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"The whole thing adds to the buzz, the excitement, the ‘want-can’t have’ quality of a fabulous record."
—Heidi Robinson, Maverick Records head of publicity.
THE NEW DEFTONES SINGLE—ON YOUR HARD DRIVE NOW
Impatient Programmers Grab Single As MP3 Before Being Serviced
Man, this Napster thing is really making life tough for the record companies.

A recent report on Sonicnet.com relates that at least one rock station downloaded the new Deftones single, "Change," prior to being serviced by Maverick Records.

Anticipation for the track had been building as KEDJ/Phoenix PD Paul Kriegler told the online news source that he grabbed the track from the controversial MP3-swapping service late last month.

Wanting to beat the competition, Kriegler put the music file into rotation.

Other stations, though miffed at KEDJ's unorthodox move, decided to wait for the label to serve them the track rather than join the online fray.

"I'm not saying it's a good thing for programmers to get songs from Napster," said Maverick publicist Heidi Robinson, who underscored that the label's promo department wanted to ensure "fair and responsible" treatment of all the stations with which they work. "But the whole thing adds to the buzz, the excitement, the ‘want-can't have' quality of a fabulous record." Did we mention that Heidi's a publicist?

A source at Napster declined to comment.

While this episode could be viewed as another example of the labels' loss of control over the music they release, some may see it as another way Napster and kindred services can help to popularize—and even sell—records.

In any event, it seems likely that the trend will continue, as the race to get hot records into rotation early pushes more and more radio staffers into the MP3 arena.

Unless the records are by Metallica or Dr. Dre, of course.

The Deftones' new album, "White Pony"—their third—streets 6/20; the band's previous two releases were both certified Gold. "Change" has been #1 Most Added at PoMo and Rock for two weeks.

Finally, in return for Heidi's gracious on-the-record quote, we're compelled to mention that the Deftones' upcoming "Internet House Party" has generated requests from more than 3,000 fans who want to be local hosts for the event, which will take place June 1 at an as yet undisclosed L.A. venue. The requests for the 1,000 available Internet House Party kits have come infrom 51 countries via the band's cleverly named site, deftones.com.

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Oy vey.
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