Lars Ulrich To Ask Trent Reznor For Music Business Advice?

from the wow,-didn't-see-that-coming dept

As most folks know, Metallica was an early "skeptic" of online music, with drummer Lars Ulrich leading the way -- suing Napster and complaining about iTunes. In many ways the band, and Ulrich specifically, became the face of the big anti-fan, anti-internet rockstar. More recently, the band has tried to change that image, working hard to embrace the internet a bit more, and even shrugging off the fact that the band's new album was leaked online. However, those early actions really hurt the band's reputation, leading many fans to boycott the band and refuse to buy any of its new music.

Still, even as the band (and Ulrich specifically) has been working over time to try to rebuild the band's online credibility, I didn't expect this: Ulrich is apparently excited to pick Trent Reznor's brain about music business models:
"We're doing a bunch of shows with Trent this summer in Europe. I look forward to sitting down and talking to him about what's on his radar."
That's certainly quite a shift, considering that Reznor has pretty fully embraced online distribution, including file sharing and things like BitTorrent. So, now we just have to see if Ulrich actually learns some of those lessons.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 12:55pm

    Great for Lars

    It's exciting to see Lars looking to Trent Reznor's model for insight.

    Thing is, it needs to be organic. Repetition doesn't always work. You have to be creative with the whole model. That's where Trent excelled.

     

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  2.  
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    Ima Fish, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 1:05pm

    So "skeptic" is some sort of hip new lingo for a greedy ignorant asshole who shits on his fans?

     

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  3.  
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    Steve, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 1:31pm

    Here's a hint dickhead. Stop suing your fans.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    RD, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 1:31pm

    May I be the first to say...

    FSCK Lars

    FSCK Metallica

    They ahd their chance, and they pissed all over the fans and the technology.

    Have they forgotten that Metallica's original fan base was built on TAPE TRADING?? I knew MANY people in 84-86 that got their first taste of Metallica from an "illegal pirate" tape. Many of them became paying fans.

    Metallica stopped being worth a god damn after Sandman. The Napster fiasco just nailed the coffin shut. Those greedy has-beens can go piss up a flagpole.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    crucible, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 1:36pm

    Re: by Ima Fish

    Yeah, that would be it.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    /dev/null, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 1:36pm

    File System Consistency Check

    Checking Filesystems
    /dev/Lars contains a filesystem with errors.
    /dev/Metallica contains a filesystem with errors.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Seth, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 1:39pm

    Metallica Boycott

    I used to be a big fan of Metallica. Since the Napster incident, I stopped listening to them completely. I'll never buy a product with their name on it again. I will change the radio station if they are on. I ban their songs on Last.fm. You get the picture.

    Any change in their stance on online music is just a blatant money grab in my opinion. They hated the idea when it first came out because they were afraid they would lose money, and not they're not making any money, so they're warming up to the idea again.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Matt, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 1:45pm

    boycotts

    a little something many companies are going to learn is that if you don't change your model after long enough, a lot of customers are going to be lost permanently and will spread that to the people that they represent as well.

    It's for this reason that really a lot of the major labels are never going to get back a fair portion of their business because people have sworn it off entirely. The world is far from forgiving.

     

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  9.  
    icon
    Jeffry Houser (profile), Mar 24th, 2009 @ 1:46pm

    Anyone have any numbers or data on how many fans really boycott the band and refused to buy their albums / stuff?

    Is it a noticeable impact, or just a very loud minority screaming on the Internet?

    I seem to remember an episode of The Simpsons where Comic Book guy comes out of the movies and says something like "Worst Star Wars [or Star Trek or Whatever] ever. I will only watch it 17 more times tonight." Is that what happened w/ Metallica's album / concert sales? Or did they suffer a real loss.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 2:11pm

    Re:

    ...
    Step 2 give away douche bags with Lars face printed on them.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 2:22pm

    Actually, the full quote is more interesting:

    "The primary--not the only, but the primary--function of a record label is to act as a bank," Ulrich told the Times. "When you're fortunate enough to be successful and so on, you don't need to rely on record companies as the banks...We're doing a bunch of shows with Trent this summer in Europe. I look forward to sitting down and talking to him about what's on his radar."

    Sort of confirms my theory - when you are rich enough and well enough known, you don't need the record companies as much.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    The infamous Joe, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 2:33pm

    Re:

    Masnick's Law strikes again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 24th, 2009 @ 2:33pm

    Re:

    "Sort of confirms my theory"

    Not really. Unless you count the opinion of a guy who was vehemently defending them not so long ago despite already having become a multi-millionaire... you know, the guy who destroyed much of his band's respectability and marketability in the process?

    I always wonder with your wild claims Harold, what is your metric for measuring success? It seems to me that you instantly dismiss anyone who isn't already stinking rich or a household name as being unsuccessful. Do you realise and accept that there are other ways of measuring success?

    If so, you may be surprised how many successful artists there are who don't use major record labels. It's not always about having a big bank account and a gaggle of paparazzi following you around...

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    interval, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Great for Lars

    I think the better word would be "excels." Suck it, Ulrich.

     

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  15.  
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    AnonCow, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 3:11pm

    In business, like his drumming, Lars is always a little late...

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 3:14pm

    Metallica 1993 = jerkwad tools

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 3:14pm

    i use to listen to Metallica 24/7 back in high school, what made me stop is mainly there shift in music still and the Napster thing sealed it for me.

    im pretty sure the ppl who started listening to Metallica with "Master of Puppets" and "And justice for All" stoped listening to them after the Metallica album.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Re:

    My point all along in many posts here is that when a band is rich / famous / huge following they don't need a record company any more as they did in the past. metallica would just be another band that made a more public statement about it.

    Using well known, well often acts to claim (as infamous joe does) "Masnick's Law strikes again." is just dishonest. It's only the proof of the old adage "the rich get richer".

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Craig Foster, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 3:34pm

    oh no....

    I cant't be agreeing with WH...

    It's just *WRONG*!!!!

    :P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Tom 80s Metal Head, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 3:36pm

    Lars Still Sucks

    Metallica wasn't quite the band back then and then when Lars Dickwee went stupid it confirmed what I had already suspected. Metallica just flat out sucks. Back in the Eighties, they just were not that impressive and then for Lars to become the poster boy bitch that he was over napster made me never ever want to listen to their shitty music.

    For him to even "learn" something for Trent Reznor is like having Gollum study magic from Gandalf when all he's focused on is the damn ring! Lars = Gollum in my opinion. Little toady pisshead.

    Oh yeah, Metallica still sucks too. Maybe Lars could learn to play the drums someday too but then Satan would have to start bundling up due to Hell freezing over.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    August West, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 3:43pm

    He's still a dipshit. Along with the rest of his bandmates. I used to be a big Metallica fan, and I can honestly say I've never downloaded a copyrighted song in my life. Got TONS of "hippie jam band" live recordings though. Heck, metallica built their following by allowing the free trade of recordings of their live shows in the early days didn't they? Then when they get richer than some entire third world countries they lose their minds and forget how they got there. Screw them. too little too late.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 3:50pm

    Re: oh no....

    Come to the dark side! :P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold's clone, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 3:50pm

    Silly Sheeple!

    You fools think Lars could change his mind! Think again! This is all just a ruse to get you to buy more Metallica CD's. WE ARE IN CONTROL.

    Give me money!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Wired Harlod, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 4:03pm

    Re: Re: oh no....

    Come to the dark side! :P

    Why do I get the impression that this Youtube Video is about you?

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Joe, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 4:29pm

    It's Official

    So, let's recap shall we?

    Lars remains a douche.
    Metallicops still suck.
    Mike, mysteriously, does not give them enough credit for the current Internet/music war.

    Master may be top 5 metal album ever, but they have been dead to me for over a decade.

    Did I leave anything out?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 4:42pm

    If Lars realizes that he could have embraced digital music and personally collected several millions of dollars that went to the record companies, we'll see him drum a different beat in the near future.

    He's lost a lot of money by fighting his fans. But if Metallica embraces free, is it over for the recording industry?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Masnick's Law

    My point all along in many posts here is that when a band is rich / famous / huge following they don't need a record company any more as they did in the past.

    A point which is rendered nonsense by any amount of evidence collected on this and other sites.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    adam, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 5:01pm

    Bashing Lars has become too cliché these days. I was on that boat years ago... but I think they've made up for it lately with the live downloads site and other digital initiatives... at least he's trying to learn more by chatting with the Trent. Not that I'm here to defend Lars- but I think its time the mob finds a new target.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Joe, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 5:43pm

    Re:

    As someone commented earlier, Lars isn't trying to learn anything. He's following the scent of money.

    And since he keeps arming us with more and more reasons to trash him, the bandwagon is still moving way too fast to get off.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: oh no....

    No, although I did read this just out of high school:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Illuminatus!_Trilogy

    Watch out for the eye in the pyramid!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    cram, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 9:05pm

    Numbers? Yeah, numbers

    "Anyone have any numbers or data on how many fans really boycott the band and refused to buy their albums / stuff? Is it a noticeable impact, or just a very loud minority screaming on the Internet?"

    You should know better, Jeffry. This is Techdirt - the land of wild claims not backed by evidence such as hard data.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    peterK, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 9:42pm

    Comment

    Loved this information. Money rules, isn't that so?

     

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  33.  
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    Azrael, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 3:06am

    Re:

    Too little too late anyway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Wierd Harold's idolizer, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 3:09am

    Re: File System Consistency Check

    Stop the *nix promotion, you that everythin' that's free sucks and it's evil.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Azrael, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 3:12am

    Re:

    +1

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    R. Miles, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 3:41am

    Many comments quote my opinion of Lars.

    "The primary--not the only, but the primary--function of a record label is to act as a bank," Ulrich told the Times.
    This means Metallica fans will still be shelling out cash for the music in the future.

    Lars, Trent's not going to be your business model guru if you're still intent on believing product = cash.

    Replacing one bank with and even more idiotic one won't restore those fans you lost years ago.

    And, for the record, you will never get me to return. Ever.

    You're the damn thief, you pompous, arrogant ass.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Mar 25th, 2009 @ 4:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "My point all along in many posts here is that when a band is rich / famous / huge following they don't need a record company any more as they did in the past."

    Which claims do nothing to prove or disprove the viability of a business model. If anything, it shows again why record labels are in trouble - their biggest assets don't need to sign their horrendously one-sided contracts any more.

    "Using well known, well often acts to claim (as infamous joe does) "Masnick's Law strikes again." is just dishonest."

    You haven't bothered reading what "Masnick's Law" actually refers to or why it was coined, have you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 5:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    What about Jonathan Coulton? He's pretty popular, and got there sans Lable, I think.

    re: Masnick's Law. The law isn't about "Free will always triumph over evil," it says that whenever we talk about this or that free modle, or this or that artist embracing such a modle, someone will say it only works for big/small/rich/middling/obscure/choose-your-adjective bands, but not others. If you page through older Techdirt posts you'll see this come up all the time in comments. When Trent succeeded with free, it's because he was well known. When GirlTalk succeeded with free, it was because he was relatively unknown.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 5:40am

    It seems to me, based on commentors above, that the damage is already done: no one is going to trust Metallica. Even this gesture is going to be seen as Metallica trying to grab more money, whether or not it is. It just looks like they've realized that their reputation is shot and, hey, this 'free music' thing looks like it could help mend the rift. It all rings hollow.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 8:59am

    Learning from Reznor

    I don't intend to deride anyone, I don't even know these people - or particularly want to.
    However, I was amused by the comment; "So, now we just have to see if Ulrich actually learns some of those lessons."
    Before he pulled all the shenanigans discussed, I had never heard of Lars Ulrich, nor had anyone else I know of - now, thanks to all the discussions, I have, so now is a good time for him to change his model.
    Pretty smart guy, sounds like - start of infuriating people until they all know you, then switch to another model.
    Funny that people would fall for it, but then ......

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 11:04am

    Re: Learning from Reznor

    Even if, by some quirk of the universe, things work out the way you predict, 10 years of PR-suicide still seems like a bad idea.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Hiyata, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 11:47am

    What will turn this around for poor little Lars.

    - fired from the band?

    - Napster Rules tat with logo?

    Thoughts?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Masnick's law is mostly one of those great generalizations used by gurus to say their are right. It is an ever expanding, ever shifting thing that points to most successes and yells "OURS!" and points at failures and yells "YOURS!".

    Did I miss anything?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    nasch, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 4:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, I think you missed everything.

    1) It's not used much by Mike (the "guru"), more by commenters
    2) It's not ever-expanding or ever-shifting, it's well-defined
    3) It has nothing to do with owning success or disowning failure

    Since it seems you really don't know, Masnick's Law states that if a musician is described as having any success with a business model involving giving away music, somebody will claim that that model can only work for X type of bands. X is usually "big", or "small", but sometimes "medium" or perhaps even some other type of metric.

    You're kind of jumping the gun since you're claiming that any business model that Metallica might in the future experiment with, and might have any success with, would only work for bands that already huge and famous.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    M.E., Mar 25th, 2009 @ 11:17pm

    Lars and Metallica took $20,000 and turned it millions when no record label would touch them. They made their money back on their first album within a couple months. They are virtually the most self-made successful band ever. I can't criticize that. Honestly, all musicians deserve to get paid. Stealing from them is no better than the white shysters who stole songs from the black blues artists. The Internet just allows the average joe to do it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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