In 2005 Chris McIuan began recording local bands in his home, just east of downtown Fort Worth. He called the space Buzz Studios and it was relatively cheap, equipped with Pro Tools and a 16-channel digital interface.
Now working for Spectrum, McIuan says he has not recorded anyone’s music in about a decade. In that time, he says he noticed music published on Myspace before Time Inc. bought the site in 2011 was becoming harder to access. He was not alone.
“The songs would show up, but they just wouldn’t play,” McIuan says.
He and others were assured through public statements by the site that it was a temporary issue. However, on Monday, Myspace announced that any photos, videos and audio files uploaded before 2015 may no longer be available.
“It was a problem that they said they were addressing and they were gonna fix, and they never did,” McIuan says. “To hear that news, that was just the nail in the coffin.”
McIuan must have recorded hundreds of songs while operating Buzz, but he has retained little of the material. Unless old band members have copies, or old tracks are stored in McIuan’s outgoing emails, the music McIuan recorded has been lost forever. For bands that once relied heavily on Myspace as a means to be heard, the site’s announcement marks the end of an era.
The Los Angeles-based company said in a statement that the deletion was the result of a server migration project. Former chief technology officer for Kickstarter, Andy Baio, estimated in a tweet that 50 million songs from 14 million artists must have been lost. Myspace is credited with helping launch the careers of acts such as Kate Nash, The Arctic Monkeys and Calvin Harris, according to CNN.
The Baptist Generals’ Chris Flemmons says Myspace was an audience builder when people were using the platform. He still has anything he uploaded to the site, and all of it will likely be on his archival project Schizo Harmonic: Bad Music, Stray Animals and Everything Else from The Baptist Generals.
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Only three out of 53 tracks on The Baptist Generals’ old profile will not play. While all of the tracks were uploaded before 2015, it appears most of them are linked to YouTube videos and are still able to stream.
Local singer-songwriter Steve Jackson was not so lucky. None of Jackson’s 2006 and 2008 releases will play on the site, though he still has backups of the music, which can still be found on other platforms.
Some of the material McIuan recorded is likely still out in the world somewhere on an old CD or hard drive. But that doesn’t mean they are easily accessible to everyone who would care to hear them.
“Maybe the bass player didn’t save a copy of [the music], but he had a falling out with his band so he can’t talk to the singer anymore who does have it,” McIuan says.