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Neil Young on Joe Rogan, Spotify Spat: ‘I Support Free Speech’

“I have never been in favor of censorship" rocker said in a note posted on his website
Neil Young
(Credit: Gus Stewart / Contributor)

Neil Young removed his catalog from Spotify this week after Spotify podcast host Joe Rogan made skeptical remarks about the Covid-19 vaccines. But in a new letter posted on his Archives website, the veteran rocker clarified that his qualms are with Spotify profiting from Rogan’s pot-stirring just as it profits from inferior audio quality.

“Amazon, Apple Music and Qobuz deliver up to 100% of the music today and it sounds a lot better than the shitty degraded and neutered sound of Spotify,” Young wrote. “If you support Spotify, you are destroying an art form. Business over art … I met Daniel Ek when he started Spotify. It sounded to me like he was really going to be getting into it. That was a long time ago. I wonder what happened.”

Young also addressed the issue of censorship. In recent days, Young has been accused of being pro-censorship, which he denies.

“I support free speech,” he said.  “I have never been in favor of censorship. Private companies have the right to choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to have my music support a platform that disseminates harmful information. I am happy and proud to stand in solidarity with the front-line health care workers who risk their lives every day to help others.”