Hi there, I wonder if I'm about to be expelled from the forums. I dare not mention the T-word though which I tried to use as an illustration to make it easier to understand my opinion but never mind what it was about, it obviously didnt work out. So this time I will stick to the core. I want a fair discussion and I'm honestly interested in your opinion. What do I mean by commercializing independence? In the music industry many things have been commercialized. Often signs like ragged clothes, coloured hair or a certain kind of music which were common among rebellious artists against the social intolerance decades ago were used more recently as a feature of pop-musicians to make them seem more excentric than they really were to serve a drive of the individual to be individual but at the same time reach many people by keeping the music mainstream. I guess most will agree this approach usualy compromises both style and music for neither is kept authentic by which I mean beeing the chosen preference of the artist. Also there is a distinction between independent artists and the rest. The former are characterized as far as I know having a label that doesn't try to manipulate the artists. After listening to ATS for several months I can't get off the impression LP got more independant but not as much as they claim. I don't know where to find it anymore but someone here pointed out the end of some documentation about ATS to understand what LP was trying to to with ATS. I had watched it and also read other interviews with LP and they are basically saying they wanted to make ATS how they felt, to try new things and stop doing what WB made them to do for so many years. I don't say they were lieing but I think they exaggerate their independance a lot. And if this is true, than we have a case of commmercialized independance. Maybe I'm totally wrong, maybe ATS is the pure LP, honest without any watering down by WB. I can't prove anything, I can only judge by the experience of about ten years of intense listening to many different artists and a lot LP the first couple of years. My intuition tells me songs like Burning in the Skies and Iridescent are actually watered down by WB. These two are just my strongest examples. I agree on a post I read that it isn't easy after ten years of pleasing WB to do something completely on their own. For example in my opinion The Messenger is a song beeing an experiment of LP to do something different but failing to get it quite right. Also there are other examples in ATS where they blundered. To me the most convincing theory is WB finally agreed to let LP do what they liked to do but still having the right to alter the album to their wishes before selling it, maybe to different degrees on different songs. This would have allowed LP to explore new grounds and WB to take care it wouldn't drift too far off the mainstream, nevermind the direction though. To me many songs on ATS sound not less mainstream than HT, Meteora or MTM and I don't mean Rock-mainstream but general music mainstream. If LP really wants to do whatever they like why don't they just leave WB and enjoy the freedom they get at some independent label? I'm not an expert on US legal questions but whatever obligations they signed I can't believe there is no way out, if they really wanted to. Not beeing allowed to produce the music you like for ten years? They can make an album and post it on their homepage for download, they are free people. If its all about the music I dont understand why they didn't quit WB a long time ago. I remember them having trouble with WB before the MTM release or was it around Meteora? I don't know but the subject of beeing tied to a label has appeared in their music even before HT, i.e. High Voltage. So what do think? Am I alone with this opinion or does somebody here feel a similar way?