Metallica's Hammett: 'Internet Destroyed the Music Industry'

"There's less of a drive to be the best musician you can be," the guitarist says.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
7

Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett shared a few grim thoughts while discussing internet and online piracy, stressing his resentment of social networks along the way.

Describing the piracy as "too big of a beast to control," Kirk told Noisey: "The best thing to do is to try to put a positive spin on it and embrace it for what it is because it's still keeping our music alive and out there, and people are still hearing us and listening to us. We're just learning how to roll with the changes.

"The whole piracy thing, the whole internet thing, really destroyed the record industry, and it ended up changing music and the way it even sounds. Now, it just seems like there's less of a drive to be the best musician you can be or the best band that you can be because you can record anything, and put it out there, and people will say, 'Hey, that's great!' or, 'No, that sucks,' whatever."

Reminiscing the old days, Hammett continued, "It used to be that you had to really work hard to earn the respect selling albums, competing with all the other great bands making great albums - that just doesn't exist anymore. Everyone just kinda throws an album out there and it kinda just floats around in the cyber-world. What I miss is, there was a time when people would rally behind bands.

"When an album came out, it was a huge event that everyone spoke about, and you'd go down to the record store and see other people buying it and other people excited, and, 'Have you heard this yet!?' 'No, I haven't!' - all that is gone now because of the internet. The convenience of it is great but it really put a big f--kin' kibosh on all that s--t. Maybe I'm lamenting that a little bit, but it was a great time to be a musician, or a fan, and now because of this culture of convenience we have, it's just changed differently."

Focusing on modern times, Kirk added, "Now, I'm glad that we're an established band but I'd hate to be a band that was just starting out because it's so much more difficult and the musical audience seems much more divided these days from person to person, whereas back in the day, it was a musical community thing, and now it's all divided, and separated, and everyone's just on their own course."

Asked about the matter of social networks, the guitarist bluntly replied, "Well personally, I don't give a f--k about social media. I'm not on Facebook, I'm not on Twitter, I'm not on Instagram, I'm not on all these other f--kin' things that I don't even know about, and I don't give a f--k. I don't care. I. Don't. F--king. Care. But there are people in our organization who recognize the power of social media and the power of getting the word out there. Social media can be extremely effective for whatever thing you're doing or whatever cause so I think it's important, but personally, I don't give a f--k."

218 comments sorted by best / new / date

    kers101
    "The whole piracy thing, the whole internet thing, really destroyed the record industry" not the music industry, the record industry
    Niiko
    It's like the majority of the UGers leaving comments didn't even bother reading. But then again thank UG for putting "Music industry" in the headline instead of "Record industry" like Kirk actually said.
    Eifler121
    Oh my gosh, he's clearly using it interchangeably. UG users can be the worst.
    JimDawson
    After I read this article, I scrolled down thinking: "Where's the gold medal comment for pointing out the shitty title?" Naughty naughty, UG!
    Elintasokas
    He has a point, though. What he says mostly makes sense.
    qrEE
    The part that doesn't make sense - "there's less of a drive to be the best musician you can be or the best band that you can be because you can record anything" Well actually he's right there too, it's just he has to note the irony of calling out bands for not trying hard enough anymore.
    nino.scholz
    Good discussion. I'm not saying "no good music is made today". I just used DSOTM as an example since it seems so meticulously and well put together. My point is that without anticipation of return on investment, bands may not have the time and money they used to to be perfectionists in the studio - hire an orchestra or opera singer for a certain part, etc. There are still plenty of great records coming out - but perhaps some could be better with a bigger budget and more time. we'll really never know.
    Creepingdeth89
    I don't think it comes down to modern bands not trying hard enough anymore, but down to the way the music industry is now. Back then, bands would have had to have worked their asses off to even get close to the amount of exposure possible with the internet. It's just too easy now so naturally less effort is required in promotion, but trying to break through is even harder and much less rewarding.
    nino.scholz
    Yup - he speaks the truth. Albums like Dark Side of the Moon would never be made up to the same standard in today's environment. Bands can't afford to spend the time and money on something that will not provide any return.
    l0ld4v3
    LOL, how can someone know how much effort was put into something as subjective as art? Thinking like a business man is really gonna make your work "better"? Gene Simmons does this, he has a bunch of cash but the latest KISS record was shit.
    Democrab
    This. Stuff like Dark Side of the Moon still can occur...Look at Ziltoid the Omniscient by Devin Townsend, it's great! It doesn't cost much at all to record these days (I have a guitar recording rig I spent less than $10 on.) so if someone is inspired to make something like that, they can and they can get it out there.
    morbidguitar
    Your $10 recording rig? I really hope your joking...
    HitmanJenkins
    I think his point is that anyone can now make a half decent recording for not a lot of money. That said, I don't know how the hell you can have a recording rig for $10.
    Second Rate
    Thinking like a businessman may not make your art better, but it certainly won't make it worse. An artist should look at himself as a businessman. He sells a product, after all, his art. It required labour and capital to create, it carries a market value. If you're an artist and you don't think like a businessman, where do you end up? You end up on UG like l0ld4v3 pissing and whining and being jealous of those who did have the good sense to realize that they, as an artist, are simultaneously a craftsman and an entrepreneur. Don't buy into the looters' ridiculous notions of artistic integrity. Having integrity does not mean you have to be a slave.
    cgmetallica1981
    There's probably dozens of albums released in the past decade or two that you'll think are just as good, if not better than Dark Side. Quit thinking the Top 40 is all there is to modern music. Also, radio 40 years ago didn't play Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin nonstop.
    rebreh
    People always look back at a certain age and remember all the good art that was produced. It totally ignores that 90% of the music in that period was horrible (90% is a safe estimate and I was willing to go higher). Led Zep is a good example: they weren't even played on AM radio stations cuz the songs were too long. They got played on FM which was considered a radical stab at the music industry, for the time. People need to relax. Here are few things that were supposed to kill the "music industry" sheet music radio records television FM radio corporations buying all the FM radio napster ipod (yes, they did make this argument) streaming service Personally, I think the music industry died when they started printing sheet music, any thoughts?
    cyclonus
    Urgh, it's like listening to a broken record, and I don't mean LuLu
    sonofgkex
    It ruined the music industry for kirk by exposing the fact that average you-tubers can outplay him.
    mattclose555
    The fact that people can outplay him is irrelevant next to the fact that Kirk composed those solos himself. I can play the solo in The Unforgiven note for note, but did I write it? No, sir. I think that Kirk is probably the kind of musician who prides himself on composition over technical skill. I fully agree that Dave Mustaine is more skilled than Kirk, but I'll take a Hamster solo over one of Dave's any day.
    sonofgkex
    You realize that his compositions are EXTREMELY simple, right? I mean, simplicity is fine and all, but even his "shredding" is just three note wank that any average player can play with two fingers. Listen to his solos. Whenever he speeds up he just gets into that classic rut of bending the D string up and hitting the B string over and over and over in whatever key he is in. Seriously, he ruins Metallica for me. I would listen to them all the time if they had a real lead guitarist. For the record I think James is a good rhythm player. Also, I did not mention Mustaine, you did.
    sonofgkex
    Also, you realize you just compared a rhythm guitarist/singer to a lead guitarist, right. If that's the level you think "Hamster" is on then maybe you agree with me and don't even realize it.
    rcanders
    This is coming from the same people that used to complain about the evil music business and companies...now it seems like those were the good old days...
    robo37
    I'm damn pleased for the internet, 90% of the music I listen to I would have never of discovered if it wasn't for it.
    morbidguitar
    EXACTLY! And if it weren't for discovering all these other bands online, we wouldn't be at their shows. They should be thankful.
    morbidguitar
    they wonder why nobody buys music anymore. Because we used to spend $25-30 for a cd, only to find its absolute garbage. Was so sick of being disappointed by bands like this I stopped buying their garbage music well before the internet provided it. They don't seem to understand, but understandably most senior citizens don't like new things... Kirk. Garage Inc.
    rebreh
    Does anyone remember the fact that Metallica got big from tape trading also known as a form of music piracy? We will survive
    Second Rate
    In the days before 3/4 of it was wiped out by a hurricane, I had quite the collection of CDs, and I don't think I ever paid over 17 dollars for one (and those were usually only the releases on Inside Out Music). On average I've paid 11 to 13 dollars. Where the hell do you people buy music that it costs 25 to 30 dollars?
    morbidguitar
    We don't all live in the USA. If you bought CD's in the mid 90's from a store you would understand.
    ne14t
    Canada, when I was buying CDs they were $25-30 a pop easy, sometimes you could get old releases for cheaper but if you wanted something new you were paying dearly for it. Hell I ended up getting the majority of my CDs mail order from Columbia House because it was barely slightly cheaper. God damn I remember licking and sticking each one of those album sitckers onto their order sheet, what a trip.
    Rokeman
    I'd disagree a bit on one point... The internet should be reason to make the best album you possibly can: It will reach a wide audience on the internet, bring in new fans, and quite a few people will decide that they have to own it due to how good it is! (Friends have often directed me to legal full album streams on Youtube when showing me a new band, rather than individual songs - these streams get shared around Facebook with "you have to listen to this!" attached, reaching friends-of-friends who may also be curious) Putting out a great album while fully utilizing the internet could be very beneficial to a band!
    vppark2
    This right here. One of my close friends shares a lot of links to me from various local bands too.
    KingV911
    He's right about one thing: buying music was a lot more fun, social, and dare I say "magical" before the internet. It was a blast having to go to a store on the day an album came out, seeing other people buying it with you, and then popping it in the CD player in your car (if you were lucky enough to have one) or getting it home and cranking it on a proper stereo. While listening you'd read the liner notes, look at the pictures and discuss with your friends. It was great. Now it seems like a more passive experience and the only social part of it is on internet forums or social media, which for me has no emotional impact really. Also, the bands had more mystique, now they post their damn itinerary for the day or pictures of their breakfast. I'm 29 and as much as the internet has made everything more convenient, life was really better overall before it existed. Life felt more "alive" before.
    azrael667
    I wouldn't know more than half the bands I listen to without the internet so I guess I'll always fail to see how the internet destroyed the music industry.
    Luke-LikeICare
    It's a double-edged sword. Sure, you can find new music, but then will you actually buy the record? Or will you continue to listen for free?(Not a direct question to you, just a general thought.)
    iammclovin
    As a response to this, I tend to use the internet as a sampler. I find if the album is of high enough quality I'll buy it, if there's only one or two songs then I'll avoid making that purchase. Unless it's Protest the Hero, then I'll pay for it before it's even recorded...
    qrEE
    Here's my rule - I will buy a T-shirt for sure, and I will try to buy a copy of the album... but I have to do it when I see the band live. Here's why - T-shirts are really the biggest money-maker for bands now, one musician, don't remember who, even said that CDs are now just advertisements for T-shirts. If you want to provide them money, see them live and buy a T-shirt. The album will make less money than the shirt, because they owe most album sales money to the label, but they keep the shirt money for themselves. I've bought the T-shirts for small bands, big bands, etc... the physical copy is actually rather selfish these days, unless the band gets all the money, you're not helping them out all that much by buying it. Speaking as a musician myself, who plans to start my own label to release my band's music with professional quality (none of this re-sampling drums crap that all the Periphery wanna-bes do to fake professionalism), I can say - in order, most important to helping out the band is this - 1)SEE THE BAND 2)BUY THE SHIRTS 3)BUY THE RECORDS
    qrEE
    I forgot to mention, buying the CD online or at a store also takes money away from the band... I'd recommend buying a CD or vinyl from a record store that you think deserves it, not some crap like Wal-Mart or Best Buy.
    BuriedAlive7x
    CD's should come first when the album is out. Those first sales determine where the artist is placed, if it does well then the band will get more offers to tour with the bigger bands, it will also determine where they stand on the bill for a big music festival. Now if the album is a bit older then yes I agree with your order... it makes sense. Two recent examples: Periphery's second album did pretty good compared to their first, they got a chance to tour with Dream Theater and even Deftones. GHOST's recent album did really good, they got a chance to tour with Avenged Sevenfold.
    MetalNick
    Why is music the only industry where it's seemingly impossible for both investors and some consumers to understand the value of a product drops immensely when it becomes more available? Ferrari sold less cars for more money last year. The more lightbulbs a company produces, the cheaper they sell for. Thus, it's entirely logical the 'value' of music is much closer to the 10 euro monthly Spotify fee, than a 20 euro album.
    derkym
    While I may not buy the album I have been to literally hundreds of concerts of bands who I never would have heard of without the internet (piracy). How would I ever have found out about Gojira or BTBAM without the internet? And yes I have bought every album after stealing them.
    jrboyette11
    I mean, someone paid $6 for my bands free single the other day. People still buy music.
    UniformRecon
    Usually I'll listen to a leak to see if I like an album, and if I don't like it, I'll delete it, but if I do like it, I'll buy the vinyl record, which is a lot more expensive than a simple digital download.
    somies
    you didn't pay for that music, that's how. Industry means money-making activities or goods and music is goods most people aren't paying for. Hope you understand now
    sn00ze
    Personally, I support new and small bands and stopped buying CDs/merchandise from bands putting out these stupid statements.
    l0ld4v3
    I don't pay for art, I DO NOT think as businessmen, so I DO NOT CARE about how much money some white d00d sitting in some chair labeled CEO is not making. I am part of the problem, so what? Music IS NOT going to cease to exist because of this.
    Rimfrost
    You do know that it costs money to make stuff, right? Hollywood movies aten't made by the directors money, they get money from suits, turn in a product, product is sold, they get paid and get more money to make more stuff that we can enjoy. In the 70s bands made lots of records, a lot more than now (often 2 albums each year). Why did this happen? Maybe there was money to be made and therefore people willing to pay artists to create a much stuff as possible (which was good for us, good for the artists and good for the suits), now we are lucky if a band releases an album every 2 years. I don't know if there is a correlation, but i do know which model i prefer (Hint: The model that gives me more music than t-shirts...) : p.
    Kueller917
    I've mentioned before I'm against intellectual property as a whole but the industry is based off it. If you like a band support them as best as you can. Money, even if a tiny amount, goes to them too not just the industry executives. Yeah there's other ways to support artists but ruling out one entirely doesn't help.
    bane720
    I would not have known about my favorite bands without the internet. I have since bought the discography of each, multiple items from their online stores, 2 DvDs, numerous figures and t shirts and have paid $55 USD each to go and see two of them play live at venues 6 hours away. Internet may have destroyed (the control of) the Music Industry (and stagnant bands that don't give a **** anymore because they are either too rich or too popular). Put out something decent and it will sell, play your ass off at a show and it will sell. Sit idly by and put out shit and rant because people don't buy it and... people probably won't buy it.
    voultz
    It's not all that bad. Surely the internet spawned music piracy and reduced album sales, but that is only the half side of the coin.I came from a secluded part of a third world country. There are no record stores in my place to buy albums and there will never be big concerts to be held here. So, my favorite bands cannot get any profit from me. However, if weren't for the internet I would have not known 90% of the bands i love, and most specially I wouldn't have developed my love and support for the metal and rock genre. It is only because of the internet that people like me were exposed to a "far-underground" genre of rock and metal. And true enough these bands existing today wouldn't have half of their fans if it weren't for the internet.Internet may somewhat to a little extent have destroyed music industry as some have claimed, but it is because of internet that their music is exposed to their fans. Isn't that what music is supposed to be all about? To spread your music to people? That should be the consideration many people should think, and it is more important than acquiring more profit.
    metallimaiden90
    Asked about the matter of social networks, the guitarist bluntly replied, "Well personally, I don't give a f--k about social media. I'm not on Facebook, I'm not on Twitter, I'm not on Instagram, I'm not on all these other f--kin' things that I don't even know about, and I don't give a f--k. I don't care. I. Don't. F--king. Care. But there are people in our organization who recognize the power of social media and the power of getting the word out there. Social media can be extremely effective for whatever thing you're doing or whatever cause so I think it's important, but personally, I don't give a f--k." And I thought Kirk was the calm one in the band.
    MetalNick
    Remember; the more you say you don't give a ****, the more it's true! Kirk has this down pretty well.
    Dannym95
    just ****ing come the **** on though. You ****ing really ****ing can't ****ing deny that Kirk ****ing Hammett just ****ing does not ****ing give a ****. I mean, that's some true shit right there.
    stondagain
    Count me in "the good old days" camp. Back in the 80s, when new albums came out it was a ****in EVENT. I remember when VH's 1984 came out, it was the hugest thing ever. Counting down the days until Megadeth's "So Far, So Good", Exodus' "Pleasures of the Flesh" ... reading the liner notes for the first time, checking out the pictures...it just made these bands larger than life. Now we all know that most musicians work at the corner liquor store or at Whole Foods when they're not on tour. The guys that actually make ANY money are few & far between. I'm good friends with Jack & Tom from Exodus and believe me, they don't make sh*t for money. Gary makes a living (yep, the Slayer gigs are like winning the lotto), but the rest of the guys are just scraping by at times. The mystique is gone. It used to be you never heard the best songs on an album until you bought it; now the best song is all over the place & you're a sucker if you buy the album, because the rest of the songs are just crap. Yep, I'm 44 and the bands of today will never recapture what it was like back in those days. There is some good metal out there, but still.
    Rimfrost
    I can't agree on the "The rest of the songs are crap" thing, i buy a lot of new albums and i think the stinkers are fairly rare, atleast when the artist is good. And the singles are rarely the best songs, imo.
    kdsprocket
    I AGREE WITH KIRK ON THIS ONE 100 %. Most of you never experienced what Kirk is even talking about. It was great
    Way Cool JR.
    Considering that I'm old enough to remember the days he's speaking of I can totally agree with him 100%.
    Rimfrost
    I think music has been devalued by the Internet, illegal downloads, Youtube and streaming has made the product worthless. We can all get whatever we want and we don't really want to pay anything for it anymore, because why should we when there's so many cheap alternatives easily accesible both legal and illegal? It's a shame really, but i don't see any way out of it, the industry dropped the ball and now they just have to find a way to survive. Movies never really faced the same problem, since people can still see the value in the movie going experience. They might not want to pay for a dvd, but they will pay for a ticket to the cinema, which incedentally is the same product as the one sold in stores as opposed to cds vs live shows. Games might face the same problem in the future because they are selling games for nothing on smartphones, steam and Ps+. They are basically telling people that they don't have to pay the actual costs of the games, people are getting used to games being cheap and free. Something that isn't sustainable in the long run if you consider the production costs.
    Zorlich
    Times change, but most bands now make their money from Merchandise and Concerts, there's still a lot to be made even if a lot of pirating is going on
    zalant
    Everyone says this, as if merchandise and concert tickets are some newly-found source of revenue in this new music industry paradigm. But merch and concert tickets are NOT new sources of income. Maybe the tickets are a bit more expensive these days, but I seriously doubt that it makes up for the staggering lack of album sales. It would be nice if artists were now getting a bigger cut of merch and ticket (and what's left of album) sales, but I don't know whether that's the case.
    l0ld4v3
    Bands that handle their own merch do this. Ever heard of Ghoul? Bands would save a bunch of money if they didn't had to pay for useless middle men doing PR and merch.
    xasthur010
    Buying music through Bandcamp also helps the money go directly to the artist.
    joeyreece
    This particular generation of musicians needs to just shut up about the internet
    UncleBluck
    Funny how you kids just cant handle the truth....cant wait to hear 30 years down the road all about the great bands from your past generation....there will be nothing to talk about.....
    Kueller917
    I could care less about what people think 30 years from now. I got to see amazing musicians releasing music in this generation and even if they don't become legends I surely will remember them. In the long run, talking multiple centuries, most things will be forgotten anyways.
    mattjamesrenn
    Except for a handful of classical composers and jazz musicians and I would say a few modern bands n’ artists (Beatles, Michael Jackson, metallica, maybe Radiohead etc)
    l0ld4v3
    Nah, we won't even make it 30 years from now. Get with the times old man!
    Zanary
    As someone old enough to have been in both eras, I have to agree with Kirk on a lot of this. The file-sharing did a huge amount of damage, the leaks and instant download/review capabilities of modern tech have taken a ton of "occasion" out of new releases...and anyone thinking that music has improved from these changes is NOT paying attention. The previous era led to some horrible tactics by managers and record companies, but the modern era has a lot of crap that never would have gotten released when the industry was more involved. I can't celebrate widespread mediocrity, because it takes more work to find the good music.
    Kueller917
    But you could also argue that a lot of those bands that are harder to find in the sea of mediocrity might have never even been available in the past.
    BlackLabel5150
    I agree and disagree, to me there was more mystery back in the day, we used to wait in line for record releases, there was an excitement about it, a buzz in the air. today you just have to Google or you tube and you know everything down to what the artist eats, I think it takes away from it all. But in the same breath artists can their music out there a lot easier. I'm not trying to dig on this generation, but unless you were around back then you don't have the same experience some of us "old" guys had. I will say this about the internet and digital music, I don't go through as many tapes or needles stopping and rewinding to learn a song, that A-B repeat feature is gold.
    Ibeanez
    Speaking about mystery, look how hard it is to get an album to market without everyone having heard it all already. People expect you to prieview 4 or 5 songs before you're finished, or they just leak the whole thing on Youtube.
    stoltobot
    Glad to see Kirk is fired up. Hopefully it will inspire him to prove a point musically on the next album.
    MetalNick
    Of course, nowadays people, exposed to much more music, don't get worked up about 'big albums' by 'big bands' anymore; they've discovered music more suited to their personal taste. God forbid I spend my money on going to 3 foreign bands I like a lot instead of one big label CD I'll end up disliking due to old farts pretending to be 20! Die an innovator, or live to become a dinosaur I guess.
    l0ld4v3
    Truth is they were never innovators, that's why they brought in Bob Rock, to make the jump to mainstream labels and audiences.
    Bubbles516
    The bit about nobody getting excited about album releases I totally understand because when a new record comes out of a band I'm really into I get super excited. Just like a kid haha. It doesn't seem many people share that same enthusiasm.
    l0ld4v3
    Yes they do, but they get called fanboys immediately. Check the Megadeth newest for example, people who really digs it gets mocked because some people are *******s.
    ewolf5150
    i take pride in buying records still. i bought 10 cds last year. many ppl do not realize that day 1 record sales mean alot to a band and the management. it effects what tours they get on and where they are placed on that tour. no tours, no exposure, no band. i know ppl say all that money u spent on the cd goes to the label and i understand that but i buy them because i still enjoy tangible things and to show the record companies someone actually cares about this band and they need to pay attention to them
    adamzam
    I agree with him 100%. In many ways the internet has killed more than just music. Its killed the social human.
    Kueller917
    Yeah it sure did a great job at keeping people away from being glued to their TVs, invested in their job, or taking any other form of media more than socialization.
    Spenner2810
    There are some good posts on here and some mischevious ones - as usual. The point that is being made by Kirk is very relevant - and he should know - he is the only one of us that has made a good living out of the music industry. Putting to one side all of the imagery of the fat cats cynically milking 'the kids'and the internet/fil sharing being a home for brave young rebels fighting back, the actual point is that for music to be produced and distributed and performed commercially, it has to be profitable otherwise everyone will just go and work in McDonalds and strum Beatles songs or whatever in their bedroom. If file sharing on a global scale was around when Master of Puppets or a Dark side of the Moon were made then Metallica/Pink Floyd would have made no money and they are likely to have packed in and we would never have had the Black Album/ Wish you were here etc etc. You cant justify a band's creative property being stolen and them being deprived of the income while others profit. Yes, the music industry had its problems but this isnt the way to fix them - it will just deter bands from putting their all into it because they need to be doing their day job from 9 to 5.
    Scorpyin
    Who cares? The industry needs music, but the music doesn't need the industry..
    rich420
    Now, it just seems like there's less of a drive to be the best musician you can be or the best band that you can be because you can record anything, and put it out there, and people will say, 'Hey, that's great!' or, 'No, that sucks,' whatever." What's his point... that people can judge the music you put out? Like it's always ****ing been even before the internet. If piracy makes him not want to be the best musician he can be then that can only mean he's just in it for the money. Though to be fair, if my playing was as ****ing dull and boring as his I wouldn't have much motivation either!
    l0ld4v3
    I think some capitalists are more adaptable to reality than others.
    rmack4341
    Hippie
    l0ld4v3
    The one who adapts better gets the most cash. How am I a hippie? China does it, their economy is monstrous, there are people crossing the line of poverty because of this.
    rmack4341
    You are a hippie because of this stupid comment you made earlier: "I don't pay for art, I DO NOT think as businessmen, so I DO NOT CARE about how much money some white d00d sitting in some chair labeled CEO is not making. I am part of the problem, so what? Music IS NOT going to cease to exist because of this."
    aaa8181
    Destroyed the music industry but saved music. Yeah, everyone can post their music online now. What's bad about that? More music for everybody! And a ton more competition, albeit all online. It'd be nice if things were the 'old way' but with the development of technology, change is inevitable. Saying that the Internet destroyed music is like saying the electric guitar or the Industrial revolution destroyed it. It simply changed it, complete with the piracy. Maybe music should shift more on shows and the albums should be cheap or free. Sure, you could say that would make ticket prices more expensive but the shows might be more intense. Mr. Hammet here is just afraid of change. Change is what got you to where you were, Kirk. If music didn't change with the development of society and technology we'd still be beating on rocks and grunting. The worst thing that happened to music is major label record companies. Big business and art don't mix. Metallica is a great band and Kirk an awesome guitarist; certainly a giant whose shoulders upon I stand. But I feel as if they, or Kirk in particular have always leaned more on the 'business' side of things since the 90s. All that happened to music with the Internet, in simple business terms, is less barriers to entry which has increased the market rivalry. Just like the industrial revolution increased the output of quality musical instruments, making it easier for people to gain access to an instrument and therefore, music (of course in this case orchestras became larger.) I think all people should be allowed to speak their minds with music and share it. Not to mention it gives us easy access to a different kind of musician. Not just the ones who play in a chamber or a smoky bar. Kirk Hammet, with all due respect, your argument is that of an old man afraid of the changing tides.
    Dynamight
    Oh boo hoo, that poor poor industry. You're one to complain, Kirk. Bands like yours get paid a fortune for twiddling their thumbs most of the year. Rehearsal, concerts and songwriting not only account for less than 10% of your time, it's the kind of stuff others pay to be able to do on their free time. Maybe it's time you got actual work done for a living. Let the industry die. Music is eternal, and the truly passionate will survive.
    Senrekiv
    I think the internet only "destroyed" the money aspect of the music industry. The internet has allowed for countless musicians to gain popularity. This might not be a sound example but If it weren't for the Internet Justin Bieber would probably be living a life without fame. Kirk Hammet is a Banana peel in the music scene-- thrown away -- waiting to be stepped on by unsuspecting pedestrians.
    johnpartsiv
    The automobile industry ruined the horse and buggy industry. The cell phone industry ruined the home phone industry. High-speed internet ruined dial-up. This is what happens when you have technological progress. It's not the case that the internet is ruining music, it's ruining the archaic music "industry". There's so much more competition now than there ever has been. I can listen to pretty much any song ever with the click of a button. As such, the income of musicians will fall.
    cheesefries
    "I can listen to pretty much any song ever with the click of a button. As such, the income of musicians will fall" Well thats where the problems is. Music that is free that is not supposed to be free. Spend years writing music and it's free with a click of a button. It'll get sorted out I'm sure in the next 10 years to make it more profitable. If more money is to be made someone will figure it out.
    Battery Chicken
    I think the age of the massive rock star has ended. I think bands just have to re-evaluate how they define success, selling 20,000 albums is the new gold record. The only big acts from here on out will be the Katy Perry's of the world, but they're really more of a brand than an act, the music being only one side of it.
    jamesrulesmetal
    I agree with the great Mr Hammett! Piracy is phucking stealing--no 2 ways about it. It's immoral. I've heard many "reasons" to justify it and they are all bullshit. How would U like it if you worked your ass off as a professional doing whatever you do and some wanktard just strode in and took all your money? If you don't pay for something you won't appreciate the value of it. If you love music, if you respect the bands that play it, if u want them to bring out more music instead of going out of business, then phucking pay for it or phuck the hell off! \m/
    MeGaDeth2314
    Why are Kirk Hammett and LArs Ulrich like the spokespeople for the downfall of the music industry? This just sounds like an excuse for the lack of progression in Metallica's music. They can bitch and moan all they want, but in the end, the reason they don't have the drive to become better musicians is because they're lazy. Not because people are pirating their music. If they were really devoted to their music and improving as musicians, they wouldn't be playing the same shitty solos night after night. For ****s sake, practice your instrument and do it because you enjoy it, not because you want to be "in the industry."
    HUNDuffman
    they have been around for 30 years, they have been a thrash band, a heavy metal band, a southern rock boyband, what is this, if not progression? not that being a boyband is good or something, but it still means going from A to B
    ninjamo
    "The whole piracy thing"? Sure. "The whole internet thing"? No. Just no. I've found so many great bands through the internet that I'd have never discovered due to the area I live in (15 radio stations that play country, 1 that plays pop, none that play classic or even modern-ish rock or metal). We don't all live in Los Angeles. You can argue that things like youtube, spotify, and pandora are bad because they play a lot of music for free, but how many less fans would you have if these sites weren't free or didn't exist? I can guarantee even the great Metallica would already be fading into obscurity.
    cheesefries
    The internet definitely ruined how much bands get. Now instead of albums you can youtube the album you want and just buy the songs you like for 99 cent each. Or just download it straight from youtube... Or just pirate it off a torrent like an Ahole. Could almost guarantee you half of what they should be making is pirated.
    Northernmight
    I'd say he's right to a certain extent. I don't think it's ruined though, i think it has changed. Away labels and such. Sometimes it's kind of sad. But it's not gonna change, so you're better off learning how to navigate the new world of music, rather than whining about the old one being obsolete.
    soulgrenade
    The music industry sat on their collective hands while the internet stormed the world. They had many opportunities to embrace changing times but they did nothing and now they all are blaming the fans. Pitiful.
    Smegal
    The internet has done far more good for music than bad, it has allowed virtual nobodies to expand out and get into the industry, it has allowed many to self produce their work and allowed music lovers to access a wider range of music. The only negative the internet has done is cut the profits of a non flexible industry that refuses even to this day to bend and work with it.
    sn00ze
    Hey Kirk, just because you don't give a shit about social media doesn't others do as well. I personally know quite a few musicians who make their living thanks to the Internet and promoting themselves for FREE thanks to the social media, distributing their music without useless record companies. I'm getting tired of all these millionaire, from 70s musicians claiming how music/record industry sucks, how piracy destroyed it all. Look at Reznor and his approach, you might learn a thing or two.
    meestazak
    "But there are people in our organization who recognize the power of social media and the power of getting the word out there. Social media can be extremely effective for whatever thing you're doing or whatever cause so I think it's important," You literally just said what he said a few lines further down. Trying a bit hard to be controversial i think...
    GeriatricNinja
    I find it funny after reading this in last week's post: "It seems like Metallica's bigger now than we've ever been. I only say that because last year we went to a lot of far-flung places that we rarely go to, and we sold a s--tload of tickets." Pretty sure the internet is partly responsible for that.
    riu39
    He said "record industry" not "music industry"! They clearly sell more concert tickets now with internet cause you can't download or share concert tickets on the internet, you can't download a concert presence. So yes, internet is responsible for selling "a s--tload of tickets" but it's also responsible for decline of record sales.
    l0ld4v3
    Actually, the bigger metalheads fan bases are in south america, asia and europe. But how often do bands really listen to where the fans are? If Metallica came down to Mexico or Costa Rica every now and then, like bands like Rata Blanca did, they'll be making far more cash on concerts. You can't expect to have a number 1 hit single for weeks and fill out arenas in the states like in the 90's, times changes.
    Archer250
    You're one to talk, Kirk.
    TheBigDirty716
    Down votes? Glad I'm not the only one who remembers they spread the word Metallica through copying and handing out cassettes.
    Vinson
    Which were recorded poorly, and copying them made the recording even worse. NOT the same as digital where every copy sounds exactly like the CD.
    Kueller917
    Was it intentional from their part though or just the effect of poorer technology?
    l0ld4v3
    The Black Album came in tapes and 8 tracks with superb sound. Tapes are on par with digital, it depends on the source of your tape (if you got it from the radio it won't be good, if you tape from vinyl it's fantastic)
    zalant
    Yes, it's true that tape-trading was a good way to find out about new bands and their music, but the quality of cassettes wasn't on par with today's high bit-rate MP3 or lossless digital formats. Back in the day, I had friends give me crappy taped copies of stuff, and the lack of quality and deteriorating nature of tape media made me eager to pick up the real thing whenever I could. Sure there were the higher-bias metal tapes and other options, but still there was always a (at least perceived) difference. Plus, there used to be somewhat of a pride factor (as dumb as it may sound) in knowing that you owned the genuine article. Today, though, there's virtually no difference in quality and digital files don't wear out with repeated plays, hence, there's not much incentive to get the real thing.
    Bertallica
    This, but looking back at my CD collection pisses me off because the CD's themselves are easily damaged, which means I have 2, 3 or 4 or more copies of some of my favorites due to wear and tear. I have over 500 CD's and a lot of them are useless because they are not durable. Some don't even have scratches, its the top side foil that has deteriorated causing the skipping. So, now if I'm missing something from my collection I download it with no f***s given.
    l0ld4v3
    There's little "free" sources that will carry high quality audio rips. Most high quality shit needs to be paid, unless you dig for a long time in the web. Maybe 5 to 8 years ago it was easier to find quality rips, but them days are gone, most links are dead.
    fuzzymunkee
    If it weren't for the the internet, I probably wouldn't have ever found most of the music I listen to.
    Nonesta13
    I'd say bad music is what killed the music industry. Artists make enough money as it is anyway.
    rmack4341
    Right. Bill Gates makes enough money as it is too. Go steal his products. Apple makes a ton of money. Go steal their stuff. The stattement that "Artists make enough money as it is anyway", is not only incorrect in most cases, it is also completely unamerican and entitled. No such thing as "enough money". If you are putting out a product, you try to make as much as you can. Stealing from a Target as opposed to stealing from a struggling mom and pop shop for example, are the same amount of bad. You can't justify one action because the victim is more successful than the other.
    Nonesta13
    Not all bands are American. If artists aren't saving lives then they don't deserve as much as doctors. For example look at how big Drake's house is compared to hardworking doctor. Plus Target tries to steal from its consumers by producing ads with devices Americans do not need.
    rmack4341
    Not up to you or anyone else to decide what anyone deserves. I hate Drake and find him untalented, but he has found a way to make money with no talent. Is he as "important" as a doctor in society? Probably not to most people, but that argument is irrelevant. You cannot decide who derves more money. And your point about Target is irrelevant because consumers have free will. If they do not need something, no one forces them to buy it. You sound very ignortant.
    Rimfrost
    In what world is the average musician making "enough money"? As far as i can gather most bands are struggling to get by and even losing money just to release new music. That's probably also why a lot of artist has a second job.
    Paperjace
    As a musician and home producer, I feel we're in an excellent era for music; you just need to learn how to use it to your advantage. In this past, you would need to pay for expensive outboard hardware to record music. It took time and lots of money. Nowadays, you can record music directly into the computer at little to no cost. (To everyone wanting to open the digital vs. analog debate, digital can sound excellent if you do it properly). Now that musicians have that advantage, this leaves us with the cash that we would have spent on recording towards other things: merch, live show equipment, and more attractive physical media. Hipster argument aside, vinyl is making a huge comeback and I think it's a great way to sell physical media. tl;dr: If you learn how to use the digital age to your advantage, you can come out on top.
    Random9000
    If my 13 year old self saw me posting what I'm about to say, I'd probably smack myself (I'm 24 now FYI). Maybe it's always been this way, but it really seems like Kirk has become quite the outspoken jerk about everything. Like I used to want to hang out with Kirk more than anything because I thought he was such a chill guy, but either I aged and saw it differently or he's just getting old and bitter. James on the other hand seems to have been hit by the hippy stick and always seems happy and just stoked to be alive.