Metallica filed a lawsuit against file-sharing site Napster in March 2000 after the band's new song
"I Disappear" leaked and people were downloading the band's catalog for free. You know, since Metallica is a business and making no money is generally a bad thing. The band and specifically drummer Lars Ulrich still get tons of shit for the decision, though Hatebreed vocalist Jamey Jasta recently put out a t-shirt that sums up his feelings on the situation in three words – Lars Was Right.
In his interview with Speak N' Destroy, Jasta says it was tough to side with Ulrich publically at the time so Hatebreed wouldn't lose fans. He also says it was tough on him personally because the band's new album Perseverance, which would go on to sell over 400,000 copies, didn't do so hot due to being illegally downloaded so much prior to its release.
“We had to ride that line. 'Don't come off [like you care] about money. Because in hardcore and punk rock, if God forbid you make any money, then you’re called a ‘sellout’ and kids jump ship.”
“The album was leaked very early and we didn’t know the detriment it was going to cause to the first week [sales]. At one point there was talk that we were going to sell 50,000 in our first week, which was more than what some hardcore bands had sold in their entire discographies. People were also using [downloading] to sabotage."
“Metallica was speaking out about it so some people were being like, ‘Well, now let’s put all their stuff up there! When you become successful, you don’t realize there are hundreds if not thousands of people who are angry about it. I thought people would just be happy that a bunch of kids who had nothing were now on a major label. I thought it was the American Dream! I thought people were going to be psyched! Then I found out people were saying we sold out by going to Universal and they were just going to steal the record. I was heartbroken."
“Why? We work so hard. We weren’t rich. I had an infant daughter. I was late on the rent. And we were considered a big band at that point. My girlfriend was like a saint, supporting me. Then all of these people who are my 'friends' and my fans are going online and stealing our record, months before it was out? It was heartbreaking."
He adds that without Napster, his and several other bands' albums might have gone gold or platinum during that era, but never quite got there due to piracy. Also, don't be a dick and steal other people's art and damage their living.
The "Lars Was Right" shirt is a part of Jasta's Hatewear series.