■ The Disturbed frontman, 45, tells us about streaming, investing in Spotify and his dislike of multiplayer gaming
You’re in a band — are you fussy about microphones?
For studio recording you want something that will capture what you’re doing at the highest level but you can go with something like the typical U87. The only effects I use are a bit of reverb and delay. I don’t use distortion on my vocals.
Why did you first invest in Spotify?
I heard about Spotify and was intrigued by Daniel Ek’s attempts to come up with something that would make piracy obsolete and create a revenue stream again. It was clear this would become the next means of consuming music, something that didn’t require data storage and enabled you to access any song at any time. I wasn’t just an investor, I was their ambassador to the rock community.
Musicians often complain they make very little money from streaming…
People are quick to point the finger at streaming and forget that piracy caused all this in the first place. Does streaming compare to the old profit margins created from physical sales? No. But no one is taking into consideration the relationship between the artist and the licence-holder or record label. People are making tons of money from streaming and the labels are making more money than they’ve made in decades. When labels license their entire catalogue to Spotify for $10million for a year and it only generates $5million worth of streams, they pocket the remaining $5million. Money is being made but it’s not necessarily going into the artists’ pockets.
What else have you invested in?
Lyft. I missed the opportunity with Uber as I didn’t think it had a chance. I’ve also invested in Sonos, which I’m not too excited about. The smart-speaker space is a tough one.
What gadgets made an impression on you when you were younger?
We had an Intellivision. It was like an Atari. That was my first video game system. I played Space Invaders on that all the time.
Are you a gamer now?
I am. I’ve been playing Destiny on the PS4 but I’m not a fan of multiplayer. I really don’t like getting my arse kicked by a ten-year-old and I always shut off the audio. The amount of profanity and s*** talking — good lord, I don’t want to hear that.
Do you have any handy travel gadgets for when you are touring?
My iPad. I’ve got the latest one. I’ll download stuff from Amazon and Netflix for something to occupy me on the plane. I don’t like noise-cancelling headphones, though — I find them uncomfortable.
What’s been your most disappointing tech purchase?
The iPhone 6s. I had so many problems with it. Apps crashed, it was slow, calls dropped. I use an 8 now, which is much better.
If you could invent any gadget what would it do?
A virtual smack in the face. There are so many keyboard warriors spreading bulls*** online, then they cross the line and get this virtual smack in the face.
Disturbed’s new album, Evolution, is out now