Metallica OK With New Album Being Pirated?

    September 4, 2008
    Chris Crum

In a display of hypocrisy that seems like it could almost be taken directly out of a lyrical interpretation of a track from Metallica’s own "…And Justice for All" album, the band’s drummer and well-known music piracy combatant, Lars Ulrich, has now said that he doesn’t care if Metallica’s new album is pirated.

Metallica - Death Magnetic

There is probably not a person reading this that isn’t at least somewhat familiar with Metallica’s history of music downloading issues. Their beef with Napster pretty much cracked the whip on the entire illegal download litigation circus that has been raging for nearly a decade.

The band’s upcoming album "Death Magnetic" was leaked recently, and Lars (presumably speaking for the band as usual) has no problem with it. "It’s 2008 and it’s part of how it is these days, so it’s fine. We’re happy," he says.

Metallica was heavily criticized over their battle with Napster for being hypocritical in the first place, given that members (including Lars) used to talk about trading copies of tapes of other artists back when they were first starting the band. Brushing the piracy of their latest album off so lightheartedly could be construed as an attempt to bolster the band’s reputation, after having lost the respect of so many of their fans (after all, Metallica used to be all about "fighting the establishment" didn’t they? Well, that and Pharaohs, and alcohol).

Anyhow, they seem to be trying pretty hard to gain back some respect. They’ve even been offering some of their new tracks on MySpace as part of their new "embracement of the Internet." They’ve even promised a return to a more classic Metallica style with the upcoming album (another issue that has alienated some of the bands’ fans, but that’s another story).

If Metallica wants to be "cool" again, then good for them. They seem to be content leaving the outrage over leaked music to former tour-mate Axl Rose for now. I doubt Metallica’s label is quite as content. It would still be interesting to see if this Metallica leak affects first-week sales of the album.