Metallica certainly has some interesting plans for the future, including their own music festival, a 3D movie, and a new album, with Rick Rubin back at the helm.
Interestingly enough, Metallica’s currently working on its new album without a label, because Death Magnetic was a one album deal with Warner Brothers, and now they’re free to go wherever they want, including doing their own label if they so desire.
Recently Lars Ulrich told Howard Stern the band was “in a position now where we’ve never taken a penny from a record company up front, so we never have to rely on anybody’s money, then you’re also free to do what you want.”
Indeed, when Metallica renegotiated their deal with Elektra, which is part of the Warner family, it included maintaining ownership of their master tapes, which they used for the Guitar Hero games, and no advances from the record company, which meant they finance their albums themselves. For the upcoming Orion music festival, Ulrich said they have partners who also organize Lollapalooza, but they may also put up their own money for it as well.
In many creative businesses, it’s strongly advised not to spend your own money, or you’ll go broke in a hurry, and Ulrich told Stern, “we’re good at spending it faster than we can make it. We like to put it all back into the band, into the show. I don’t know if it’s (financial) suicide, it’s just how we roll.”
It’s also a given that the more someone else is spending, the less you have to say about it, and Metallica have always liked their control.
Ulrich also mentioned on Stern that they will be putting up $20 million for their upcoming 3D movie, and again, it’s all about their creative freedom.
“We’re paying for it ourselves, so we don’t have to listen to anybody,” Ulrich told Stern.
And good, bad or indifferent, however it turns out, it’s their movie, their career, their lives, and with James, Lars, Kirk and Rob, the buck stops with them.