Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Mi$$ion: Metallica - Moribund and Moot?

According to Wired, the whole "Metallica embraces the Internet, wishes people would forget the whole Napster episode and get on with buying Metstuff" idea is quickly going up (down) in flames:

"The band's unveiling of a fan-outreach program called Mission: Metallica, including DRM-free downloads and access to unreleased material, [editor's note: see earlier post below] reflects a new understanding on their part about how the internet works: Give people what they want or they'll get it from somewhere else. But the response was overwhelmingly negative....

"Wow, you're looking into using the Internet," wrote Lewis Salem. "Good for you, Lars. We have been looking into using it for 14 years. ..."

When the band announced that its plan did not include giving the album away for free, as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have done, fans became even more hostile. "Too little, too late. I don't even listen to metal, but I'm going to download this album illegally out of spite. Metallica sucks," wrote Ched.

Danijel followed that up with "Stay off of the internet, Napster-killing pieces of shit hypocrites."

P.W. explained his decision to stop following the band as part of his embrace of MP3s, despite the fact that Metallica is selling its next album in the format: "Up yours, Metallica. (I) don't buy your crap anymore and don't listen to your stuff after the late '90s. You wanted me to pick between MP3s and Metallica? I did. You lost."

Contrast this with the love fans have shown for Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails, the two bands Lars Ulrich said Metallica had been keeping an eye on while devising its own strategy.

About Radiohead's In Rainbows, commenter Bennet wrote, "I'm glad I could shell out 40 pounds for the discbox, the album is great and the bonus disc should be great," while Falha explained that any version of an afterlife would be acceptable, so long as they play Radiohead....

Nine Inch Nails received similar praise and gratitude from Listening Post readers for Ghosts I-IV. "Finally a music release system that I can get into. Pay the artist not the corporation," wrote Beriale. "Thank you NIN."

Why do people still hate Metallica so much? We can think of a few potential reasons. Anecdotal research indicates that people who like computers also tend to like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails more than Metallica, even prior to the Napster imbroglio. Metallica is still on a major label, while Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails, which essentially own their own indie labels, have spoken out against their former major labels on multiple occasions.... And everybody likes free stuff...."

Anecdotal research also indicates that some Mac fanatics have been lifelong Metallica fans and NIN fans, while puzzling over the whole Radiohead thing. And of course, Trent Reznor is both a lifelong Mac fanatic and a huge NIN fan.

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