DESTRUCTION Vocalist on METALLICA: "Once You're A Billionaire, What Should You Be Pissed Off About?"
Destruction bassist and vocalist Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer has been making pissed off thrash since 1982, meaning he was there when Metallica was rising through the ranks and gaining more attention. It's readily apparent that early Metallica and current Metallica are extremely different, even though the band has been returning to their thrashier roots more in recent years.
In an interview with Rauta, Schmier said Metallica's lack of heaviness and anger over the years has at least a little do with the fact that Metallica got rich. Blabbermouth offered this transcription:
"I was an angry young man; now I'm an angry old man. Not much has changed in that [respect]. Look at Metallica, as an example, and I don't wanna piss off any Metallica fans, but look at the fact that once you're a billionaire, what should you be pissed off about? That your butler burned your egg, maybe. So, I think to not lose the street credibility, you can't be, like, super rich. In general, in heavy metal — I think there's a few exceptions — but if bands get too big, too famous, it usually waters down the sound. So heavy metal has to do something with anger, and thrash metal especially. When you keep yourself angry, you can write that kind of music. And when you go shopping with Gucci bags all the time, I don't think the anger is still there."
Sure, it could be that. It could also be that Metallica's tastes have simply changed over the years. I think Hardwired To Self Destruct has a few moments where Metallica capture that youthful anger, but they're not the same dudes they were nearly 40 years ago either.