Paul McCartney ‘Pulling Hair Out’ Over Shift to Lo-Fi Listening Habits
In an interview promoting “Hope for the Future,” his new song included in the first-person shooter video game Destiny, Paul McCartney expressed distaste for the way young people consume music through tinny-sounding cell phone speakers.
“In an ideal world, they listen to what you’ve recorded in the way that you have presented it,” the rock legend told the Guardian. “It’s all changed so drastically. A lot of kids listen to music on their smartphones through these tiny little speakers. I’m pulling my hair out thinking, ‘Argh, I spent hours making that high-fidelity sound! Get a decent set of headphones! Please!'”
McCartney has an analogy for this lo-fi listening experience: “looking at a postcard” of a gallery-worthy painting. “I’d love people to be listening to the music in the most perfect way, so they can experience exactly what we made in the studio,” he says. Still, he adds, if the song itself is of high quality, the “delivery system isn’t important” to young people.
“Things change,” McCartney continues. “Maybe when they get older, they’ll get into vinyl and become more sophisticated. But for me, at least they’re hearing what I’m doing, in some form or another. I mean, I’ve come through vinyl, tape cassettes, CDs, digital downloads. . . all along, the constant was that a song is required.”
McCartney first announced his involvement with Destiny via Twitter in July 2012. He recorded the triumphant “Hope for the Future” at Abbey Road Studios with a 120-piece orchestra conducted by Giles Martin, and the track was produced by Mark “Spike” Stent. McCartney, along with composers Marty O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori, also wrote and composed an additional 50 minutes of music for the game. As Destiny developer Eric Osbourne told Vulture, the former Beatle didn’t accept any money for the project, taking part solely for “the creativity.”