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Metallica to Embrace The Digital Age

To much mirth, Metallica announced this week that they had joined the rest of us in the 21st Century and would be making some new product available online as a taster for their new album. Don’t be fooled this was a Radiohead-style bonanza for their loyal fans, who stuck with them through the Napster debacle, band changes and ‘St. Anger’; no, this was the standard, a few tracks and demos available on the website. You know, like everybody else does and has done for years.

Even at the time, Lars Ulrich’s suicidal decision to go after Napster seemed a bit silly, though sadly not out of character. Metallica had seemingly decided to use decade two of their existence to strip away the mystique and fearsome reputation they had built in their first. The sight of a spoiled millionaire grasping for more cash – and worse, clearly just not getting this new-fangled internet thingy, despite the fact it was hardly in its infancy in 2001, appalled and amused in equal measure. Whereas many in the rock pantheon saw the internet for what it could be (a useful tool in getting your music across) or even what it was (the future), Metallica reacted like dinosaurs. They tried to squash it. they managed. Did it halt the digital revolution? Did it hell. What it did do, however, was make Metallica unequivocally the least cool band in rock music. Which was a shame. By the time the more-Tap-than-Tap near parody that was the documentary ‘Some Kind Of Monster’ appeared in 2004, Metallica were beyond redemption. Everyone was laughing at them.

But fair play to them for trying to claw it back, you might think. But is it really? This is surely a case of ‘too little, too late’ if ever there was one. Metallica fundamentally just didn’t get it; nothing in their announcements suggest that has changed. Indeed, there seems a grudging, resigned aspect to it. It’s almost as if they are saying ‘we know the rules have changed, but we are still sour about it.’ Rock royalty forced to behave in the way that people without even a record deal to their name do? Pah! Beneath them. And THAT’S the reason people will never, ever forgive Metallica. they looked out of touch and arrogance. The reason was, they were.

Dinosaurs died out for a reason. Maybe the days of the rock megaband is gone. A good thing, say ELM. And Metallica did more than most to kill it.


14 Responses

  1. Metallica can kiss my kebab stained dirtbox! 😀

  2. Has anyone ever had the urge to ” Enter Sandman” ?

    Bit to gritty and chaffing I would have thought.

  3. Metal-Licker

  4. …..and didn’t that wee Lars (Arse?) used to be a tennis pro?

  5. No, he was just good at it. Used to play tennis with Matthew Perry and Cindy Crawford. Rock n’Roll, eh?!

    Shame. Ten years of not only ploughing their own furrow, but finding a new field. Now? Tap. But with less humour.

  6. I wouldnt mind agame of doubles with Cindy Crawford.

    Just saying.

  7. Did anyone think RockR might make a come back for this thread? I’m a little disappointed. Maybe if we call Lars a c*nt a bit more he might pick it up. Lars Ullrich is a c*nt.

  8. Spot on about tap, that ‘rockumentary’ they did was exactly that, a spinal tap without the humour.

    The thing that really chokes my muffin about these bunch of cunts is that having had all the success they could ever dream of and making millions of moola, the film shows them struggling to record new material, desperate to produce something fresh instead of the same old same old.

    Why produce a record when you have no inspiration for doing it. Bugger off and do something solo or get back to basics till you rediscover your love of playing music, inspiration and the reason you became a musician in the first place. It all smacks of record company logic where it’s all about units, revenue streams, merchandising and royalties.

    Fuck. Right. Off!

    Did you see Bo Diddly’s tv show about his struggle for artiistic integrity and trying to push boundaries…..no?

    That’s because he was out playing fucking music his whole life with lots of different interesting musicians, albums were the sideshow, live music the main event. Time the rest of these tossers learned it and told Mr A&R to fuck his mother and shove his revenue streams up his ass Jimmy Saville style [jingle jangle].

    Nothing worse than seeing bands going through the motions to fulfil contracts when they either hate each other, don’t enjoy it or just want more more more cash [see the recent spate of short-lived ‘comebacks’].

  9. Yes, agreed. Why must bands piss on their legacies? Why?!

  10. Interesting post, I still think there are a lot of people who would disagree to the “dinosaur” stuff.

  11. Possibly, but they will have to show it. I really don’t think they’ve added anything serious to their canon since stuff like ‘Hero For The Day’ and ‘Until It Sleeps’.Just my personal opinion, but from being so cool they actually transcended metal to where they are now….I just think they have tread water for over a decade.

  12. how can u say that about metallica.
    ther the best band in teh world.

    u wouldnt like osmeone stealing ur music so they were right.

    ]and lars is cool.

  13. The other reason its outdated is that to make money now you have to do a Bo Diddly , and get out there and play. Why did Prince give away his album in a crap Sunday paper, then play 21 dates running in London? Because there is no money in CDs.

    The dinosaurs won’t die, Mathew, they’ll just have to sell a lot more of their art collection, because they won’t be selling any albums.

  14. YAY! RockR’s back! You are, of course, absolutely right, Lars is the tennis playing, art collecting, copyright guardian of Rock. How cool is that??!!

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