Corey Taylor 2023 interview

In a recent episode of the podcast “Kidd Chris – Off Air,” SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor was asked about his views on METALLICA‘s 2000 legal battle against Napster.

Despite the lawsuit being resolved outside court, it led to the ban of 300,000 users from the groundbreaking music file-sharing platform. This action severely tarnished METALLICA‘s reputation among music fans.

“I completely backed [METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich, who spearheaded the Napster battle], man,” Corey said (as transcribed by Blabbermouth). “We’re seeing the aftermath of it, to be honest. I mean, obviously, I have to work with streaming, DSPs and whatnot, but it doesn’t mean I like it. The odds are so stacked against the artist that less and less people are able to make a living at this, man — unless you hit the jackpot. And even when you hit the jackpot, you’re paid peanuts. And it’s revolting in a lot of ways. I’m still waiting for the legislation to actually go into effect, but it’s been appealed so many times by all of the DSPs that we may never see the right way. And honestly, it’s one of the things why I’m kind of gratified by the fact that physical copies are actually coming back more and more, especially in our genre. So that, at least, is keeping us afloat. But it’s hard. And this is somebody who is just getting by.

“What about the younger bands who can’t make it? What about the younger bands who, they’re tied to the old system, and the only thing that they can do is hope and pray that something breaks through. But then you have to stream billions to make [any real money]. It’s ridiculous. The math doesn’t work. And I’m tired of talking to people about it because the math doesn’t work. They’re paid even less than the old radio structure. At least you could make a goddamn living [back then]… That’s why I commend these younger bands that are bypassing the label structure, period. And they’re going, ‘I’m not gonna let them collect everything.’ Honestly, it’s the only way to make DSPs work in your favor, is to cut out the middle man, because that’s where all the money is going.”

Taylor proceeded to depict the challenging circumstances under which most budding musicians operate, stating: “It’s hard for people to get medical insurance, for Christ’s sake — I mean, something that is just basic. Unless you have made it to the upper echelon and you can afford it and you can provide it not only for the people who are in a band with you and their families but you can offer a smaller version of that to your crew.

“But at the same time, because crew is even more temporary, it’s hard to do that, because they’re not technically employees; they are temps. So it’s a difficult industry to really kind of prolong. And you’re talking to somebody who can’t believe that he’s gone as long as he has. So when you look at… At the end of the day, the stuff that should be working for me when I can’t tour as much doesn’t anymore because of the way that the percentages are worked out. And that’s one of the reasons why people are so up in arms about it.”