Metallica Look Back on Fighting Napster

It’s been fourteen years since Metallica went to war with Napster, and I can still remember the furor very vividly. In fact, Metallica’s fanbase took a big hit from their war with Napster, and after the disaster of their album St Anger, it looked like the band was basically done for.

Metallica’s doing much better these days, obviously, but the music business never recovered from file sharing, and no matter how much Metallica tried to fight it, the genie was out of the bottle. Many artists certainly agree with Metallica’s stance on principle, but it was the heavy handed way the band dealt with it that cost them a lot of fans. 

Funny enough, Lars Ulrich is now friends with Napster founder Sean Parker, and also attended his wedding. Ulrich realized in hindsight he could have handled things better, and as James Hetfield told Blabbermouth and Crave, “As you get older, you’re able to get past certain roadblocks mentally and friendship-wise, like things with Megadeth.

“[Lars] was wanting to do something,” Hetfield continued. “He had a vision and had no idea what the consequences would be. I think we’ve learned a lot, like from the Some Kind of Monster movie and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Seeing all these bands that can’t even show up and play together because they’re arguing about something that happened 20 years ago and they can’t celebrate a great moment…Life’s too short for stuff like that.”