James Hetfield Speaks About Napster Among Other Topics
Band Photo: Metallica (?)
METALLICA frontman James Hetfield has told the Edmonton Journal that he's used to being the butt of jokes, one of the consequences of suing Napster and cosmetic companies with lines of "Metallica" perfumes or lipsticks. But Hetfield doesn't always laugh at them — such as Edmonton's METALLICUGH!, a trio who claimed that they were spurred to take on to challenge the San Francisco-based heavy metal giants as a reaction to METALLICA's endless stream of legal actions. As expected, the Canadian rockers received a cease-and-desist order from METALLICA's lawyer and quickly changed the name.
"You know what? We're just defending what's ours," said Hetfield. "People can laugh all they want."
Hetfield also said that he believes METALLICA was given a rough ride over their stance on Napster.
"The fact it was free was what was bothering us," he said. "We could care less if they're downloading, we want convenience. But we wanted to be asked if we wanted to be a part of it. For me, it was stealing and in my book, I was raised that stealing was not OK. We were defending what we thought was right. It was difficult because people were excited about the possibilities. We were, too, but we were fearful of them too — what did it mean to us and our careers? How were we going to feed our kids?
"You know, magazines like Rolling Stone or Forbes print lists of highest-grossing bands and we're always in there. But they never have a column of our expenditures, how much we pay in taxes and all the other stuff. It's really unfair that people think that because of the money you have, you should act differently — stealing is OK because you've got enough. I really don't understand that."
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