In a brand new interview with Variety, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich was asked how his views on streaming and technology have changed in the seventeen years since the band launched legal action against Napster for enabling thievery and copyright infringement.
"I was having dinner with somebody yesterday and we were talking about the state of the music business and I don't think it's something you can control," he said. "'How do you put records out? How does it feel to be in a band? How does the business side work?' All that stuff is something that is constantly evolving and the only thing you can do as an artist is sort of hold on and let the ride take you wherever the ride takes you. You have to adapt — if you don't, and you don't continue to evolve, you're dead. Somebody else will take your place or you're just gonna run into a creative stagnation. And I think, as an artist, that makes it much more interesting.
"When we put out our last record six months ago, we had no idea what the fuck we were doing, but that was part of what made it so interesting, because it was almost like there was a creative process attached to releasing the record," he continued. "The creative process didn't end with writing the songs and making the record; it was like releasing the record itself was a creative process, whereas thirty years ago, it was just a formula you followed. So that's kind of what's cool about what's happening in 2017 — all this is constantly evolving. For me, but also the other guys in the band, we fear complacency, we fear being uninspired."
Lars told the WJRR 101.1 radio station last month that he and his METALLICA bandmates have "embraced all the streaming options out there. I mean, we love our Apple Music, we love our friends at Spotify, we love all the rest of 'em out there," he said. "At the end of the day, you wanna connect with your fans, you wanna get your music out there. Obviously, METALLICA fans have many different ways that they get music and receive music, so our thing is to try to get that to them in as many ways as possible."
He continued: "The whole issue from, I guess, seventeen years ago was not really about the digital element; it was about who controlled the digital element. And so now that we control all of it ourselves, it's not really a question. Spotify and Apple Music and all the rest of 'em are great ways to get our music out there, and I have Apple Music and Spotify right on the very front screen of my own phone, and I use both of them. So it's cool."
The North American leg of METALLICA's "WorldWired" trek will hit a stadium in one more city before ending.
The next stop on the tour is Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on August 16.
The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame band is touring in support of its tenth studio album, "Hardwired... To Self-Destruct", which came out last November.