During a brand new question-and-answer session with Meltdown of Detroit, Michigan’s WRIF 101.1 FM radio station, TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider spoke about his appreciation for METALLICA‘s work ethic after the two bands toured together in their early days.
“Those motherfuckers earned every fucking dollar they made,” Dee said (hear audio below). “They didn’t give an inch — until they [made] an ‘Alternica’ record. Which I thought was a great record, but they gave an inch. But up to that point, they just fought hard.”
He continued: “This is a true story. We’re on tour with METALLICA, and we’re in Holland, and I’m standing on the side of the stage and I’m watching them doing their set. And I turn to my bass player and I go, ‘These guys have got a lot of heart, but they’re never gonna go anywhere.’
“Like I said, I’m brutally honest. I said that out fucking loud. What an asshole! I didn’t wanna be against them. I just said, ‘They’re so heavy.’ But they made people just accept how heavy they were, and that’s the great thing about METALLICA.”
Snider also defended METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich over band’s infamous lawsuit in 2000 against Napster. METALLICA sued the pioneering music file-sharing service, claiming that it was illegally allowing users to download the group’s tracks without paying royalties to the band.
Recalling the days before illegal music downloading was first introduced, Dee said: “It’s like you go into a fruit stand and you’re thinking about buying some strawberries or some grapes. Most fruit stands that I’ve been to will say, ‘Taste one,’ and they’ll let you taste a strawberry, and they’ll let you taste a grape. And you go, ‘You know what? They’re not ripe yet,’ and you walk away. Or you say, ‘Wow! I really like those.’ At that point, you don’t steal the grapes or the strawberries — you pay for the strawberries. So, to me, sampling was a great thing. It goes back to the ’50s when people used to go into record shops, and they would get to put on the record with a pair of headphones and listen to the music. So when you listen, you go, ‘I like this,’ and you buy it, or, ‘This sucks,’ and you don’t buy it, that’s cool. That’s fine.”
Dee went on to say that “people were villainizing METALLICA” for going after Napster and suing unnamed users of the MP3-trading program, along with three universities, claiming copyright infringement.
“I don’t think [Lars] explained [METALLICA‘s position] right,” Snider said. “But he got crucified.”
METALLICA sued Napster after the band discovered that a leaked demo version of its song “I Disappear” was circulating on the service before it was released.
In May 2000, Ulrich famously delivered a literal truckload of paper to Napster Inc., listing hundreds of thousands of people who allegedly used the company’s software to share unauthorized MP3s of METALLICA‘s songs.
METALLICA representatives compiled the more than 60,000-page list of 335,435 Napster user IDs over one weekend in response to Napster‘s promise to terminate the accounts of users who trade material without permission. Real names were not included in the list.