Earlier this month, METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett was interviewed on the "Nyhetsmorgon" program on Sweden's TV4 channel. You can now watch the segment below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether he thinks METALLICA's reluctance to make its previous albums available on streaming and digital music services had a negative impact on the band's career:
Kirk: "Oh, yeah. I mean, the whole Napster thing definitely… it didn't do us any favors whatsoever. But you know what? We're still in the right on that — we're still right about Napster, no matter who's out there who's saying, 'METALLICA was wrong.' All you have to do is look at the state of the music industry, and that kind of explains the whole situation right there. There was a time when the streaming thing was kind of weird, and it's not that great of quality. I don't care what anyone says about modern streaming and whatnot, and all these bits and whatnot, it's never gonna sound better than vinyl. Having said that, we wanna be accessible, and you need to make sure that you're accessible on all the modern fronts."
On METALLICA being honored with the prestigious Polar Music Prize, Sweden's biggest music award:
Kirk: "There was a time when people just didn't understand us. To get recognized and vindicated for what we do as a band is phenomenal. That's an incredible vindication of all the hard work we've been doing over the years. And to join all all these other esteemed recipients of this award, it's incredible. Over the course of years, we've won a lot of awards — Grammys, American Music Awards, Billboard Awards, whatnot — but a lot of times, they're just based on moving product, I have to be honest. It seems to me like the Polar Music award is based on art."
On what he is most proud of when it comes to METALLICA's career so far:
Kirk: "I'm most proud of the fact that we're still here now, 30-odd years on; we're still making music; people still appreciate the fact that we're still making music. I personally feel like I have still a lot to say musically, and I personally feel that I have not peaked. I know that we're still somewhat hungry for doing other things. And most of all, what is most important to me is the fact that we're still able to bring the music to the people."
METALLICA sued Napster in 2000 after the band discovered that a leaked demo version of its song "I Disappear" was circulating on the pioneering music file-sharing service before it was released. Although the case was settled out of court, more than 300,000 users were banned from the service as a result, and METALLICA's image took a tremendous beating in the eyes of music fans.
METALLICA has just returned home from a European tour for a four-month break before launching a North American arena trek on September 2 in Madison, Wisconsin.
The band is continuing to tour in support of its latest album, "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct", which came out in November 2016.