Kirk Hammett isn’t angry at the other bands, he’s just disappointed.
Despite Metallica’s first studio album in eight years, Hardwired… To Self-Destruct recently debuting at #1 on the Billboard charts, shifting just under 300,000 copies in its first week, Hammett still seems obsessed by the injustice for all that Napster dealt out some 16 years old, naming the incident as one of the biggest regrets of his career. Though, it’s a regret that’s aimed outward.
“If there’s anything thing I regret, I regret that no one else supported us during that Napster time”, he told The Word Of Wheeler podcast.
“I don’t even know if you can call it a regret”, he continued. “Maybe it’s more of a disappointment. I was very disappointed that other musicians who saw our point, they supported us in ways that were less inconvenient to them.
“We stuck our necks out there. At the end of the day, I’d like to say what we were doing had some merit – some truth to it. From that point on, everyone who cares has seen the music industry go on this total downward spiral.”
Hammett has a point. While at the time, Metallica were seen as biting the hand that fed them (and then made devil-horns at their shows), their anti-piracy stance has become par for the course for musicians nowadays. The band claimed in 2000, when they launched the legal action, that they were fighting for artists’ rights to control the distribution and release of their own music, another stance that has become a popular one.
So, could it be that Metallica were ahead of their time, and – like most pioneers – like Copernicus, who was shunned for claiming earth was not the centre of the universe, they simply took the bullet for the good of everyone else? Hammett certainly thinks so.
Of course, releasing a list of 30,000 Metallica fans who illegally downloaded their music remains a dick move.