christine~ (eppylover) wrote,

This is great! ~ Fans Rip Metallica A New One

I was never a heavy metal fan myself, but usually could hold back from begrudging others their dubious pleasures. Each to his own and all that.
The following, however, caught my eye and attention ~ plus tickled my funnybone here and there.

Original article and comments are here, on

Fans Rip Metallica a New One

By Eliot Van Buskirk EmailMay 29, 2008 | 12:38:21 PMCategories: Digital Music News, DRM-Free Music Stores, File Sharing Clampdown, Getting Artists Paid, Music News, People  

In May of 2000, when Lars Ulrich personally delivered a 60,000-page printout of the Napster users who were sharing Metallica songs, he probably never suspected that the online backlash against his band would still be running at full steam eight years later.

Sometimes, hindsight is everything.

The band's unveiling of a fan-outreach program called Mission: Metallica, including DRM-free downloads and access to unreleased material, reflects a new understanding on their part about how the internet works: Give people what they want or they'll get it from somewhere else.

But when we first posted about Metallica's plans for some sort of Radiohead-style release, the response was overwhelmingly negative. Of the 75 comments at this writing, not all are negative (even though the worst of the negatives are unprintable. Except they've already been printed. Look them up).

"Wow, you're looking into using the Internet," wrote Lewis Salem. "Good for you, Lars. We have been looking into using it for 14 years. When you got up and demonized Shawn Fanning, you made a complete ass of yourself. How pompous."

A user called Kanye West took the matter into the realm of parody: "Metallica hates black people."

When the band announced that its plan did not include giving the album away for free, as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have done, fans became even more hostile.

"Too little, too late. I don't even listen to metal, but I'm going to download this album illegally out of spite. Metallica sucks," wrote Ched.

Danijel followed that up with "Stay off of the internet, Napster-killing pieces of shit hypocrites."

P.W. explained his decision to stop following the band as part of his embrace of MP3s, despite the fact that Metallica is selling its next album in the format: "Up yours, Metallica. (I) don't buy your crap anymore and don't listen to your stuff after the late '90s. You wanted me to pick between MP3s and Metallica? I did. You lost."

Contrast this with the love fans have shown for Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails, the two bands Lars Ulrich said Metallica had been keeping an eye on while devising its own strategy.

About Radiohead's In Rainbows, commenter Bennet wrote, "I'm glad I could shell out 40 pounds for the discbox, the album is great and the bonus disc should be great," while Falha explained that any version of an afterlife would be acceptable, so long as they play Radiohead: "I don't know if there's a heaven or a hell. I just hope that wherever I go, I can listen to Radiohead. Thank you so much!"

Nine Inch Nails received similar praise and gratitude from Listening Post readers for Ghosts I-IV. "Finally a music release system that I can get into. Pay the artist not the corporation," wrote Beriale. "Thank you NIN." Julie said she downloaded the album via torrent for free but decided to pay for it anyway: "First, I went to their site and downloaded the amazing GhostI. Then, after listening to it all night long, I went back and paid 5 bucks for the complete download, I loved it so much. How's that for marketing? Thank you NIN for nailing this down! Will music start our next revolution?"

We don't want to pick favorites, but this one caught our eye, from WileyC:

Yeah. My wife and I have had the 'pleasure' of having Metallica's lawyers jump on us. Our crime? My wife made a set of FREE button sets that you could use online. They were pink. They were shiny. She called them "Rose Metallica".

We ended up renaming the set "Loser 80s Hair Band". No lawyers have called us about it since then.

People -- tell us how you really feel.

Why do people still hate Metallica so much? We can think of a few potential reasons:
  • Anecdotal research indicates that people who like computers also tend to like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails more than Metallica, even prior to the Napster imbroglio
  • Metallica is still on a major label, while Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails, which essentially own their own indie labels, have spoken out against their former major labels on multiple occasions.
  • People hate the prospect of being sued by faceless corporations. Lars Ulrich signed up to be the RIAA's scapegoat.
  • Everybody likes free stuff.
We think this comes down to two basic positions.

The numerous, numerous >comments printed after the article are both pro and con ~ one of my favorites is ~
I'm 54, and I think of Metallica as music for old fogeys. They were once a vital creative force, enriching rock with new riffs and a dark viewpoint. Then they got old and rich and started screaming "Get off my lawn, you damn kids!"

Tags: censorship, filesharing, videos

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