Band of Horses & Wal-Mart, Peter Bjorn & John & Target, etc
….Band of Horses allowed Wal-Mart to use “The Funeral,” a song off last year’s debut, “Everything All the Time,” in a Web advertisement. If he had turned down Wal-Mart’s offer, Bridwell said: “What are you left with? People will forget you were high and mighty.”
The licensing of “Is There a Ghost” to a Ford TV commercial also drew sellout calls. Independent of the deal, both Bridwells drive Ford trucks. Ben’s is a rusty, battered F-150 with a broken window motor that makes parking under trees when rain threatens a good idea.
Bridwell released a statement through Sub Pop, the band’s label, explaining his position. He feels he shouldn’t have been asked to do that.
“Every commercial has music,” David Bridwell said.
“Any (person) with a computer can write a blog,” Ben Bridwell said. “What do you do for a living? Do you not work?
“Do you not get paid by someone?”
Here’s an idea many critics failed to present when sounding off: Bands no longer make enough money from album sales and touring, so licensing is essential to sustaining a career. And — surprise! — it’s hardly a new trend.
Wilco’s music is being used in Volkswagen commercials. Sonic Youth will release a tribute compilation, “Hits Are for Squares,” through Starbucks. And who hasn’t hummed to Outback Steakhouse’s reworking of “Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games” by Of Montreal?
Selling a song to a retailer — like Peter Bjorn and John, who sold their song “Young Folks” to Target — doesn’t mean the song isn’t catchy, glamorous and, ultimately, good. So should “The Funeral” be buried?
The photo in this post was taken at the “MySpace Secret Show” that Band of Horses played @ Vera Project in Seattle this weekend (Oct 6, 2007). BOH have two upcoming NYC shows, and other scheduled tour dates.