Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Metallica's Lars Ulrich: "I believe streaming is good for music"

Metallica's Lars Ulrich was recently interviewed by The Inquiry, you can read some excerpts below.

Ulrich said: "I believe streaming is good for music, yeah. The one thing I read a lot is… People sit there and go, 'I'm not getting paid very much for streaming.' But there's one major thing that gets overlooked in that argument and in the whole thing, and that streaming is a choice on all fronts. It's a choice for the fan to be part of. It's a choice for the artists who are involved in making their music available on streaming services. It's a choice by the record companies that represent the artists. Fifteen years ago, those choices didn't exist."

He added: "Having music available on a streaming service like Spotify a choice. I'm presented with a choice. Somebody sends us an e-mail and says, 'Hi. We have a streaming service. Would you like to be on it?' I mean, of course, as an artist, you want you music to be heard."

"Streaming probably does benefit artists with higher profiles, yes. And if you listen to playlists that are being made available for people in the streaming services, they feature more higher-profile artists. That just seems to be the way it's, sort of, playing out right now."

Ulrich sees the quality of modern music as one of the main reasons newer artists have not connected with audiences the way bands like Metallica have been able to. "I think one of the main reasons I connect less with new music in my life now is because there's less great new music to connect with," he said. "I mean, a lot of the stuff that's been played is just regurgitated… There's not people on the leading edge, like The Beatles or the Miles Davises or the Jimi Hendrixes taking us all by the hand into these completely unknown, uncharted musical territories."

Lars also lamented the fact that diminishing record sales have resulted in record companies investing less funds into breaking newer artists, making it more difficult for up-and-coming bands to survive.

"It's all cause and effect. When there's less people buying music, there's less money generated back and record companies take less chances. Instead of promoting five hundred records a year, they promote fifty records a year, and there's less and less and less and less money being put into younger artists. And there's a danger of younger artists coming close to extinction."

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