Let me begin by saying, I LOVE Metallica!! At least, the old Metallica. There is no question that they are one of the most influential metal bands ever. I own all of their albums, seen them in concert several times, etc. I can’t wait for the album to come out… blah blah blah…. Or am I?
A few weeks ago, it appeared Metallica was making an attempt to reconcile with fans for previous stupidities and hypocrisies. The band recently launched Mission:Metallica, which was suppose to allow fans to see what’s been brewing in the studio. It all seems to be ploy to suck fan’s money away and make the band richer. After reading Metal Martyr’s Blog entry on how he received an email suggesting that he “upgrade” his package deal on the site, it’s clear the band is more interested in making money than regaining fan’s trust.
Many fans felt disenfranchised after they joined forces with the RIAA back in 2000, which single-handedly shutdown the original Napster. Here are a couple of articles I found on WIRED, Boycott-riaa.com and Rolling Stone for a refresher. I remember seeing videos of fans destroying their CDs after Lars made the wonderful announcement. Years after the controversy, the band had this to say:
Has the band really lost all sense of who they are and where they came from? If you understand Metallica’s history, then you know they became popular through tape-sharing (remember those?). Just when I thought Metallica was trying to repent, they come up with the worst way to “share” the making of their new album. The whole purpose of developing a website like this is to create brand loyalty, and Metallica is a much a brand as they are a band. Music, more than any other business category, has the ability to build a tremendous fan base with the rise of social media. Instead of developing buzz, they are just pissing fans off. If they still want to retain control, then clearly, the band does not understand the real purpose of opening doors and inviting fans. It’s just a meager attempt and nothing else.
Should loyal fans, like myself, really be “anticipating” the new Metallica album? I really don’t know. I was somewhat disappointed with St. Anger. And, Reload was slightly better than Load. So what is a true fan to do? If you think about it, whenever I hear a song on the radio from Metallica played, it’s not from the last three albums. Instead of being excited about Mission:Metallica, I am truly disappointed. What could have been an awesome opportunity, I hope turns into a big flop!