Metallica: 'iTunes and Social Networks Destroyed Music'

"It's destroyed the motivation to go out there and make the best record," Kirk Hammett explains.

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Although drummer Lars Ulrich declared himself a big supporter of Spotify streaming service, his Metallica bandmate Kirk Hammett recently bashed both streaming and social networks, labeling them as key reasons for the music's demise. "There haven't been a lot of really, really great bands that have shown that kind of promise, you know," the guitarist told R7. "I think it's a concern. Because of things like iTunes and streaming and social networking, it's destroyed music. It's destroyed the motivation to go out there and really make the best record possible. It's a shame." Before touching on the given subject, Kirk discussed the next generation of festival headliners, singling out Muse and "maybe Queens of the Stone Age." In related news, Ulrich hinted at a possibility of Metallica going on a joint tour with U2 and Green Day. "I was told in the wee morning hours following this outing that members of U2, Green Day and Metallica agreed to tour together," he told MTV News. "We haven't talked about it since, but speaking for myself I'd be very up for that." When it comes to the band's new album, Lars named 2015 as a tentative release year, stressing that the group doesn't indent to succumb to fan pressure and rush the record for the sake of earlier release. "We're going to make another record, but like I said before, we don't really feel this kind of ... what's the word? I guess 'responsibility' is probably the right word," he told Kerrang! magazine. "We don't feel this inherent responsibility to just churn out records whenever people want them. [Adopts a sarcastic voice] 'I'm sorry! Let me slap myself on the wrists and go make a record for you!' We'll get 'round to it again."

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    murtoll
    I'm sick of all these rock-dinosaurs saying this same shit. If you need millions of dollars as a motivation to make music you're not an artist. The age of the millionaire rock god has passed and only the truly passionate will remain.
    rmack4341
    Say what you want, but the quality of music coming out during the age of the "millionaire rock god" was much better than the bland hipster crap we are getting today. I would say the motivation to make music in order to make money is valid as long as you also care about the music you are making. I have never understood the hardcore stance that wanting to profit from your craft so you never have to work crap jobs again is somehow the equivalent of selling out or in your case, not being "passionate". If they weren't passionate about music, they would have stopped making it as soon as they earned enough money to live off of for the rest of their lives without working. It's the same idiots over and over always crying: "Oh, this band already makes millions, they should be giving away their music for free, man! They should do their shows for free, man! They're sell outs man, they're posers! They're only in it for the money!" You pseudo hippies are all the same. Fact is if these bands were really sell outs, they would have stopped making music a long time ago when they made their millions. Show some respect and get off your broke ass high horse.
    bassthunder
    What a bunch of crap. There was just as much garbage music "back in the day" as there is now.
    fatgleeson
    Indeed. Why was music so good back in the day? Because nobody talks about all the music back then that was completely awful. Just like how in 40 years people will say 'music was great back in my day' because they will have forgotten about the bad music!
    murtoll
    I never accused anyone of selling out or said they should give their music away, nor did I say that music today is better than it was in their day. So either you're replying to the wrong comment or you're projecting like a mother****er. "Say what you want, but the quality of music coming out during the age of the "millionaire rock god" was much better than the bland hipster crap we are getting today." Don't try to pass opinion off as fact. Metallica sucks. All their "good" music sounds the same and when they try to do something different they show how truly out of their depth they are outside the metal scene.
    crazysam23_Atax
    Whether Metallica sucks or not shouldn't matter to your argument...you ruined it by stating that you think they suck.
    rmack4341
    murtoll: " If you need millions of dollars as a motivation to make music you're not an artist." You said that. Isn't that essentially insulting any artist who wants to gain a large profit from their work? I also liked how you told me not to try to pass opinion off as fact, right before explaining why "Metallica sucks". The pot..... the kettle.... etc... And as far as your hipster question, seems to me that one definition is almost impossible because they are so self contradicting . If you want my personal OPINION (happy now? I'm making it clear this is just an opinion and not fact, for the people who are too dumb to decipher), the definition of hipster is no freaking balls. Bands like Fun. Bands that will never make anyone stop and say, "Holy crap, this is important, this is amazing, etc..." It's mediocre music at best to put on in the background of a f***ing Starbucks. Atleast GeriatricNinja's response was intelligent and actually made me think of my original statement. Murtol, I think you read every other line. Think harder. Better sit down though.
    GeriatricNinja
    @rmack4341 There's a big difference between making music with the intention of becoming rich and making music for the love of it while hoping to get some money back from it
    rmack4341
    I don't know, I've always felt you can do both. I think you can put your heart and soul into a record and really care about it while still hoping it will somehow make you rich, and striving to make that happen. I even think it's okay to let your sound maybe "evolve" a little in order to make that more of a possibility. As long as you still like your own product. It's when someone changes their sound or style to something they don't even like or feel passionate about in order to profit that I would take issue with.
    karstaag666
    My own opinion here: I like some of today's music and I like a lot of old music. Neither is better, just some is more relevant to others than it is to me. Personally I am all for the advancement of music so that it creates something new so I respect artists with new sounds more than I do those emulating the 70's/80's/90's etc.
    Rocknrolla35
    Dude, there is MUCH more good stuff in the old music(up to the first half of the 90s) than in the newer stuff (music of later 90s up to now). It wasn't all whiny. It wasn't all depressed. It wasn't something not really music(for example, rap) passed off as music. There was NO autotune back then. The artists couldn't even REALLY lip-sync(at least up to late 70s). Good musicianship wasn't being thrown out in mainstream music on such a rate as we saw with the rise of grunge and nu metal. I know that there is a place for simple stuff, and i also know, that there are various NEW bands that show good musicianship. I admit that there is some crap in the "old" music, and that there is some good stuff in today's music. But there is a LOT more good stuff in the "old" music than in the new. Consider me an *******, if you want, but that's not just my opinion. That's a FACT.
    karstaag666
    Well yeah... who would of thought that in the last 2013 years and more there has been more good music than in the last 10 years... /facepalm
    murtoll
    Oh yeah, nice work throwing out the uber-fashinable blanket-insult: "hipster". Would you be so kind as to give me a definition?
    GeriatricNinja
    Haha replied at the same time, didn't see eyour comment about opinion vs fact with the same quote
    GeriatricNinja
    @rmack4341 "Say what you want, but the quality of music coming out during the age of the "millionaire rock god" was much better than the bland hipster crap we are getting today." Well that's subjective, based on tastes so impossible to argue it either way. And who said anything about music having to be free? The point I was trying to make is that the music has one of the fastest changing industries in the world. The business model that worked 30 years is obsolete today and a lot of artists seem to be struggling to accept this and adapt to it. (Btw paid to see Metallica a few months ago when they were in town, was awesome).
    Mr Winters
    "ut the quality of music coming out during the age of the "millionaire rock god" was much better than the bland hipster crap we are getting today" Yeah right. Only people who don't even bother to look for good bands say that.
    Rocknrolla35
    "Yeah right. Only people who don't even bother to look for good bands say that." Only an ignorant fool could that. Imho.
    rmack4341
    List some of these good bands, friend.
    forest159
    Based off of 2013 alone? Shai Hulud, Altar of Plagues, Arsis, Within the Ruins, Carcass, the list goes on and on. So many bands out there are making music better then ever, and with social media sites and streaming services, it makes them easier then ever to find.
    cgmetallica1981
    Don't even bother man, the average UGer is going to throw any bad you suggest that isn't Pink Floyd out the window
    HitmanJenkins
    None of those are new bands, sure they've released new albums, but they're not new by any means.
    Kueller917
    I agree about the profit motive. Whether you want to make money or could care less doesn't matter. If you like the outcome that should be it. But saying that music was "better" during the millionaire era is a completely subjective statement. Ballads and basic pop songs were huge sellers in the past and the only reason there's not some big revolution in music is because the internet has allowed people to find their own niches making for several but smaller scale revolutions in those niches.
    DiaryOfJane
    So stop listening to the bland hipster crap, and find some new music that you like. It's all out there, you can't expect to be spoon-fed everything.
    GeriatricNinja
    @murtoll Absolutely agree. The business model that made a lot of these artists rich is what's destroying music. Digital modelling and social networks make it possible for those of us who weren't born in the right place at the right time to put our own music out and get it heard, even if it is to a small audience.
    slush
    THIS! A million times this. These 'millionaire rock gods' aren't complaining about the quality of music being made. They're complaining about the fact that it's not earning them millions anymore.
    christianonbass
    Great point. Some of us were dumb enough to practice 8 hours a day--thinking that talent would be enough for us to make a living playing music--instead of learning how to play Wall Street. Nowadays, at least, we can have our music heard by thousands. There is joy in that!
    slush
    Great use of sarcasm! I feel the same way about my mad thumb-wrestling skills.
    Kenny Kendall
    What are your credentials in this area? I have a B.A. from The University of South Florida's School of Business. I majored in Marketing. The business model that made bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Aerosmith, KISS, Van Halen, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Queen, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Heart, Motley Crue, Metallica and Guns 'n Roses a lot of money isn't destroying music. It made it possible for bands to tour worldwide so that the people could go to see their favorite bands play and it made it possible for entrepreneurs to make money whether they were people who owned or worked for the venues where bands played, or the stores where the bands' albums were sold, or the radio stations that played the music these bands created, or made the equipment these bands needed for touring, or the recording studios where the bands were recorded, or the magazines that wrote about the bands, and the list goes on and on. It's a business model that didn't just make the musicians rich; it either directly or indirectly led to the creation of all sorts of different jobs in the music related businesses I've listed above. The business model was not a destroyer of wealth; it was a creator of wealth. Then the people who were the destroyers of wealth came along - the people who were and are involved in the illegal piracy of music which from the highest levels of piracy all the way down to the individual people who illegally download music because they have no conscience and believe they should be able to take and enjoy the music that bands create without paying any money for the music they download instead of legally purchase. I am a musician I have invested thousands of hours into learning my craft and invested thousands of dollars into the equipment I need to perform my music. I am not wiling to work for free. You wouldn't expect any professional who creates a product and/or performs a service to work for you for free or to give you products they have spent time and effort to create and tell you that you can just have all you want for free would you?
    Minivirus2
    I believe his comments have less to do with making money than they do with the necessity of writing a great record. Decades ago, musicians had to make something of great substance for there to be any chance in them going anywhere. They had the radio, MTV, and word of mouth, for the most part, and if you were just another nobody with a mediocre album or song, nobody would ever speak your name. While I don't agree completely with his statement, I understand the point he's trying to make. Yes, the technological age has made it easy for closet musicians to get out there, but it's almost made it too easy by flooding the market with a never ending stream of crap. There's also the point to be made against social media, which is the younger generations of today cannot be bother (for the most part) to listen anything beyond the lowest common denominator, and what music receives the largest marketing push? Simplistic, rudimentary, crap, which in turn is magnified by social media, which EVERY kid eats up.
    slush
    No. If anything the reverse is true. Once upon a time you could make a crappy album with a single great song and have people buy it for that one song. Now no one is going to buy the album unless every song on it is worthwhile. Sorry to say but Kirk has it completely backwards.
    rmack4341
    None of these idiots buy albums anymore. If anything, the reverse of what YOu said is true. It seems there is no more importance to making a quality album now because of how easy it is to just pick and choose what you want off it and download one or two songs. Whether or not you liked an artist's entire album back in the day was irrelevant. The album was the project as a whole. You buy the project. Yeah you could go buy a single at Sam Goody but, that would have just been the main radio release song. Now you can pick apart any album, it's not right. Albums were meant to be taken in their entirety. The download process has bastardized that. Minivirus2 has said it best. While the "new way" has made it easier for more artists to get their music out there, it has also opened the door for mediocrity to become mainstream. There are no new Van Halens, Aerosmiths, etc... because it seems there's less pickiness when it comes to supporting music. This is the fault of what Hammet is talking about.
    slush
    None of these 'idiots' buy albums any more because it's not worthwhile spending $15 US on a CD when you're only going to enjoy 2-3 songs on it. Maybe it was irrelevant whether or not you liked an artist's entire album 'back in the day' but it's completely relevant now, and if a musician believes in the value of a complete album he or she'd better make sure that every song is worth being bought individually. I have no idea how you arrived at "less pickiness" as a conclusion from that proposition.
    sage76
    Actually, plenty of musicians even today are making millions. A7X, Mumford, the killers etc.
    DvanG
    This is exactly what I keep saying. Goes the same for designers, writers and other creative fields. Deserved medal.
    zefs
    I think they refer to the spirit of music, like "I am going with my friends to the store to buy the new album and we are going to listen to it at my place, awesome!!!" and that kind of stuff. iTunes and social networks and internet in general has indeed destroyed the spirit in that sense. There are both positives and negatives on evolution though.
    Jehannum
    The problem with passion is that no-one else will necessarily ever hear about it. Even if you get lucky and your stuff 'trends' it won't be long before the internet is looking for the next big thing and you're history.
    Aj1991
    Can UG go a day without posting a story about either something Dave Mustaine has said or something Metallica has said about the internet?
    shelovemyguitar
    "Metallica slams Itunes and social networks"
    Ritchie360
    Okay mate it doesn't say that anywhere.
    srmartindell
    READ THE TITLE. Bravo, sir. You just lost 78 points.
    Ritchie360
    78 pts what is this a game? Also, the title doesn't say "METALLICA SLAMS" furthermore the title isn't a quote by a bands interview. Kirk has said some trash, and that interview is being associated with METALLICA'S opinion where it's only Kirks opinion, so no sir, Metallica have said nothing, and Metallica has slammed nothing.
    Epi g-310
    Good lord, you people, it's a running joke. UG used to write titles like "(Band/Person) slams (thing)" all the time, and now the joke is that whenever there's an article about somebody criticizing something else, the title should be "So and so slams..." Clam ur tits.