Metallica is considering pulling a 180 and releasing their next album as a pay-what-you-want digital release, Wired reports, following in the footsteps of both Radiohead and NIN. That would mark a significant shift from the band’s days as poster child for everything that was wrong about the fight between the record companies and online file sharing.
That was back in 2000, when “drummer Lars Ulrich personally delivered a massive printout of the names of people who had been sharing Metallica songs on Napster.”
The article said that while it seems ironic that the band which so infamously took on its fans for downloading music would choose an internet-only release strategy, possibly with an optional price or even a free option, Ulrich claimed the move would not represent a change of direction. The band has always been “fiercely independent and controlling; sometimes to a fault,” he said in the report.