Napster Nemesis Lars Ulrich Can't Believe the New Metallica Album Hasn't Leaked

I dub thee unforgiven

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Nov 29, 2022

Yesterday (November 28), Metallica sent shockwaves through the metal world with the threefold announcement of new album 72 Seasons, new single "Lux Æterna" and a colossal world tour. But nobody was more shocked by the news remaining under wraps up until that point than drummer Lars Ulrich.

Back in the old Y2K days of yore, Metallica quite famously sued Napster over the distribution of then-unreleased song "I Disappear," accusing the site of enabling copyright infringement and thievery — and Ulrich actually showed up at the company's office with the usernames of hundreds of thousands of people who had downloaded it.

Seeking a modest minimum of $10 million USD in damages (a rate of $100,000 per illegally downloaded song), the historic case of Metallica vs. Naptster, Inc. forced the service to remove all copyrighted songs by Metallica and ban over 300,000 users for illegally downloading their music.

Then, in 2016, Metallica's entire catalogue lawfully returned to the former peer-to-peer file-sharing service, which still exists — as T-Pain will have you know — but now as a legal streaming platform, which reportedly has a higher payout for artists than any other major streamer. (Does Ulrich know this?)

The drummer made an appearance on SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show to announce the thrash legends' big news, and expressed his surprise that nobody had leaked information about (or music from) the album they'd spent the past year and a half working on.

"The one thing that we've done all through that is for the first time in our career, we never really talked about it," Ulrich said of what he's calling the band's "COVID lockdown record."

"So, rather than, 'Hey, there's a new record' and countdowns, and, 'Guess what's coming your way,' and all that kind of shit, we've been tight-fucking-lipped about it," he explained. "And this morning I wanna share a new song with the world and I wanna tell everybody about the new Metallica album. And we have a new tour, we have a song, we have a video — fucking all the bells and whistles."

Ulrich added, "We thought for sure this thing would leak. It hasn't fucking leaked."

In the year of our lord 2022, it truly is a miracle.

You can watch the interview clip below.

The 1975's Matty Healy is maybe the least excited about the new Metallica album, which is bound to be full of lyrics lovingly misheard by the masses.

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