Metallica drummer accepts platform benefits big bands more than small ones – but argues against blaming it for lack of new music breaking through

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich believes streaming services are the future of the music industry.

But he admits such platforms are better for long-established acts than they are for rising-star outfits.

Ulrich tells the BBC: “I believe streaming is good for music. People sit there and go, ‘I’m not getting paid very much,’ – but streaming is a choice on all fronts.

“It’s a choice for artists making their music available. It’s a choice by the record companies that represent the artists. Fifteen years ago, those choices didn’t exist.”

He continues: “Streaming probably does benefit artists with higher profile. A lot of playlists that are being made available for people seem to feature higher-profile artists.”

And Ulrich argues that platforms shouldn’t take all the blame if new music isn’t generating attention. “I connect less because there’s less great new music to connect with,” he says.

“A lot of the stuff is just regurgitated – this year’s flavour. It’s not leading-edge like the Beatles, Miles Davis or Jimmy Hendrix, taking us all by the hand into these completely unknown, uncharted musical territories.”

Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor last week said that albums should be regarded as a band’s “calling card” with the intention of persuading people to see them live.

Metallica continue work on their 10th studio album, with guitarist Kirk Hammett having called the material written so far as “a bit more prog” than previous outings. The thrash giants headline Reading and Leeds next month.

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