metallica through the never

Pictured above: Metallica’s chance at regaining relevance

I want to like Metallica. I really do, they’ve done great things for metal, I enjoy their music and even thought Death Magnetic was pretty good, but it seems like they’re doing everything in their power lately to make me dislike them. Lulu, an American ‘metal’ festival with a smattering of actual metal bands and that’s not to mention some pretty ridiculous opinions on modern music, like this one:

“There haven’t been a lot of really, really great bands that have shown that kind of promise, you know, 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.”

Said Kirk Hammet in a recent interview with R7. Which is really disappointing.

Honestly, it begs only one question, are they even listening to what’s going on around them? We talked about this sort of bleak view of metal recently when Matt Heafy of Trivium put it forth a hell of a lot more eloquently and with at least a shred of thought behind it, but Hammet’s technophobia here seems to be clouding the fact that there are not only a tonne of great bands around today, more specifically there are a tonne of great metal bands around.

I’m not sure how putting the music out on a larger platform and getting music to more people could possibly be a bad thing, unless this is some thinly veiled ‘hurrdurr piracy is killing music’ thing. But the idea that’s it destroyed the ‘motivation to go and make the best record possible’ is ridiculous — the average start up metal band these days has chops that are light years ahead of what Metallica could cobble together at the beginning of their career and they don’t hesitate to use them. It’s a cut-throat world with so many bands around and exposure being more equally divided between them, thus only the very best break through. The barrier between finding out about somebody’s demo project from the other side of the world and multi-million selling act is simply how much time you want to spend looking for it.

Maybe a metal band will never reach the size of Metallica ever again, but that’s because exposure isn’t entirely dictated by the amount of force a record label puts behind them anymore — it’s more in word of mouth and the personal preferences of the listener. So while Muse and Queens Of The Stone Age might be the only bands Hammet can think of that are ‘really, really great bands’, I’ll be over here listening all the not ‘really, really great bands’ like AnciientsTesseractCirclesSylosisRevocationBaronessWhitechapelXerathBosskCaligula’s Horse, Evile, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Steak Number EightHakenLeprousKvelertakGhostThe OceanRed FangScale The Summit, Within The RuinsSkeletonwitch, Shining etc etc etc

– DL

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