Corey Taylor says he “completely backed” Metallica in their lawsuit against Napster

The singer recalls the year the internet and music industry famously came to blows.

Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Metallica's Lars Ulrich

Image: Shirlaine Forrest / Theo Wargo / Getty Images

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Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor has voiced his support for Metallica’s contentious decision to sue Napster more than two decades ago, saying “I completely backed it”.

2000 marked one of music’s most controversial years with Metallica launching a lawsuit – spearheaded by Lars Ulrich – against file-sharing giant Napster, accusing the platform of facilitating piracy and copyright infringement.

Discussing the aftermath of the case in a recent episode of the Kidd Chris – Off Air podcast, Taylor says that he “completely backed” the decision back then and that he believes artists are now suffering the consequences of digital streaming’s dominance.

“We’re seeing the aftermath of it, to be honest. I mean, obviously, I have to work with streaming, DSPs and whatnot, but it doesn’t mean I like it,” the singer explains. “The odds are so stacked against the artist that less and less people are able to make a living at this, man – unless you hit the jackpot. And even when you hit the jackpot, you’re paid peanuts. And it’s revolting in a lot of ways. I’m still waiting for the legislation to actually go into effect, but it’s been appealed so many times by all of the DSPs that we may never see the right way.”

“And honestly, it’s one of the things why I’m kind of gratified by the fact that physical copies are actually coming back more and more, especially in our genre. So that, at least, is keeping us afloat. But it’s hard. And this is somebody who is just getting by,” Taylor says.

“What about the younger bands who can’t make it? What about the younger bands who, they’re tied to the old system, and the only thing that they can do is hope and pray that something breaks through. But then you have to stream billions to make [any real money]. It’s ridiculous. The math doesn’t work. And I’m tired of talking to people about it because the math doesn’t work.”

“They’re paid even less than the old radio structure. At least you could make a goddamn living [back then]… That’s why I commend these younger bands that are bypassing the label structure, period. And they’re going, ‘I’m not gonna let them collect everything.’ Honestly, it’s the only way to make DSPs work in your favour, is to cut out the middle man, because that’s where all the money is going.”

The musician concludes: “I’m gonna come off like an asshole, because it’s just the way it is. I think if more people realised how badly artists were paid, they might say something or they might try to do something. But a lot of people are selfish as well, and rightfully so, because at the end of the day, if you’re not looking out for yourself, who the hell is looking out for you? But it still doesn’t mean that the artist isn’t getting fucked.”



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