Babylon’ from the album of the same title [sic] reveal the group’s opposition to the positions and initiatives of former president George W. Bush’s administration.”

The group vocally supports World Food Programme and has spoken-out against the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Christine Hall

Christine Hall began her journalism career in 1972 writing for the "underground" newspaper the Los Angeles Free Press. From 1988 until 2005 she covered politics for various newspapers in the Greensboro, North Carolina area.

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