Metallica: you are insane (an open letter)
Guys, look. There’s something important I have to tell you, and I’m not sure you’ll take this lightly: in the end, the internet wins. I know you didn’t really like Napster making your music available for free all those years ago (even though your fans were still buying albums), and you decided to bring it down. Now, years later, your antics are back? Come on, get with the program!
You guys should need no explanation as to how these things work. Here’s the cold hard truth: people will get things for free if they want to. I bet there’s millions of illegal copies of your tracks (even new ones) out there already. Your new album (which I’m actually looking forward to) may even be leaked before release date – it’s been happening to other people (have you heard?). But look: it’s not all that bad.
I know you guys don’t need to know this stuff, or shouldn’t have to: you’re the band! You guys do the rocking, right? Well, wrong. Your management and PR is doing you a disservice by avoiding that people talk about your new album. Actually forcing people to bring down their reviews of your music is not just dumb – it’s also, well, insane. It’s really going back to Napster days when everyone’s opinion of you changed just a little bit. And I could swear I read you were changing.
There’s a few bands who apparently have kept up with the news between rehearsals. Guys like Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) – that guy is crazy, he even gives stuff away, right? – or Radiohead – holy crap, I get to choose how much I pay? I pitty you fools! – , actually understand that things have changed! You shouldn’t really try to stop the flow of information – you should just turn your own hose on, full steam. To try and remedy your situation, I included a few articles (by bloggers, no less!) I think you should read about this new “crazy talk” going on out there.
I still hope you’re well, and that your new album is at least better than the last. And do know that all this post was written down with hands in the rock position to keep the feeling going.
Some reading material
Radiohead announces In Rainbows. Crazy talk.
Radiohead fans to pick album cost. LULZ
NIN – Ghosts on The Piratebay. Posted by that weird kid Reznor.
Again, this Nine Inch Nails guy talking crazy. To the NY Times. Nuts!
Okay, some (more) serious footnotes and a conclusion
The internet changed the game. People actually use it to read the news (O’RLY? Yeah. Really.), buy and download music, and – believe it or not -, reading reviews of albums on the web really does still make people go out and BUY CDS. Please let people talk about your music. Like any good PR person or manager would/should tell you: them internet eyeballs, they’re loads, and they come in tubes! Don’t cheat, play the game. And good luck with the new album – I even read, before you guys censored the reviews – that it wasn’t that bad.