Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch Series,”where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Metallica verses Napster, Inc. was a 2000 U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California case that focused on copyright infringement, racketeering, and unlawful use of digital audio interface devices. Metallica vs. Napster, Inc. was the first case that involved an artist suing a peer-to-peer file sharing(“P2P”) software company.

At the turn of the millennium, Metallica took on file-sharing giant Napster and won. On the 20thanniversary of that landmark case in the music industry in the digital age, we retrospectively consider the arguments made, and how they’ve shaped our scene since…

“If I wanna give my shit away for free, I’ll give it away for free,” Metallica’s Lars Ulrich noted in a 2014 Reddit AMA, reflecting on the band’s notorious copyright battle against ill-fated file-sharing service Napster. “That choice was taken away from me.”

Two decades have passed since their industry-changing lawsuit, which centered around the illegal trading of MP3 recordings. But now, as the music world grasps for fragments of normalcy during a global pandemic, the drummer’s comments sting with renewed relevance. The coronavirus has shrunk a once-gaping chasm of opportunity between stadium-packing pop acts and SoundCloud upstart beat-makers, leaving all artists on precarious footing. The forecast is foggy for everyone, regardless of how many Grammys decorate their walls or the vastness of zeroes adorning their bank accounts. Surveying the remnants of canceled tours, delayed album releases and in-limbo paychecks, every musician’s sense of “choice” is suddenly — if temporarily — at the mercy of an invisible villain. 

On April 13, 2000, Metallica became a very visible villain for a hoard of infuriated fans. By attempting to block over 300,000 users who swapped their songs on Napster, they marked a symbol of celebrity greed and melted morality — multi-platinum metal stars too distracted by dollar signs to realize the little-guy side casualties of their quest for legal vengeance. And in 2020, an era of paltry Spotify revenue and decimated album sales — with GoFundMe serving as merch booths, live-streamed living rooms replacing concert venues — it’s worth looking back at the Napster fiasco with sobering clarity.

Sure, Metallica’s approach was too aggressive in its muscle-flexing. But at the core, in their pursuit to preserve the integrity of an artist’s work, weren’t they right?

Psychedelic Lunch

Today in rock history: On this date in 1983, up-and-coming thrash metal band Metallica released its debut album, Kill ‘Em All. Released on the independent metal record label Megaforce Records, the album quickly made waves across the world of heavy metal and was met with overwhelmingly positive reaction. The band’s brand of fast, aggressive rock and roll was branded thrash metal and, in no time, other bands with a similar sound and delivery started popping up. Metallica’s raw and powerful live shows helped bolster its reputation as a fiery, young, powerful band which in turn helped boost record sales. Featuring two songs that were released as singles, “Whiplash” and “Jump in the Fire,” the album’s success led to Metallica being signed to a major label, Elektra Records, and eventually becoming one of the best-selling rock bands of all time. The original working title of Kill ‘Em All was Metal Up Your Ass, but the band was convinced to use a less offensive title for fear that many distributors would not be willing to carry and market the record.

CLIFF BURTON CAME UP WITH THE TITLE KILL ‘EM ALL.

Of course he did. The title came to the Metallica bassist after being upset with “timid record distributors” and saying “why don’t we just kill ’em all?”

Seven of the songs from Kill ‘Em All came from Metallica’s 1982 demo “No Life Til Leather” which they recorded with guitarist Dave Mustaine, and which got them signed to Megaforce. Then, after booting Mustaine from the band and replacing him with Kirk Hammett, they added “Whiplash, “No Remorse” and Burton’s distorted bass solo “Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth).” The band also changed “Mechanix” to “The Four Horsemen,” extracting Mustaine’s lyrics about a horny mechanic and replacing them with lines about the Biblical apocalypse.

We were gonna have a hand coming through a toilet bowl, holding a machete, dripping with blood. And the toilet had barbed wire around it. That would’ve gotten everyone squirming uncomfortably.

Unfortunately – or fortunately – that idea was ditched.

“Our record label [Megaforce] told us that record distributors in America had strongly objected to the title and the planned sleeve. And we ran the real risk of not having our product stocked,” Ulrich explained at the time. “That wouldn’t have helped us at all.”

So the band decided to modify their sleeve art concept, but while still making sure the new design retained a certain underground edge.

Ulrich: “We wanted something that would shock everyone – except the fans. The title Kill ‘Em All was our way of getting back to the distributors, who were trying to censor us.”

The design itself was again very much down to the band themselves. While making it acceptable enough to ensure the album was freely available, they were also determined to introduce an element of gore and violence into the graphics.

“Once we had the title, it was obvious to have a sleeve that featured a lot of blood. It didn’t take much to think of having a weapon on there as well.”

Being careful to avoid the actual act of blood-letting, the band hinted at what might have happened, with the outline of a hand releasing a hammer.

“There’s a cartoon element to the whole thing that was element,” admitted the drummer. “After all, if you’re not showing any violence, who was gonna object? So we got our own way – and so did the music industry.”

Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All turns 37 years old today, but do you know what the original album title was going to be?

Metallica played a new version of their song “Blackened” recorded from their homes.

Its a stripped down version of the classic track off the album “And Justice For All,” and is on the band’s YouTube page with the message, “Here’s a little something we cooked up over the last few days. Hope you’re all safe & sound. Have a great weekend.”

Metallica Perform New Version of “Blackened” From Their Homes

Dear Metallica Family,

It pains me to write this, but I have to let all of you know that I cannot make it to Sonic Temple in Columbus and Louder Than Life in Louisville this year. As part of my continuing effort to get and stay healthy, I have critical recovery events on those weekends that cannot be moved. I apologize to all of our fans who have bought tickets for these festivals. We are working with the festival promoters to provide for refunds or exchanges.

My intent with this statement is saying “I apologize” to each one of you. The reality is that I have not prioritized my health in the past year of touring and I now know that my mental health comes first. That might sound like a no-brainer for most of you but I didn’t want to let the Metallica team/family down and, I alone completely compromised myself.

Looking on the brighter side, my therapy is going well. It was absolutely necessary for me to look after my mental, physical, and spiritual health.

I want to stress that the band will play all other announced 2020 shows.

I am looking forward to getting back to playing and seeing all our great South American fans in April. And, of course, playing the Epicenter in Charlotte, Welcome To Rockville, in Daytona and Aftershock Festival in Sacramento. We will still play two unique sets at each of these festivals.

Beyond 2020, I am optimistic about the blessings I have been given and what the future brings. I appreciate all the great prayers and support from everyone since I went into rehab last September. Like the moth into the flame, being human in this career has its huge challenges and can be difficult. Your understanding helps the healing.

  • James

Metallica Cancel Festival Dates As Hetfield Continues Recovery

Metallica surprised fans today (September 27th) with the news that they would be postponing their highly anticipated tour of Australia and New Zealand, scheduled to kick off in October, with Slipknot serving as the main support. In a message posted to social media under the header “A Note from Lars, Kirk, and Rob,” the band revealed that dates were being pushed back due to singer-guitarist James Hetfield re-entering a treatment program for addiction.

A Note from Lars, Kirk, and Rob

We are truly sorry to inform our fans and friends that we must postpone our upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand.

As most of you probably know, our brother James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years. He has now, unfortunately, had to re-enter a treatment program to work on his recovery again.

We fully intend to make our way to your part of the world as soon as health and schedule permit. We’ll let you know as soon as we can. Once again, we are devastated that we have inconvenienced so many of you, especially our most loyal fans who travel great distances to experience our shows. We appreciate your understanding and support for James and, as always, thank you for being a part of our Metallica family.

All tickets purchased to the shows in Australia and New Zealand, including Enhanced Experiences and Black Tickets, will be fully refunded. More details on how to obtain your refund are below.

AUS: https://www.livenation.com.au/artist/metallica-tickets
NZ: https://www.livenation.co.nz/artist/metallica-tickets
Enhanced Experience & Black Tickets:
https://www.cidentertainment.com/events/metallica-australia-tour

Metallica Cancelled Some Tour Dates While James Checks Into Rehab

Written By John Adams

…And Justice for All is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica released on August 25, 1988, through Electra Records. It was the first Metallica studio album to feature bassist Jason Newsted after the death of Cliff Burton in 1986.

So , with the recent release of the 30 yr anniversary box set of “ And Justice for all “ , I’ve been watching a lot of YouTubes from and about the era ( probably, hands down , one of the most influential time periods for me as an aspiring musician…) It’s interesting to hear the guys talk about how they needed “ road maps “ to remember all the changes in those songs .. AND to all those Metallica shit talkers , I defy you to show me wtf you’ve EVER done on that level… I love every era of Metallica ( although the first 4 albums are MY Metallica) , as I’ve always understood and respected the need to change , evolve , try new things and push new boundaries… Say what you will, but there’s a reason that they are the ONLY metal band , currently, who can sell out STADIUMS …

https://youtu.be/MqL04r775p4

https://youtu.be/_fKAsvJrFes

And Justice For All

Rounding out the Big 4 is Metallica. Some would say I saved the best for last, but for me personally, I put them last because they are my least favorite of the “4.” Having said that, Master Of Puppets is one wicked album. The main guitar riff on the title song alone would place it on this list, but the 1986 album has much more, from the fierce opening and closing tracks, Battery and Damage, Inc., to the progressive beast of an instrumental, Orion, this record brought all of Metallica’s strengths together in one gloriously creative peak. Tragically, the death of Cliff Burton prevented us from seeing where this new chemistry would take the band. Master Of Puppets captured a period in time when Metallica figured out exactly how to dominate in their chosen form and it was amazing while it lasted.

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Watch: METALLICA Perform The U.S. National Anthem During NHL Stanley Cup Finals

As they have done in the past with the San Francisco Giants, Metallica are supporting their hometown boys, the San Jose Sharks who are currently in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. Moments ago, guitarists James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett performed the national anthem before the game kicked off.
Footage has surfaced of the performance, which you can watch below…