As part of Re:Sound’s Annual Report, we speak with music creators. This year, we connected with The Spoons’ Gord Deppe.
The Spoons wrote and recorded some of the most recognizable Canadian music of the 1980s. From the brooding Nova Heart to Romantic Traffic’s unforgettable chorus, the band’s new wave sound won them fans across the country.
Over his four decades in the music industry, founding member Gord Deppe has seen significant changes but he says there’s one thing that hasn’t changed.
“I would continue to make music, no matter the circumstances,” Deppe told us when he visited Re:Sound’s offices. “Getting good royalties and performance income allows me to make it a full-time career. The royalty side of the business is very important.”
Deppe belongs to ACTRA RACS – one of Re:Sound’s member organizations – and receives his performance royalties through them. The value music brings to business isn’t lost on Deppe. “I take notice when a trendy clothing store plays captivating new music. It creates a backdrop and environment that makes being there and spending money there a great experience.”
Nevertheless, most Canadians don’t recognize music’s value or how challenging it can be to make a living in the music industry. A recent survey by ResearchCo asked Canadians if they believe music creators are fairly compensated for their work. Half of the Canadians surveyed stated music creators were definitely or probably fairly compensated, while a third stated they were not.
The results don’t surprise Deppe. “The average person doesn’t appreciate the work and commitment that goes into creating good music.” He adds that, “To a lot of people, the arts are a grey area with uncertain value, unless it’s a Rembrandt on the wall! Maybe if they saw a song broken down into the number of hours and the money spent to create it, they would give it more value.”
Deppe says this is one of the reasons the royalties Re:Sound collects on behalf of music creators are so important. “Re:Sound’s work helps artists and I have no complaints, though finding even more royalties and streams of revenue would be a bonus.”
Spoons perform live on a regular basis and released New Day New World in 2019.