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.

Filed Under: , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Lars Ulrich To Ask Trent Reznor For Music Business Advice?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
45 Comments
RD says:

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.

Seth (profile) says:

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.

Matt says:

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.

Jeffry Houser (profile) says:

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.

Weird Harold (user link) says:

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.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: 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…

Weird Harold (user link) says:

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. 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”.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: 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?

nasch says:

Re: Re: Re:3 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Tom 80s Metal Head says:

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.

August West says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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?

adam says:

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.

cram says:

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.

R. Miles says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:

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 ……

M.E. says:

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.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...