Hetfield: 'Some Bands Have To Die'

The Metallica frontman says there are too many rock bands, but the strong will survive and keep the genre alive. Is he right?

Ultimate Guitar

James Hetfield says the lull in rock popularity is all part of natural selection, and in the end the strong acts will survive.

The Metallica guitarist explained his Darwinian view of the music business at a press event for their Orion Music Festival when he was asked if rock is dead.

He said (via Ultimate Classic Rock):

"[Rock] dying and popularity are two different things. If it's not popular, fine. I kinda like it that way".

"I love being the underdog. I love being the thing that's not liked. I love to build it up again. That's part of the mission in life for me." A fitting comment, considering their unpopular "Lulu" collaboration with Lou Reed last year.

"There's too many bands out there. Some have to die off so the strong survive."

Meanwhile, a stream of Metallica covering the Deep Purple song "When A Blind Man Cries" for "Re-Machined: A Tribute To Machine Head" has been posted online:

Do you agree that a lot of bands need to die off? What do you think of the Deep Purple cover? Let us know in the comments.

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    "I love being the underdog." But you're one of the biggest artists of all time?
    I think he's refering to the genre more than Metallica. At least in my case, an example could be that every time I've attempted to put on metal at private parties instead of electronic music(which honestly drives me insane), the response will be overtly negative, and in that way I in conjunction to my music feel like an underdog.
    haha i can get away with blasting metallica at the parties i go too
    How did they start? Amidst Hair Metal, which was popular because, while played in heavier ways, its' core was Pop. Thrash Metal was the opposite of that and making their way to the top wasn't easy.
    And what do you think got them to that point?
    My Last Words
    Dave Mustaine. Yeah bring on all the nega-votes!
    Niggadeth - P-ce Sellz, Yo... But Who'z Buyin That Shit, Bro?
    Captain Chaos
    Oh man I went to FYE about 3 years ago for peace sells and the black dude was is it spelled PISS sells and I couldn't stop laughing.
    Really? Mustaine got them to that point? Contributing to not even half of "Kill 'em All" and a 'whopping' 2 of 8 songs in "Ride the Lightning" got them that success and made them a household name? (which by the way, they weren't even on anyone's radar screen until at least "Master of Puppets" anyway!!!) GTFO!!! If anything, it's the other way around, as in, Mustaine/Megadeth wouldn't have 90% of the fans and success that they have if it weren't for Mustaine's "former lead guitarist of Metallica" label...otherwise they would have been just another Testament or Manowar!
    My Last Words
    Addition to my previous comment: Ah, so Marty Friedman/chris poland is just the lead guitarist from the band from that guy that used to be in metallica ?
    hey bro, its not like mustaine contributed anything to some of the best metal albums and songs released to date, then went on to create his own band that also released another thrash anthem.....oh wait....i think he did do that.
    I agree with you. Besides, Mustaine is a complete idiot nowadays...
    Dave helped them out and the one that we are really fogetting is Cliff Burton. Without them 2 guys James and Lars would be bagging my food at Walmart. I enjoy Hearing Megadeth play because Dave is a awesome player. You can tell he has something to prove and plus he was in the shadow of Metallica. Megadeth stayed aggressive Metallica went pop.
    Hey, Cliff Burton was great, but do you really think he was the factor keeping Metallica from bagging groceries? Come on people, you know Hetfield was the driving creative force for all their best stuff.
    Your on crack dude. Listen to anything that has Cliff on it. It's pure magic. Fade To Black, For Whom the Bells Tolls, Master Of Puppets, Orion, To Live is to Die, Creeping Death. The playing Call Of Ktulu. The add Mustaines The Four Horsemen, Jump in the Fire, Phantom Lord and Metal Militia on Kill'm All, Ride the Lightning and Of course Call Of Ktulu. So if these 2 guys werent in the Metallica would not be in the place they would be. Sorry that is my opinion and as a guitar player Dave is better than Kirk
    Yes. I'm on crack because I don't agree that the bass is the main reason those songs are excellent. Yeah, obviously the bass is incredible on the first three albums, but he didn't write the songs, he just added a layer to the awesomeness that would have been there regardless. If you really believe that early Metallica could not have succeeded without Cliff, then I would be checking you for crack, dude.
    Well, I'm not a huge Metallica fan, but I do like the first three albums considerably more than the others. Whether Cliff was the primary factor in that, I don't know, but he was definitely a big one.
    You REALLY don't know what Cliff did for this band do you. The guy was more than their bassist, he was the only trained musician in the band besides Kirk, and he isn't a driving force besides solos on the albums. Cliff would literally re write and re define parts James came up with, and taught James most of the musical theory he knows. If you don't believe me, go read 'To Live is to Die' a biography on Cliff Burton. It's ALL stated in there in great detail. So, yes. James IS a driving force in this band, but those riffs, and those songs wouldn't come out nearly as musically articulate and strong as they did if Cliff wasn't around. Learn you facts before you decide to take sides sir.
    Cliff did actually write a large part of the songs, especially most of to live is to die, the greatest metal song ever...but mustaine can suck a dick
    Cliff set the standards for bass playing. There is a couple of bass players I know that can come close to Cliff. Flea and Les Claypool. Metallica knew if they didnt have Cliff in the band they wouldnt go anywhere. That is why they moved to San Francisco to get him in the band. All I can say is this. the first 3 disks Metallica put out were pure magic. After that they sucked and continue to. TO MY LAST WORDS Risk was suppose to be poppish remember that is why the disk was called Risk. He was taking a risk. Now I love his muisc more since Dave came back in to the Death fold.
    Flea and Les Claypool are the only other good bassists you've heard of? Oh, I get it. Your 14th birthday was last month. Well anyways, have a magical day.
    Hey i'm a guitar player not a basshead. Today bass players you can't hear them unless you crank the bass on youe stereo. Fles, Les, and Cliff their bass is out more. The only other bass player that you can hear is the guy from Korn
    Yeah, well explains why they did Lulu, they just wanted to see if they could do something that would hurt their popularity and still keep on going
    Meh, that makes no sense at all. If you watch the interview video he said it in a funny way anyway, and came out of a another question we don't get to hear. The only problem with the enourmous amount of bands in the world is that we may reach a point where we write a riff and other 20 bands will write or already have written something really similar.
    "The Metallica guitarist explained his Darwinian view of the music business at a press event for their Orion Music Festival when he was asked if rock is dead. " Darwinian? Wonder if Dave Mustaine will "SLAM" James Hetfield in a new interview for referencing that heathen.
    some bad bands need to die. and other good bands with frequent lineup changes should die. megadeth for example. Im a huge megadeth fan and I know many people will bash and likely ill get thumbed down to hell but Ill explain my point. megadeth is barely a band. its 1 guy with 3 other disposable guys. a band should have an identity as a band. megadeth, sadly, has too many of those. at this point, megadeth would make more sense as a mustaine solo project with a touring lineup. another band I think should die is Sex Machineguns. youve likely never heard them. this band has made some of the best thrash style music Ive ever heard. but theyve had like 16 different members in the last 12 years. metallica is a good example of a band with its own identity. each member has a style that can be recognized throughout all of the metallica era, even trujillo has similar style to both previous bassists. this is a band that should still exist as long as they keep making good music and playing amazing gigs. this is just my opinion and not meant to bash anyone. just tired of seeing lineup changes in so many good bands. having to memorize lineup eras to a band isnt a good sign of a solid band.
    Veronique Vega
    Agreed. Megadeth had a really solid lineup in the early 90's, but after Menza and then Friedman left... MD45 ftw!
    ZOSO <(")
    megadeth is still one of my favorite bands. but i agree that they went don a couple notches when menza and friedman left
    To me, Megadeth is Megadeth as long as Ellefson's in, without him it's just Dave solo.
    Megadeth has two original members of four, why would they quit being Megadeth? Especially when "Megadeth" is a synonym for "Dave Mustaine". The fact is, line-up changes are not a bad thing. If you're making the same style of music, you're the same band. I think Metallica should have thrown in the towel around "Load" era and called themselves something else, because they weren't METAL anymore. Mustaine has been much more Metal throughout, and so Megadeth is still a name that implies the music that they play. New bands/New Names = New sound, NOT new line-up.