back to article Metallica sticksman gloats over Napster downfall

Metallica drummer and pro-copyright mouthpiece Lars Ulrich is "proud" he helped wipe out internet file-sharing site Napster. Speaking to Kerrang! magazine, Ulrich added he wasn't wallowing in "glory" following his band's crucial role in the downfall of Napster. Metallica infamously took legal action against the website in …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Ah, that reminds me

    Must remember to download the latest album, it's apparently better than the shit they've been putting out for oh, 20 years, since they decided that thrash metal wasn't selling enough. Still, things change and move I guess, that's just an opinion after all.

    So cheers for the heads up Lars!

  2. Jimmy Floyd
    Jobs Halo

    Nicely up-to-date, Lars

    There's nothing like wallowing in past glory, wouldn't you say? But if that's the best thing you've done in the past decade....

    Still, credit is due for acknowledging the other side of the argument. Few in the music biz do even bother to recognise the opposition which (rather like any major conflict around the world - I'm looking at you Middle East) only serves to exacerbate the fight.

    Steve Jobs, because as much as I detest Apple it must be recognised they have given the recording industry a deserved kick up the backside.

  3. lansalot

    don't forget

    "they did portray me and Metallica as being greedy rock pigs and luddites"

    Technically, you're also twats as well. Don't forget that. Though (technically) that wasn't the "other side" that proved it.

  4. Lupus

    I like Metallica, but...

    *and repeat it with me*

    Lars Ulrich is a cock.

  5. Stephen Gray
    Thumb Down


    "Earlier this year Ulrich admitted to illegally downloading his band's latest album from a BitTorrent tracker site"

    As far as I'm aware its not illegal to download your own property

  6. Mike Holden

    Not all his though

    But it's not, strictly speaking, 100% his own property is it? The rest of the band will be part owners, and I'm sure the record company and various other hangers-on will also own parts of it.

    Lars Ulrich is a cock

    Lars Ulrich is a cock

    Lars Ulrich is a cock




  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Stephen Gray

    Probably not but I suspect it would then be shared from Ulrich's computer to other (presumably torrent) users which is a criminal offence worse than murder punishable by torture and death... RIAA better fire up its lawyers against this high profile miscreant!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Stephen Gray

    "As far as I'm aware its not illegal to download your own property"

    But this goes to the heart of the downloading music argument. Although the songs are, in fact, his, you could argue (as the assorted recording industries and Mr. Ulrich himself do) that this represents a lost sale.

    Although Larsey would therefore be stealing a few cents from himself he would also be stealing from the record company, distributor, credit card processing company, session musicians etc. etc. etc - in effect anyone else who would be entitled to a cut of any sale that was made.

  9. Matt.Smart


    You're spot on there mate.

  10. Chewy


    ..if that no talent ass clown had spent more time trying to progress then they would have had better sales. Instead they jumped on the nu metal bandwagon.

  11. IndianaJ

    Where was the proof?

    What is this proof he speaks of? The man is a good drummer and should stick to what he knows. He is also good at spouting utter bollocks by the looks of it.

  12. Rog69
    Thumb Up

    What a knob.

    If by "wipe out" he means "generate tons of publicity" then yes, well done Lars.

  13. Chris Hedley Silver badge

    Thanks, Ulrich

    Though not a user of Napster or any of the other dubiously legal downloading facilities, I /still/ found Ulrich's pompous and offensively pious attitude so insufferable that I could no longer bear to listen to his band. Which I think is a net gain for my taste in music.

    "Lars Ulrich is a cock" etc.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    don't forget the take down at

    except the cowards who want fans to pay to learn their songs won't even name themselves in that one.

    (a/c for the irony)

  15. Ryan 26

    so why hasn't he been sued yet?

    Since he's admitted the download, why haven't the RIAA taken him to court and fined him $1000000 per track? They'd do it to anyone else who was stupid enough to publicly admit downloading.

    Doesn't he realise he was distributing copyrighted material whilst he was downloading it .

  16. Tom Paine

    Flash animation

    Anyone remember the very funny Flash animation poking fun at Larse & his merry men? There was a huge troll at the back who just said "Napster BAD!!", I've been trying to find a copy for years...

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Could it be...

    Could it be that while browsing Napster, they noticed no-one was interested in any of the guff they released since about 1991 (or thereabouts) and decided that it was about time to lay off the cocaine, dry out in rehab and try to write a thrash album again...?

    'cos that's what's happened! (Admittedly it took them a couple of tries to get it right...)

    ps. It's true - "Large Oilrig" is a cock

  18. Prag Fest

    Cock Rock

    I bet after downloading he thought "thank f**k i didn't waste a tenner on that"

  19. Christopher Martin

    I appreciate it

    The decline in Napster-style filesharing networks has lead to increased participation in torrenting, which is a much better way of obtaining just about anything. Napster, Kazaa, DC++ are a jumbled clusterfuck of staticky, mislabeled tracks. Sharing entire discographies in torrents is much more effective. By scaring users away from old networks, litigation contributes to the uptake of new technologies - so, thanks!

  20. Rumpelstiltskin

    @Tom Paine

    You're looking for the "Napster bad" animation by Camp Chaos. These days it's a quicktime video, and can be found at

  21. Glyn 2


    I know several people who downloaded their albums just because they kicked up a stink. As for listening to them. The last 2 were so bad it's a wonder they sold any copies!!!

  22. Simon Miles

    @ Tom Paine

  23. MePirate

    What a cock!

    @Tom Paine I've also been looking for that. The troll was Hetfield.

    Anyway what a load of crap. How did I get into Metallica? I was given copies in the playground. When I got my first job I bought all the albums up to and including was down hill for them after that....another bus crash is in order!!!

    In fact I most music I got into was copies from friends and now I own legal copies of any albums I had copies.

    Skull and crossbones cos it's the closest to Eddie!!!

  24. Anonymous Coward

    "Luddite"? Nah.

    "Burnout"? Yah.

  25. lukewarmdog


    Proving the theory that drummers sit at the back and drum because they are too stupid to do anything else and that whatever you do, you should never interview one.

    Apparently in an attempt to prove he was down with the kids he download his own album illegaly. He really is some kind of missing link.

  26. thomas newton

    what about the study I recall some time ago

    by MIT (or some such body ) that proved a satistical correlation in the amount of mp3's of your band being downloaded to your record sales - ie, the more popular you were in terms of downloads, the more records you sold as more people became fans, and fans tend to prefer to own original copies of the music in question.

    lars (and the rest of the band, and not just for the napster thing either) are indeed complete cocks.

    last word to dave gahan - 'if you aint being bootlegged, you aint happening.'

  27. King Jack

    @Stephen Gray

    Although he may have written the songs and owns the copyright on the work, it does not entitle him to walk into a record shop and remove one of his albums without paying for it. That would be theft. Shift it to the electronic model...

    Plus he was also distributing while he downloaded to countless others. You can't have it both ways.

    Ask the RIAA's million dollar poster girl.

  28. Ian Davies


    @ Tom Paine Wasn't the 'Troll' actually meant to be James Hetfield? I seem to remember Lars being portrayed as a small crawling creature scuttling up and down JH's body...

    "Metallica GOOD"

    "Napster BAD"

  29. GiRa

    Interview to Kerrang Magazine?

    I just have to remember what Frank Zappa said about rock interviews...

    a good part of rock interviews is about people unable to speak talking to people unable to write for people unable to read...

  30. Bobble_The_Hatt


    @Tom Paine:


  31. Merchman

    Lars Ulrich is a cock

    'Nuff said

  32. Lupus


    Truly filesharing is The Thing That Should Not Be.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I just looked on swfchan for napster and found what I think you were on about.

    Internet Delivery Boy AWAY! (Oh yeah the link is NSFW but you probably knew that)

  34. Daemon ZOGG

    Metallica is "insignificant". And their music is not worth listening to anymore. . .

    After metallica started their whining, crying and greedy rantings, I destroyed all my metallica CDs. Their music, analog and digital are banned from my machines and music players forever. The band is INSIGNIFICANT. What they have to say or play is no longer for the world. It is for the lining of their greedy pockets. They are not the master of puppets. They ARE the puppets. The sock puppets of the music industry which refuses to change with new digital world!

    - Laterz!

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Eh? #

    It is not his, he has sold the rights to his label. So in fact it is indeed illegal.

  36. Martin Lyne


    So if he didn't get prosecuted it's becuase he "owned the rights", right?

    Now, the reason I understand they sue you for far more than the music is worth is becuase you aid other people downloading itt (by uploading it yourself), so they cannot calculate teh losses incurred.

    Presumably, Lars, by downloading and uploading his music, gave everyone else downloading from him permission to have that music, for free. So we can all claim that we were downloading it then (even just one packet's worth) and they can't do shit.

    Alternatively, they can say he wasn't doing that, whereby they can sue him for assisting other people in committing copyright fraud.

    Which is it to be, bozo?

    "I'm not taking any glory from our glorious victory, which is why I mention it now"

  37. This post has been deleted by its author

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Circle squared

    From the band who famously proclaimed "bootleg our shows, copy the tapes and give them to your friends" and thus due tothe sneakernet that ensued became famous.

    Double standards, hypocrisy and killing a groundbreaking bit of software all in a days work for an idiot at large.

    Lars, you now go back and hit big bangy thing that go boom it much fun and better than using brain!!

    Fail because what else is there for a gyromagnetic (I was going to say cro-magnon but preferred the spell checkers correction 8-) Luddite.

  39. Peter Murphy

    Master of Puppets is a kick ass album...

    But Lars Ulrich is still a cock.

  40. James O'Brien


    @Stephen Gray

    Umm It is illegal to UPLOAD the music ya numpty.

    @Tom Paine

    Its called Napster Bad you can find it somewhere on

    Now for the obligatory. . .

    Lars Ulrich is a cock

    Lars Ulrich is a cock

    Lars Ulrich is a cock

    Lars Ulrich is a cock

    /Fire cause....well....NAPSTER BAAAAAAAAAD!!!!!!!! Beer Good though :)

  41. The Cube

    @ Flash animation

    I think you are referring to the excellent Camp Chaos spoofs of Metallicrap which are also on YouTube and many other places.

    The huge troll was, I think, James Hetfield ;-)

    (disclaimer, I own everything up to Reload which I was given by their manager)

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Nah sorry

    But he isn't a twat, a cock or anything else for demanding that sites that enable theft should be shut down.

    If you want music buy it, otherwise you're just a freetard twat yourself.

    Just because their music is shit doesn't make them arseholes for expecting people to pay for it if they want it. Unless of course you think that "the internet" gives everyone the right to steal from you too. Why not? It's the same thing. When I walk out of your house with whatever I feel like, I'll just say "the internet was based on freedom" when I do it. When your boss decides not to bother to pay for your shit work, he can say the same.

    Some people deserve the RIAA and freetards are most of them.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    any comparisons

    with the performer who downloaded kiddie porn for "research". Lars made the point that it was illegal, but does it anyway...

  44. The Mighty Spang

    is he one of those cocks

    that use a double bass drum setup? seriously its only metal guys i've heard with that and it proves just how much drums are not a musical instrument.

    all you can do is pump them as fast as possible, like it was hooked up to an old "daley thompson's decathalon" game from the 80s. which ironically enough when metal stopped evolving.

    i wanna see these twat metal bands get business awards with some bloke going "congratulations, you persuaded millions of teenage nobends that the heart of 'not being a part of the system' or 'breaking away from the mainstream' is simply to buy a differently named product from the same sodding stores, produced by the same lame big company"

    revolution doesn't happen because you have a t-shirt with your fave band name on.

  45. Anonymous Coward

    Favourite quote

    Poster1 :Metallica sold out in like 5 minutes

    Poster2 : YEH!

    Poster2 Oh, you mean like a concert

  46. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Shut up Lars! Just shut up for once!

    Will Ulrich ever shut up? He has been mouthing off solidly for nigh on 30 years since he first got his foot in the door. Well done, you got Napster shut down, a lot of good it did too! Unless everything suddenly becomes free, then people will always find some way to get it for nothing. Human nature, I want it, so I will either steal it without you knowing or simply bash you over the head and take it. We're nothing by monkeys with technology.

    You and your band are nothing but bunch of hype-monkeys riding on past glories, yes you WERE good, yes you DID amazing things ONCE, not anymore, not since Cliff(RIP) I'm afraid. Lars when you have some relevance to the world at large, then you can have the podium back, until then please be quiet and go away.

    ( Ulrich mouths off constantly and then has the nerve to have a pop at Motormouth Mustaine for doing the same thing! )

  47. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    Napster Bad swf

    hehehe I think I still have that up on my anonymous FTP from way the hell back when. BTW, does anyone still do anonymous FTP??

    Paris, does anyone still do her?

  48. GrantB

    So wrong

    Napster was buggy in the early days, and really was not well written. I was an early user in the days of downloading MP3's with 56k modems (and writing them to CD's as I never had enough disk space for a decent collection).

    But... it had critical mass. I remember telling an old guy at work about it & he getting excited about finding somebody sharing some obscure Pink Floyd stuff. He (and I now I think about it) would have gladly paid a buck a track to download. Nice thing about it was the community/social networking aspect of it; before Myspace/Facebook etc, you could chat to people about music & other files being shared on Napster

    I remember venting at the time when the RIAA was fighting a court case to shut it down; if they had just kept it going a little longer they could have bolted on a charging mechanism; I reckon they would have got millions paying fees & not had P2P or torrents to deal with to the same extent.

    The fight against the Pirate Bay indicates the same brain dead execs are making the same brain dead decisions 10 years on.

  49. Ceiling Cat

    Lars, Lars, Lars . . .

    The hell with Alcoholica, and the hell with Napster.

    My interest in the band died long before they released Load or Reload. I'd have to say in all honesty, my interest in them died along with their late bass player Cliff Burton.

    If Cliff were alive, I'm sure he'd say :






  50. Futumsh

    Back Catalogue

    You Can't blame Lars for being concerned about the Metallica back catalogue being shared on P2P - it's the only stuff that people actually want. When Napster came along I imagine the Lars logic went something like this:

    "Wow, suddenly we've sold f**k all of our last two albums... it must be because of Napster"

    The funny thing is that after the Napster incident, Metallica ran off in to their cave and decided to have nothing to do with "MP3". It's only very recently that their albums have been available on iTunes - boy did they miss that wave.

    In the end, how much did shutting down Napster really achieve? It just alienated them from their fans and P2P hasn't gone away.

    Lars is a cock

  51. Dangerous Dave


    Musically, I like Metallica, i really do. A lot of their stuff is great, but then again, a lot of it is complete and utter trash (St Anger, Re-Load for instance) - Then on the other hand, Hetfield and Lars are a couple of complete self-promoting whiny bitches.

    If anyone wants to see the *real* metallica, watch the video/documentary "Some Kind of Monster" - great viewing (Available on all good torrent trackers...heh! sorry couldnt resist). To say it was an official documentary i can't believe it paints them as what they truly are, a bunch of whinging, green tea drinking, arguing, childish wankers. It's hilarious, it's like a modern day version of Spinal Tap

    Though i'll fully admit, the latest album "Death Magnetic" is the closest thing to a return to form that i've seen in a long time from them, and i really like it .

  52. Smarty Pants

    how many times

    STFU about stealing - going into a shop and taking an album - going and taking stuff from a house - etc.

    How retarded are you - it is copyright infringment NOT theft do not buy into the RIAA's campaign that it is theft unless when you download a COPY you nuke the source and therefore have prevented their use of it.


    end rant

  53. kieran 1


    Kudos to Goeff Taylor for recognising that they handled it badly. I hate people who just rip off music but I believe there is a balance, and Metallica (however you feel about there music) were just being greedy, expecting everyone to pay whatever HMV wanted to charg

    The fact that now digital music has been embraced (though still not quite perfect) just goes to show that, as Geoff said, Napster had a point. Free isn't the point, digital media is the point.

    Ulrich is a cock though.

  54. Paul Hates Handles


    Don't bother - the album is shit.

    I thought Metallica's strategy to combat piracy was to not release anything worth downloading for 18 years.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Distribution Models

    Perhaps Lars fails, in his old age, to remember how the early Kill Em All and demos were circulated around their city and wider. It was by tape. People copied the tape and sent it about. Thats how I first heard of Metallica in the 80s, and in fact Megadeth and Slayer too. Now it was that free circulation of music that got Metallica the larger, and larger fan base and audiences at the gigs. It got more legitimate records sold - I purchased all originals on Tape and then CD.

    I now have iTunes and the vast Internet and whilst I think that artists (new or otherwise) deserve their royalties they need to consider bit torrents as a viable distribution mechanism for their music and the possibility that giving one, two maybe 3 tracks away for free may induce actual real purchases by people. Everyone I know listen to the odd MP3 to sample/see if they like it. Most prefer the physical disk (with booklets etc).

    I've been impressed by the use of distribution systems like Steam to deliver protected game content, the use of iTunes to purchase tracks (even more now they are M4A's in most cases) and impressed with the sheer levels of content on the Internet. Perhaps the music industry needs to embrace the technology, change their business models and utilise the bit torrent network to provide quality content to people and extra's (live gigs, demos, bonus tracks).

  56. Glyn 2


    Yes it is illegal but for those of us without friends it's a way of trying out bands we've either heard of or heard about without paying big money for a CD to get home and find out it's carp.

    If I like it, I buy the CD, if it's bad I delete it (why take up the hard drive space). After ages of buying CDs to try only to hate them I'd not bought any anything for years, I'd got walls of stuff I disliked/hated/were meh which either ended up down the charity shop or in the bin.

    Since downloads, starting with napster/kazaa where you can suck it and see, I bought the CDs I liked, I even downloaded some of those selection box type collections of the type "if you like that try this". And not just big stars, it lets you hear local tiny bands from around the world that otherwise you wouldn't have been able to appreciate.

    I've got a shopping list now of stuff to buy and come payday my bank account will take another hit. In a way if it all got stopped I'd be richer :)

    Yes, there are people who never buy anything but on the whole it would appear that musicians have made money out of me and many others that they otherwise wouldn't have and got fans from around the world that make it worth coming from Australia to the UK to tour.

    My personal recommendation for a band you should listen to is called Surge, a rock/metal band from Islamabad, Iran. I know, rock music in Iran, what a concept!!! It shows you the aspects of a country the media outlets and governments don't. Destroying preconceptions and spreading universal love, isn't that what music is for after all?!?!? :)

    You can download 2 of their songs for free from and I never would have heard of them without free downloads.

  57. Cameron Colley

    Another @ AC

    Lars isn't a cock because he doesn't like theft he's a cock because he's a cock. He is also the same cock that was part of a band who encouraged fans to record gigs and exchange the tapes, the same cock who admitted to home taping back when that was killing the music business and the same cock whose band shouted to an audience that they should steal their album if they didn't already have it. I could be wrong but I also seem to recall that one of their live video box sets was largely footage filmed by fans at gigs and that there was some issue about copyright and the like.

    There's a little more to the fans' and ex fans' anger at Lars Ulrich than just the fact he didn't like Napster.

  58. Ian Wiles

    If only...

    He'd spent as much time on drum lessons as he did whinging about Napster.

  59. TeeCee Gold badge


    Re: drummer theory.

    I have two words for you: "Phil Collins"*.

    Another theory goes down in flames, ho hum.

    *Now I realise that some may think that Phil Collins is actually the musical equivalent of the antichrist, but even you have to admit that he doesn't only sit at the back and drum and that he is actually fairly erudite when interviewed.

  60. lorenzo
    Paris Hilton

    Shafter of Puppies

    F@cktards like Lars who live in the past/old glories make them selves ever more ridiculous with everything they say regarding t'interweb

    Load, dull

    Reload, duller

    St Anger, dreich

    Death Magnetic = Master of Puppets Volume 2

    For all fans and non-fans check out the Metallica documentary"Some kind of monster" It's unintentionaly hilarious all the way through

    Lars = C@ck of the highest order

    Paris-cos she know how to use internet to build a career not c@ck it up

  61. Andrew Austin

    Now for some accuracy...

    IIRC, Lars (Metallica's) objection was not the fact that songs / albums were being made available by / via Napster per se (for example, convert recordings), it was that the sound quality of the tracks were such that it was believed that they were copies taken from a master track -the same quality as you would get if you bought a CD from a store. AFAIK they are still fine with people taking / sharing bootlegs from gigs and all that.

    Also, I sort of remember them buying back the rights on the songs some time ago, so they do control the rights on the music. Not sure if the still the case.

  62. tiggertaebo
    IT Angle


    Do people really use "they are such a nice person" as criteria for whether they like an artists music? By that logic Mother Theresa would have made the best album the world has ever seen!

    There has been some fairly well documented c**k-ish behaviour by more than one Metallica member over the years, doesn't stop me enjoying (most of) their music nor does it stop me enjoying the rare opportunities I have to see them live. Some people really need to grow up!

  63. wudders

    I just thought I'd add...

    I actually quite liked St I the only one?


    Ok thought so, I already have my coat.

    The newest one though is un-listenable. It has been squeezed to the point of nasty digital distortion.

    I cant tell whether the songs are any good as I cant get passed the horrid mixing/mastering (suspect the latter) job.

  64. Glyn 2


    Yes, you are

    As for magnetic dirge, if you fight through all the mixmastermeisterness you find tunes(in the loosest possible sense) that meander aimlessly. If they'd made each song 2 1/2 minutes long, they'd at least finish, as they are wander prog rock fashion all over the place baring no relationship to the actual tunes after 2:30 on the display.

    It's awful yet still not as bad as nickelback's last one which every review I read described it as an "abomination against music and taste" and I have to agree

  65. JC 2

    The REAL Question

    ... is why is anyone giving him the time of day? Who gives a hoot what Lars thinks, when listening to the music nobody was under the impression it was full of deep thoughts, nor at any point later.

  66. lukewarmdog


    Exceptions prove the rule but.

    1) who?

    2) oh him.

    3) never read anything he has ever said or written, take your word for it

    4) even he thinks Lars is a cock.

  67. Mostor Astrakan

    Remind me...

    Did they ever do anything besides "Nothing else matters"? I quite liked that, even though for some reason they allowed some little pissant on an electric guitar to play along with the real musicians.

    Still, good for him for single-handedly stamping out piracy on the Internet.

  68. Anonymous Coward

    Whats so unique about thrash?

    Metallica are a thrash metal band, there are hundreds of bands that sound exactly the same.

    Chug chug harmonic, chug chug chug generic riff harmonic, grunt about the devil or sex, chug chug...etc.

    So if i steal one thrash metal album I've effectively broken hundreds of bands copyright.

    "Intelectual" property my arse.

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