July 14, 2023

During an appearance on a recent episode of the "Kidd Chris - Off Air" podcast, SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor was asked what he thought about METALLICA's decision to launch legal action against Napster in 2000. Although the case was settled out of court, 300,000 users were banned from the pioneering music file-sharing service as a result and METALLICA's image took a tremendous beating in the eyes of music fans. Corey said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I completely backed [METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich, who spearheaded the Napster battle], man. 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 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. 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 favor, is to cut out the middle man, because that's where all the money is going."

Taylor went on to describe the difficult conditions most struggling musicians have to work under, saying: "It's hard for people to get medical insurance, for Christ's sake — I mean, something that is just basic. Unless you have made it to the upper echelon and you can afford it and you can provide it not only for the people who are in a band with you and their families but you can offer a smaller version of that to your crew. But at the same time, because crew is even more temporary, it's hard to do that, because they're not technically employees; they are temps. So it's a difficult industry to really kind of prolong. And you're talking to somebody who can't believe that he's gone as long as he has. So when you look at… At the end of the day, the stuff that should be working for me when I can't tour as much doesn't anymore because of the way that the percentages are worked out. And that's one of the reasons why people are so up in arms about it.

"A lot of the people who are super popular right now, they don't say anything because they're super popular right now," Taylor continued. "They're, like, 'Ah, I'm making mine.' But what happens when you're not? What happens when you're just the latest trend to be put on the shelf again? What happens when that stuff doesn't make anything for you anymore?"

"Listen, I'm gonna come off like an asshole, because it's just the way it is," Corey added. "I think if more people realized 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."

METALLICA sued Napster after the band discovered that a leaked demo version of its song "I Disappear" was circulating on the pioneering music file-sharing service before it was released.

In May 2000, Ulrich famously delivered a literal truckload of paper to Napster Inc., listing hundreds of thousands of people who allegedly used the company's software to share unauthorized MP3s of METALLICA's songs.

METALLICA representatives compiled the more than 60,000-page list of 335,435 Napster user IDs over one weekend in response to Napster's promise to terminate the accounts of users who trade material without permission. Real names were not included in the list.

In later years, METALLICA embraced digital music: in December 2012, the band made all of its studio albums, as well as various live material, singles, remixes and collaborations, available on Spotify.

Corey previously discussed METALLICA's Napster battle during an appearance on an April 2021 episode of the "Wild Ride! With Steve-O" podcast. Aked if he had a preferred way that people could consume music from his various projects, Taylor responded: "Obviously, I'm gonna say the old-school way — buy the album, look at the artwork, read the lyrics.

"It's kind of weird, it's kind of hard, because in this day and age, it's really hard to know which ones of the fucking streaming services actually compensate the artists that they're ripping off," he continued. "It's more important for me that people listen to the music. At this point, I've kind of made peace with the fact that there are various services who are just kind of screwing us, and until the legislation is actually enforced, which they passed under Trump — which I couldn't fucking believe — they'll keep charging us at that rate. But they've appealed that legislation. I don't think the appeals will actually go through. They will raise the rates, and musicians will be able to make a living off their recordings again."

Corey went on to praise Ulrich over his Napster stance, saying: "I remember everyone giving him so much shit 'cause of that, and he was so right on so many fucking levels, dude. It's scary. And I wonder how many people look back and eat a little crow because of that… 'Cause he knew — he knew that this was the direction we were going."

Corey will release his second solo album, "CMF2", on September 15. "CMF2" is Taylor's first album for BMG and the first on his own label imprint, Decibel Cooper Recordings.

Released in May, the first single from "CMF2", "Beyond", entered the Top 15 at Rock Radio in just six weeks and was the cover and No. 1 spot of the Rock Hard playlist on Spotify.

Taylor began tracking the follow-up to 2020's "CMFT" LP in early January at The Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas, Nevada with producer Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with STEEL PANTHER and ANTHRAX, among others. Joining Corey in the studio was the rest of his solo band — bassist Eliot Lorango, drummer Dustin Robert, along with guitarists Christian Martucci and Zach Throne.

Twenty-six songs were recorded for "CMF2", including the first two singles, "Beyond" and "Post Traumatic Blues".

"CMFT" featured the No. 1 Billboard mainstream rock single "Black Eyes Blue" and streaming sensation "CMFT Must Be Stopped" (feat. Tech N9ne and Kid Bookie). The LP hit No. 6 on Billboard's U.S. Top Rock Albums chart.

In support of his new album, Taylor has announced his 2023 tour featuring special guests WARGASM, OXYMORRONS and LUNA AURA on select dates. Produced by Live Nation, the 28-city tour kicks off on August 25 at Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, making stops across the U.S in Detroit, Orlando, Dallas and more before the final headline show in Los Angeles at The Wiltern on October 5.

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