Why did Lemmy believe Metallica became “too successful for their own good”?


Lemmy, the late frontman of Motorhead, was one of the most outspoken individuals in the music industry. He made a lot of controversial and equally controversial comments in his day. Lemmy was always ready with his two cents, usually generated from the golden hue of Jack Daniel’s and hunched over a bar, to remark on everything from the work of new and old artists to the status of the world.

Lemmy was an expert at creating shock, and he did so right up until the very end, whether he was calling The Rolling Stones “mummy’s boys” or making it obvious how much he despised Radiohead. His genuine love for history and a morbid fascination led him to acquire a vast collection of Nazi memorabilia, making his storied life even more peculiar.

Lemmy provided some fascinating insights, one of which concerned the pioneers of thrash metal, Metallica. In an interview with Aural Innovations in 2001, the legendary speed metal artist was asked if there were any surprises at his 55th birthday celebration in London. This question was also directed towards his 50th birthday celebration, where James Hetfield and his band members donned his costumes.

It’s not a very good disguise, Lemmy retorted. Every single one of them had the tattoo on the incorrect arm! It was kind of them to take that action. They’re among the few bands that have been at all respectful. Additionally, they physically stopped the recording of their album.

Lemmy went on to praise Metallica as a fantastic band but stated that he believed they had “become too successful for their own good”. He did, however, continue to argue that they had a valid reason to sue Napster in 2000 over the “I Disappear” leak.

“They flew down their own equipment on their own money,” he recalled. Fantastic. Metallica is appealing to me. They seem like a really good band to me. I believe that nowadays, people ignore them. They’ve become, in my opinion, too successful for their own good. However, they are correct about that Napster nonsense. That damn fool off Limp Bizkit. Yes, come on over and take my money.

Someone informed Lemmy that there was “quite an argument” regarding Napster, but predictably, he remained steadfast in his position. “Not from my side,” he uttered. You wish to release music for free. You also ruin my business. I’m not getting paid for the work I do. Say goodbye and express your gratitude to the plumber if you hire him to fix the pipes. His money is what he wants. I’d like mine.




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