Everyone makes mistakes, even rock stars. Still, having your worst faux pas recorded in a feature-film documentary has gotta be tough. In last week's Insider, you read about Metallica's interpersonal dramas, which play out in Some Kind of Monster (currently in theaters). For drummer Lars Ulrich, there was something even more painful to relive than watching himself undergo group therapy with the band.
"There is a part in there where the drummer gets involved with a company called Napster," Ulrich says, ruefully shaking his head. "That makes me cringe a lot. That is about the hardest thing to watch. I took a lot of hits, and it was a very difficult time in my life. So it is very difficult to re-experience that."
He's referring, of course, to Metallica's 2000 lawsuit against the popular Internet file-sharing company. The band disagreed vehemently with Napster's policy on free music downloading without artist consent. Too bad their suit alienated the heavy-metal band's loyal fan base even quicker than a bad album would have!Even in hindsight, Ulrich can't help defending Metallica's actions. "I'm proud of the fact that we stood up for what we believed in at the time," he insists. "Metallica always jumps and never thinks much about where we are going to land... That one was a little bit of a rougher landing."
So if he feels they were in the right, why's it so hard to watch the lawsuit scenes? "It is just painful because I really felt that nobody really wanted to understand," Ulrich sighs. "It was like people had already made up their minds that, 'Oh, this is about money.' This had [expletive] nothing to do with money. This was about control, and those are two really different things.
"I have no issues with the Internet," he adds. "I'm a three-iPod kinda guy. I'm iTunes all the way, like everybody else. But it was about control. If I want to give you [something], I'll give [it] to you, but it is my choice. We were never given the opportunity to make that choice, and that was it."