Metallica Goes Indie, Regains Control Of Its Own Material, And Forms Blackened Recordings
In a surprising move – at least surprising to me – Metallica has become an indie band. The metal men announced on Friday that they had regained control of all their master recordings, and that they were no longer with the Warner Music Group. In a smart move, they had signed a deal with WMG back in 1994 stipulating that the group would own the rights to all its music and video on November 30th 2012. I didn't know it was possible, all I was aware of was this revised copyright law which was allowing musicians to regain control of their work after 35 years, but this came earlier for Metallica.
They have now founded an independent label Blackened Recordings, and they envision to release any future material via this new label, which will also handle marketing and promotion and be distributed by Rhino Entertainment, a WMG reissue subsidiary.
Metallica's Lars Ulrich said in a statement: ‘It's always been about control for us as a band. Forming Blackened Recordings is the ultimate in independence, giving us 100% control and putting us in the driver's seat of our own creative destiny.’
‘We would like to thank everyone at the Warner Music Group for 28 years of a fantastic relationship, particularly since 1994 where we truly felt we had partners in every aspect of our business in North America,’ added James Hetfield… But if everything was that fantastic, we have to wonder why they are leaving?
Metallica has always been about control anyway, they were the first band to sue Napster 12 years ago, they won the lawsuit and Napster was shut down. Many other bands followed their examples, so we can wonder whether they will be example setters this time again. We also can wonder which impact this new decision will have on their music,… what does 100% control mean exactly? Weren’t they releasing the music they wanted before? And will fans be getting more of that Lou-Reed-Lulu weirdness?
In any case, the first Blackened Recordings will be ‘Quebec Magnetic’, a live DVD taken from two concerts 2009 in Quebec City, and released on December 10th, no real weirdness there, the only oddity is the 'Indie band Metallica' statement.