back to article Lars Ulrich makes veiled threats of another Metallica album during web chat with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff

Lars Ulrich, drummer of corporate shlock rock merchants Metallica, has threatened that the thrash metal giants could make a new album despite the coronavirus lockdown as he wagged chins with Salesforce chief Marc Benioff. To that some of us would say: "Haven't we suffered enough?" During a live webcast on Tuesday by the …

  1. seven of five Silver badge

    up until 1991,

    1991? Are you kidding me? That is thirty years ago, which would make me at least .... Oh, fuck off.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: up until 1991,

      Really good rock, for me, seemed to have mostly disappeared by 1980.

      Lately, if I am in the mood for some serious rock I go back to the years before 1980, but then I can lay claim to having seen the likes of Uriah Heep and Ground Hog in the sixties and did security at Lemmy's first Motorhead gig.

      1. EvilDrSmith Bronze badge
        Meh

        Re: up until 1991,

        >Really good rock...mostly disappeared by 1980

        >I can lay claim to having seen....in the sixties

        There may be a correlation there, which may also explain why other comments herein are referring to those authors thinking nothing by Metallic after ~1990 being any good.

        The children (who claim to be almost 30, but that can't be true) that we (possibly) all work with will probably say that all music after 2010 was rubbish...

        1. BrownishMonstr Bronze badge

          Re: up until 1991,

          Damn, with exception of a couple of songs, you are quite right.

      2. EveryTime

        Re: up until 1991,

        "Really good rock, for me, seemed to have mostly disappeared by 1980."

        That's suspiciously close to saying that the decade prior was the golden age of rock.

        Which is... ahhh.. a curious assertion.

        We remember the good bands, but the forgotten ones are best left buried.

      3. Youngone

        Re: up until 1991,

        Really good rock, for me, seemed to have mostly disappeared by 1980.

        Really good music of all kinds has mostly gone underground since the record companies were allowed to buy each other, to the point where there is what, four left?

        They have adopted McDonalds business model, where they churn out the same "product" again and again.

        That's how people like Beyonce and Katy Perry get famous.

        Gentle Giant were allowed to record 10 albums during the 70's. None of the major labels would look twice at them now.

        1. NOP

          Re: up until 1991,

          +1 for your Gentle Giant. After years of lurking I finally signed up so I could upvote you.

          1. Youngone

            Re: up until 1991,

            I'm still not sure if I really like Gentle Giant. I love the fact that they were allowed to record their weird music for the whole of the 1970's though.

  2. Aaiieeee
    Happy

    Reload was the first album I ever paid for

    They lost me at St Anger. Loved all their stuff prior but nowadays I struggle to listen to it.

    Saw them live at Wembley after buying tickets off ebay for thrice the face value for me and a buddy, loved it.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Reload was the first album I ever paid for

      I think they lost it when they lost Jason Newsted. Not sure if that is the reason but the next album was St Anger and I wondered why they even bothered it was just noise. I even bought death magnetic in the hope that they got their mojo back but nope.

      The older albums were definitely the better. Even the noisy 'Bay area thrashers' has a good sound and raw effort.

  3. IGotOut Silver badge
    WTF?

    Pioneers of thrash?

    That's like saying UB40 are pioneers of reggae.

    1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Pioneers of thrash?

      We didn't say that anywhere.

      1. quxinot Silver badge

        Re: Pioneers of thrash?

        >We didn't say that anywhere.

        "...during the '80s, Metallica was among a clutch of influential bands that took the New Wave of British Heavy Metal sound, injected it with Motörhead and hardcore punk, and sped it up to a breakneck pace, creating "thrash metal" and..."

        When you say 'creating' and immediately follow with a genre, it could be interpreted as creation of the genre rather than creating music within the genre.

        And no, they didn't sell out after the black album. It was during the writing of the black album. "Thrash metal" does not allow a bloody ballad to show up in the track listing--see Slayer for details.

        1. juice Silver badge

          Re: Pioneers of thrash?

          > And no, they didn't sell out after the black album. It was during the writing of the black album. "Thrash metal" does not allow a bloody ballad to show up in the track listing--see Slayer for details.

          Metallica had been dabbling in power ballads for years before the Black album - e.g. One, Sanitarium, Fade to Black.

          They thought they could handle it. After all, it's just a ballad.

          Remember kids, the first one is always free. Just say no!

        2. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Re: Pioneers of thrash?

          Jeez, nothing gets past you. Let's say "popularising". Though I'd argue if you're talking about Venom or Hellhammer or something, I don't think it much resembles thrash as it became to be known.

          1. JakeMS

            Re: Pioneers of thrash?

            Thrash? Slayer!

            * As a fan of Slayer for as long as I can remember, I am perhaps biased.

          2. Weiss_von_Nichts

            Re: Pioneers of thrash?

            Venom's sound originally was called "Black Metal", "Thrash Metal" came up with Slayer and a number of similar bands (I would not claim to rembember or have ever known in which order). The term "Black Metal" soon vanished as the whole genre was summarized as Trash Metal and only reappeared with an isolated scene of extremely nasty scandinavian weirdos.

            Hellhammer, however, were a quite story of their own...

            1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

              Re: Re: Pioneers of thrash?

              Venom is only "black metal" retrospectively. It was proto-thrash and people called it heavy or speed metal at the time, but it was definitely nastier. The name of their album, Black Metal, was later applied to the subgenre, but they never really sounded like black metal, though are responsible for much of its aesthetic.

            2. the Jim bloke Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Black Metal

              is now the catch-all for anti or non-christian metal, which makes it the most broad and welcoming category of them all.

              Not just the pimply adolescents claiming to have a special relationship with Satan in a desperate attempt to impress girls, but also various pagan nationalist re-creationists, new age spiritualists, groups protesting the "Christian Patriarchy" and somehow, a lot of prog-rock seems to be hiding out in the Black Metal box as well.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Deluded article from a cretin

    Fallen Metallica, one of the biggest and most successful bands around, if thats fallen then how would you describe The Register, a circus?

    1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Deluded article from a cretin

      One of the biggest and most successful bands around, but they still haven't been good for 30 years.

      1. Joe W Silver badge

        Re: Deluded article from a cretin

        El Reg: One of the biggest and best circuses around ;-)

        sort of agree on the critical view of the newer (great, now I feel old...) albums - though I do happen to like "The Unforgiven" (also "II"), as well as "And the Memory Remains". I think Reload was a good attempt (after "Load"). I really dislike how half-hearted the stuff with the orchestra was - an orchestra does offer much more possibilities than what they used (what was it? S&M? I forgot... not that it - or anything Else Matters). As somebody who has been playing in orchestras a lot I was really underwhelmed by that "effort".

        (but then my current playlist for coding stuff includes Hammerfall and Manowar, so my taste in music is... ah, well - de gustibus non est disputandum)

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Deluded article from a cretin

          Have an upvote for 'Unforgiven'. A great track.

          Far better than almost all the tat that passes for Music these days.

        2. EvilDrSmith Bronze badge
          Happy

          Re: Deluded article from a cretin

          >not that it - or anything Else Matters

          What, Nothing?

    2. Rosie Davies

      Re: Deluded article from a cretin

      "...how would you describe The Register, a circus?"

      Welcome to the circus fellow clown. Mind the pies, they have RJ45s in.

      Rosie

      1. HildyJ Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: Deluded article from a cretin

        How about Pioneers of Thrash Journalism?

    3. Ucalegon
      Coat

      Re: Deluded article from a cretin

      I would describe El Reg as The Master of Muppets.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Deluded article from a cretin

        Us roaches resent being called muppets.

        <<<once stuck his head in a bass bin at a motorhead gig.... and hasn't been sane... err the same since

  5. Franco Silver badge

    It's pretty harsh to say they haven't made any great music in the last 30 years. I'd rephrase it personally as since they stopped listening to external producers and trimming the fat from their albums that things are much less focused and not as good. By all account James would prefer this approach, but Lars has always wanted to fill every available minute on a CD.

    St. Anger aside, it's a hard listen, but Load and Reload would have made one really good album, and trim the bloat from Death Magentic and (especially) Hardwired and they would be much better IMO.

    1. Fading Silver badge
      Pint

      Great v Good

      I would agree they haven't made any great music in 30 years - good yes, great no (I'm not as cynical as the article's author). There is also the aura surrounding Metallica that doesn't enhance their image - yes many bands are in it for the money and happily take the corporate 30 pieces of silver but many musicians actually seem to care more about playing music (Dave Mackintosh of Dragon Force fame can frequently be seen in pubs playing around the home counties in the band "The Machines" - go see them when the lockdown ends you won't regret it) .

      Great music sometimes isn't just about the sound - it is also enhanced or reduced by the emotion you know is behind it.

      (Beer because I miss watching a live band in the pub)

      1. Franco Silver badge

        Re: Great v Good

        I would agree about the emotion aspect, which is why I would put Bleeding Me for example as one of the all time great Metallica songs given James's well known addiction issues. Metallica would probably be much more highly thought of as a band if they put a muzzle on Lars to be honest.

        Agreed also on missing live music, I was lucky in that on Friday 13th March just before we went in to lockdown in the UK I saw The Subways in Glasgow which was a really good show. Should also have seen Hands Off Gretel last month but that has been postponed till November.

  6. andy 103 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Most bands are in it for the money

    It feels like a shitty thing to say, but one thing most professional musicians can't get enough of is money.

    When Lars appeared in court arguing about Napster (years ago) he was essentially saying - "people are taking money off me. Money I could otherwise have, and want". A lot of fans said, wow that's very against the philosophy of being in a metal band.

    Get this into your head: professional bands are businesses. They make a lot of money. Like (successful) businesses.

    You don't think the Red Hot Chili Peppers have recently re-signed John Frusciante out of love for music, do you? He's broke, and the rest of them like making money. They know fans will turn out in their millions for this. It really is that simple.

    1. Stork Silver badge

      Re: Most bands are in it for the money

      Yeah, it's business, just like football and circus.

      1. RockBurner

        Re: Most bands are in it for the money

        Not to mention news

    2. Dave K Silver badge

      Re: Most bands are in it for the money

      Yep! It's also why albums from a lot of the larger bands actually sound pretty crap from a quality perspective. There's no love or desire to create something that sounds good (so long as it sells well, that's all that matters). Both Metallica and the Chillis have been guilty of releasing some of the worst mastered albums I've ever listened to over the past 20 years or so.

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: Most bands are in it for the money

        Ah the volume wars.

        Slide everything to max and compress the hell out of it.

        9/10 times it's not the producers fault, but the bands saying "yeah sound good, but can we make it louder!" And if the band ARE the producers, oh dear.

        It's one of the reasons vinyl "sounds better", is that vinyl cannot take the abuse so much, so the over compression has to be wound back in. It's not vinyl is better, it's that CD mastering is worse.

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Most bands are in it for the money

          9/10 times it's not the producers fault

          Agreed, but can I just make the point that in context, it would have been far more appropriate if you'd said "10/11 times"?

          This comparison goes to 11...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          volume wars

          And then the 'bass is good, more bass is better' era. Bah.

    3. DemeterLast

      Re: Most bands are in it for the money

      The Napster thing was a tragedy for many reasons. If you were of a certain age, getting Metallica records meant knowing somebody who would dub a tape for you. Maybe you didn't have the cash, or maybe Mom wouldn't let you buy it because it had a bloody hammer on the cover.

      How many Metallica fans were made by this samizdat music publishing? Nobody knows. But to hear Lars tell it, those people were thieves.

      I haven't listened to Metallica Incorporated(R)(TM) in decades. I won't be introducing my kids to their music either. Good luck with your Salesforce job, Lars.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Most bands are in it for the money

        Not to forget, didn't Metallica concerts in the 80s have designated areas for people to record bootlegs? Going from that level to full-bore anti-Napster was quite the shift.

      2. Youngone

        Re: Most bands are in it for the money

        Oh yes, home taping is killing music.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Taping_Is_Killing_Music

      3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Most bands are in it for the money

        Well ,you gotta admit he was , technically , right about it being theft.

        you wouldnt steal a policemens helet and then shit in it would you?

        Home taping is killing music.

        oo not heard that debate in a while , i guess cos the music industry did change , and now you can legally access a lotta music a lot cheaoper with spotify , youtube , and paisd download of single song.

        People come up with all kinds of excuses for music and video privacy , normally

        waaaah: its a ripoff , its too expensive , so i'll copy it.

        Funny how with items you cant replicate with a cd writer , you've suddenly got money for.

        Like those £100 Nikes

  7. Chewi
    Thumb Down

    Harsh

    Got to agree with the above. I hate sell outs as much as the next guy and there has been some crap over the years. Admittedly I cannot even stand to listen to St Anger. Overall though, I'm still very much a fan. Death Magnetic is one of my favourites.

    1. Stumpy

      Re: Harsh

      Yes, Death Magnetic was a very welcome return to form for them. Still has a little cruft that could do with being trimmed.

      Still prefer listening to the new up and coming bands these days though - they still have the ambition, hunger and drive to produce bloody good music.

      (Currently listening to some Those Damn Crows and will follow up with some Blackballed)

  8. chivo243 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Worst Concert Ever

    I've seen some bad ones too... My first real concert was Kiss at the old Chicago Stadium(home of the Bulls and Blackhawks) in the 70s and it Rocked!! But Alchollica was by far the worst, extra points if you know that reference!

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Worst Concert Ever

      But Roger Taylor appearing with them at the Freddy Mercury concert was a highlight.

    2. Rob V.

      Re: Worst Concert Ever

      I had an "Alcohollica" patch I bought in the late 80's, wore it with pride. Put it up on Ebay a few years ago for $3 figuring it'd sell quick to an eager fan. Sadly, it took months and they argued about the $0.50 postage to ship it. Damn kids today.... ;)

  9. juice Silver badge

    Harsh...

    > They unleashed a salvo of landmark albums during that time – Kill 'em All, Ride The Lightning, Master of Puppets, and ...And Justice For All – up until 1991, when they realised they could make even more money if they wrote pop-rock songs and power ballads. That was the eponymous "black album".

    Admittedly, the black album was a fairly significant step change from their previous efforts, but it was still loud and nasty. And while The Unforgiven is a power ballad, it followed in the footsteps of One and Sanitarium, from their previous albums!

    The less said about St Anger, the better, though.

    Actually, with my metal-geek studded-leather jacket on, there was definitely something in the water around 1990, as a number of established elder rock gods took a successful punt at reinventing their sound, mostly by bringing in a new producer to shake things up. E.g. Judas Priest/Painkiller, Metallica/Black and Alice Cooper/Trash, Ozzy/No More Tears, etc...

    Alas, this then encouraged people to experiment further, which is how we ended up with increasingly corporate efforts to mangle more things together in the hopes of producing a new golden-egg laying goose. Yep, nu metal, I'm looking at you; people like Kid Rock and Fred Durst have a lot to answer for...

    1. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Harsh...

      It's not just "reinventing their sound". As the article, and many comments here shows, many listeners of a band's music never seem to move on but the artists *do*. Artists are human and they age, and during that aging their viewpoints and attitudes change. They can't stay angry young men (and women) forever, and both what they want to say on their art, and how they want to say it, grows different with time.

      But fans never want to hear that. Many fans want the same sound forever; many fans look to a particular sound of their favorite bands as a way to relieve, nay revive, their youth. But that's poison to any artist worthy of that appellation: artists grow. And to grow is to change.

      Metallica is doing just fine, in both their business and their music. They we no longer angry young men, being soundly in their middle age now, and they wish to say things in new and different ways. I'm sorry if that hurts people who think they must sound the same until the end of their days. There are artists who I loved in earlier years but now no longer feel a connection to; there are artists who I never paid any attention to in my younger years that I now appreciate. Respect what you loved of them in the past but honor just that: their *past*. If what they do today doesn't jive with you, then honor that too, and allow the artist the right to grow into whatever they feel they have the right to be.

      1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: Harsh...

        They didn't grow; they regressed.

        1. Snake Silver badge

          Re: Harsh...

          Again, that's your opinion and you have the right to have it. But millions of listeners apparently think otherwise, because they are [still] listening to the band; Metallica is still "successful" based upon that qualification.

          You are looking, listening actually, to their music based upon your expectation that they have a sound that you prefer, that being the way they sounded in their youth. They aren't young any more. They sound different now, that's them. Almost no artist ever stays still, from Picasso to Beethoven to Metallica, they all change. That's what time does to people.

          If they are (still) commercial successful then their music is hitting a nerve of some people...but not, necessarily, classic Metallica fans. But time never goes back, only forward, and if what they do today no longer agrees with you, it may be time to ask yourself if you wish to continue looking at their work. I've done the same with some of the greatest influences and loves of my life, what it was no longer represents what it is and I simply had to let go because I considered the new greatly inferior to the old (hint: a great sci-fi pop culture classic).

          It is what it is; if I continued to hang on to the past I'd only be bitter on how bad I consider the new stuff, and simultaneously only end up sounding like a miserable old fart :p

          We all love some of the work that artists do, yet do not like others. That's the nature of art. Time, plus the artists as well as ourselves, do not stand still. It is, well, foolish IMHO to even try. I can completely understand you not liking anything the band is currently doing...but, it may be time to just let go.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Harsh...

            [a great sci-fi pop culture classic]

            As a fan from way back in 1977 I have to agree.

      2. juice Silver badge

        Re: Harsh...

        > It's not just "reinventing their sound". As the article, and many comments here shows, many listeners of a band's music never seem to move on but the artists *do*. Artists are human and they age, and during that aging their viewpoints and attitudes change. They can't stay angry young men (and women) forever, and both what they want to say on their art, and how they want to say it, grows different with time.

        Agreed - everyone and everything changes over time, and it's manifestly unfair to expect artists of any ilk to keep churning out stuff in the exact same style, decade after decade.

        But it does feel like there was an inflection point in the early 90s, where a number of acts decided to make a conscious change in style, rather than it being a natural/gradual progression.

        The main question is whether it was a case of a genuine desire to experiment, or just "following-the-leader" in an attempt to cash in on a trend - or even just a response to the various changes in the industry (driven at least in part by advances in technology, and the associated drop in production costs).

        Personally, I'd tend to lean towards the latter two; big-name established musicians have to pay the bills, the same as everyone else!

    2. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Harsh...

      As far as I'm concerned, the black album was Metallica's last. And for me unforgiven, one, orion and chtulhu (ballads not really the right word for them is it?) are among their best work.

  10. Huw D Silver badge

    It's rocking horse shit rare that bands make megabucks on albums these days.

    Tour ticket sales and merch is where it's at.

    Anyway, I found out that I'm 20 minutes away from where Aleister Crowley was born, so I'm going to blast me some Ozzy while I go for a long walk.

  11. Kai Hauschildt
    Thumb Up

    Great rock after the 80's

    I have come across a lovely sounding trio that goes by Ningen Isu in my video recommendations. Can be found on the usual Chocolate Factory site.

    Enjoy!

  12. Scott 26

    Can't recommend Metal Evolution enough (doco film + doco series) for a great view on how Metal has...err... evolved over the decades.... very cool.

  13. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    WTF?

    "The people that make the software and all the stuff that we use to record are sitting right now trying to figure out how Lars and James [Hetfield] and Kirk [Hammett] and Rob [Trujillo] can make a Metallica record from four different locations in four different states. That's obviously something that we're very excited about."

    Literally, there are bands that have been doing it this way for 20 years or more and only congregating for live tours. It's done using a thing called the internet.

  14. the Jim bloke Silver badge
    Headmaster

    The Sony Effect

    SWMBO describes the process as the Sony Effect, where a good musician or group signs up with a major label ... and stops making good music

    Success XOR Good

  15. thondwe

    Hayday

    Most bands have a hay day, if they are lucky they continue to make money out of it, but rarely produce anything new that's better. Go to a gig and all the fans are really wanting to hear are the "hits" from way back when but have to sit/stand though "the new album" to get to it?

    Will throw this in as a rare exception - Black Sabbath could have stopped with the material from "We sold our soul for rock and roll" and everyone would have been happy. But they pressed on regardless, with some very poor efforts, and eventually produced "13" which was actually pretty good.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best drummer in the world

    Me: I' m p ull ing a st upid fa ce whi lst hit ting the spa ce-ba r unn ec es sari ly.

  17. Semtex451
    Windows

    So to sum up:

    Metallica -Not what they used to be

    El Reg - Not what it used to be

    Commentards - Jury still out

  18. techdead

    Barking....

    ....not to forget that Lars is barking, just listen to any interview with him

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