British metal band Napalm Death are probably a band least inclined to explore modern-day technology. But — surprise, surprise! — they are in on the cryptocurrency craze. Well, sort of only. And not by their own volition. Okay, that seems confusing enough, right? Don’t worry, it isn’t that confusing. Neither is it earth-shattering news. It’s an ice-breaker of a news, though, especially on a slow day.
See, there’s this HBO TV series called Silicon Valley, and one of its characters, Gilfoyle (played by the artist Martin Starr) reveals in Season 5 that he mines cryptocurrency as a side gig. For the uninitiated, cryptocurrencies are pretty much just digital money, with the so-called Bitcoin being the most popular of their kind (really, Google cryptocurrency, or maybe ask Siri). Anyway, said character Gilfoyle admits to his officemates that he had created an alert that plays when Bitcoin’s value either rises or drops. Said alert — and you may have caught on already — plays Napalm Death’s unique “opus” “You Suffer,” likely the shortest “song” ever put out in the history of humankind. Just how short? Exactly 1.316 seconds! That’s a hell of an alert, yes? Yes!
“We actually follow the bitcoin price quite a lot,” Guðmundsson explained in an email to The Verge. “And playing beautiful music each time it passes a certain amount makes the day better.” Now, we here at Music Junkie Press are not much of Bitcoin price followers, but we tend to agree with Guðmundsson’s description of “You Suffer” as being “beautiful music.”
As for cryptocurrencies, they are apparently a big deal. They have values (or prices), and they can be traded just like gold. They are, along with the technology — please Google blockchain, or ask Siri — that make them possible, are also being used as a medium of exchange just like regular money. This year, in fact, more retailers all around the world have accepted cryptocurrencies as a payment option. Even the online casino industry in the US is starting to open up to Bitcoin, providing players with even more secure deposit options. Acceptance of cryptocurrencies is not yet an across-the-board thing in this particular industry, but the fact that it has begun is a step towards that direction already. But more than these developments, Bitcoin and blockchain are penetrating the music industry, too, with the artists themselves as the biggest beneficiaries. The cryptocurrency projects Tatiana Coin and Musicoin are notable in this regard, as they are being touted as an innovative way for artists and their audiences to support one another. Both projects aim to bring music closer to fans, while making sure that the music makers earn a more than decent living.
Napalm Death are prolific music maker themselves, and if Bitcoin fulfills its immense promise, they will certainly benefit from it, along with their peers in the music industry. In the meantime, there’s no word yet on whether they know about Bitcoin, or if either Gilfoyle or Guðmundsson got in touch with the band. Regardless, Napalm Death are now in on the crypto-craze . . . well, sort of at least. .