As Metallica nears the end of their current contract with label Warner Music Group it is being suggested that they may join the ranks of digital distribution as a way of getting their music out to their fans.
This comes as a shock to many fans who remember well the fact that Metallica acted like a bunch of spoon fed babies when people, their own fans at that were downloading their music free from Napster.
The group only has one more album under their current contract and once that is up it is very likely that they will go the digital route, releasing songs for free.
Drummer Lars Ulrich says the band might have learnt something from other popular rock bands including Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and just recently Coldplay: “We’ve been observing Radiohead and Trent Reznor and in 27 years or however long it takes for the next record, we’ll be looking forward to everything in terms of possibilities with the internet,” he said.
On the Napster litigation, Ulrich explains: “It was never about downloading per se. We have the Vault where you can download shows from twenty years ago for free, full-on and it’s been there for years. You can download recent shows days after they happen for cost. Back in the day there was a much bigger
question about “on whose terms?” We said, “Wait a minute, it should be about the artist.””