x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Now you, too, can produce a record

The British indie-rock band the Kaiser Chiefs have released their new album via their website - which is where fans can customise their own version of it.

Ever dreamed of becoming a record producer? Well now's your chance.

The British indie-rock band the Kaiser Chiefs have released their new album - The Future Is Medieval - via their website, allowing fans to customise their own album of 10 songs from a possible 20 for just £7.50 (Dh42). You can even get creative with the cover and upload the artwork of your choice.

Why? Well to combat the big, bad threat of illegal downloading of course. Better still, there's the incentive to make some cash at the same time. Should other fans of new wave and punk rock like your carefully crafted album, every time they download it you will receive £1 (Dh6) in royalties.

The Kaiser Chiefs are not the first to try a new approach to peddling their wares: in 2007, Prince gave his 10-track album Planet Earth away free with a UK newspaper. That same year, Radiohead famously let fans pay whatever they wanted for their album In Rainbows, which drew criticism from the outspoken Kiss frontman, Gene Simmons, who called the move ludicrous and proposed every illegal downloader be sued.

Whether the Kaiser Chiefs' new business model will reap dividends remains to be seen, and it rests shakily on the naive assumption that all fans have a strong moral conscience when it comes to paying for music legally online.

One thing seems more certain: the interest surrounding their new album - the first after a three-year hiatus. I predict a riot.