Metallica, P2P, Irony. Oh My!
December 14, 2005 4:03 AM   Subscribe

Without any hint of irony, p2pnet has republished a copy of an article originally published at Gamustra entitled 'The End Of Copyright', in which author Ernest Adams argues that the advance of technology (specifically the internet and file sharing programs) will kill off the very notion of copyright. Another recent article argues much the same thing. As an interesting aside to these two articles, both articles mention Metallica's much publicized stand on the issue of file sharing and their stealing of music, which is interesting only because of recent claims by Queens of the Stone Age rocker Josh Homme, who said in a recent magazine interview that Metallica "borrowed" a frustratingly large volume of music he recorded with his former band Kyuss.
posted by Effigy2000 (20 comments total)
Any idea what songs contain ripped off goods? Is it a case of "Damn, that sounds a lot like our song xxx" or "this is directly pulled from our song xxx"? While I'd love any evidence showing Metallica to be a bunch of hypocritical asses, I do require proof to believe these kinds of things.
posted by antifuse at 4:31 AM on December 14, 2005

The original Decibel Magazine article dosen't provide any further illumination. The relevant pragraphs read as follows;

"In an era when Metallica and Pantera were the biggest metal bands in the world, Kyuss were too metal for the grunge crowd and too rock for most headbangers. “We were totally against those bands,” Homme says. “And really, the amount of shit that Metallica borrowed from us is frustrating. It was strange.”

Kyuss famously opened for Metallica in Australia in 1993. Metallica’s soundman promised Kyuss they’d have full PA during their set, but quickly changed his mind after Kyuss plugged in and turned on. “We douched them,” Homme laughs. “On a frequency spectrum, we were like a brick wall until you hit the high end—and then there was no high end. I mean, high end is not fun for anybody; you don’t party with high end.” Years later, Homme was playing with Queens at Slim’s in San Francisco, high on ecstasy and being interviewed about his Metallica experience. “This guy I knew was making a movie about Metallica, and I was trying so hard not to say something negative. I think I talked about the rider or something, and then I said meeting them was like meeting George Bush. My eyes must’ve been spinning.”

Anyone here familiar with the music of Kyuss enough to be able to make some comparisons with Metallica's music?
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:47 AM on December 14, 2005

From Ernest Adams: (Until Gutenberg circa 1550) There were no copyright laws at that point. Before the printing press, books in Europe were copied by hand, and having someone go to the trouble of copying your book was about the highest praise an author could get. But with the printing press, the concept of intellectual property was born. Over the next two centuries or so, copying books went from being high praise to being a crime. As printing presses were large and heavy—i.e. difficult to conceal and difficult to move—it wasn’t all that hard to prosecute the offenders. The smaller and faster they got, though, the tougher it became.

I have no opinion on whether copyright will stand as it is. Certainly it has been changed by the availability of low-cost "perfect" digital copying ability. Certainly the tension between publisher and public will result in changes.


Adams fails to establish his credibility because of his sloppy research, though. (Perhaps he copied it off someone else). Patents protecting intellectual property were awarded at least since the 1470s, and those came from some other precedent that necessitated their codification. The first known patents were awarded in Venice.

And far from protecting intellectual property, early copyrights were granted to protect the commercial production of the publisher, not the writer.

I can offer citations if you want em, but right now I'm finishing final exams. Just thought that Adams was presenting a comic-book version of what is/should be a serious subject.
posted by beelzbubba at 4:55 AM on December 14, 2005

"Congress shall have the power to ... promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." (US Constitution, art I. sec. 8, cl. 8.)

Will technology render obsolete such sentiments? I don't know that it can. Certainly is an interesting debate, though.
posted by milquetoast at 5:06 AM on December 14, 2005

I'm a pretty huge Kyuss/QOTSA fan, I own most kyuss albums, and I can't really name any direct lifts from kyuss in any of metallicas albums (of which I've heard them all as well), although, Kyuss is way better then Metallica ever was :). Also, most of Kyuss's songs were tuned down to C, and I dont remember Metallica going that low. If anyone is looking for some great music that isn't emo, get Kyuss - Blues for the Red Sun, you won't regret it!
posted by Mach5 at 5:24 AM on December 14, 2005

Mach5 is correct. Listen to him.
posted by euphorb at 5:34 AM on December 14, 2005

Metallica sucks ass for a lot of reasons, but like Mach5 says, I fail to think of any specific examples of what Josh claims. Keep in mind, however, that he does smoke a significant amount of dope. So, he may well have imagined the whole thing.
posted by psmealey at 6:53 AM on December 14, 2005

Prior to the black album, nothing Metallica did was even remotely Kyuss-like. I guess you could make a really weak case for some of the later, groovier stuff being Kyuss influenced, but only in the loosest possible sense; there's no direct lifting.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:36 AM on December 14, 2005

Effigy2000: "Anyone here familiar with the music of Kyuss enough to be able to make some comparisons with Metallica's music?"

Sadly, I'm not familiar enough with Metallica. But I wouldn't doubt it. Kyuss were the rockingest band ever, hard as shit, and, like the guy says, too metal for the grungers and too grunge for the metalhead. See here.

Wolfdog: "Prior to the black album, nothing Metallica did was even remotely Kyuss-like. I guess you could make a really weak case for some of the later, groovier stuff being Kyuss influenced, but only in the loosest possible sense; there's no direct lifting."

Erm, yeah. That's probably because Kyuss' first album came out in '91, the same year as the Black Album, so Metallica couldn't have even heard them before then. Not to mention the fact that the incident mentioned above was in 1993, well into Metallica's long, slow slide into... ugh.

Me? I think it's pretty plausible. I haven't heard Load in a long, long time, though.
posted by koeselitz at 7:56 AM on December 14, 2005

The only Kyuss influenced Metallica stuff is maybe the production values on St Anger. Very old-kyuss like. But as for actual songs? No way. I've got every album by both bands, and are intimately familiar with them.

Metallica was ripping off riffs from bands like Diamond Head and Discharge long before Kyuss was a band.
posted by quibx at 9:07 AM on December 14, 2005

Metallica has a long proud history of stealing other's music. See here:
"Mustaine claims to have written several Metallica songs, most notably "Leper Messiah." Metallica refuses to recognise this. Many Megadeth fans believe that "Master of Puppets" was Mustaine's work and that Metallica "stole" it. In 2004, the Mustaine-Metallica feud re-ignited when footage of Mustaine was used in the film Some Kind of Monster without Mustaine's approval. In an interview with Metal Maniacs magazine, Mustaine called Lars Ulrich a "treacherous little man"."
At least when Les Claypool covered "The Thing that should not be" it was a full on cover, not rebranded. Moreover, Les kicks way more ass in that cover, and everything else, than Metallica ever could. I stopped buying Metallica albums the day Ulrich started his bithcing.
posted by BlueWolf at 9:50 AM on December 14, 2005

*listens to some Kyuss*
nah, not Metallica. I'd give them Tool, but they came up at the same time, no? Most of the songs I've found sound like they could be Undertow b-sides.

If anyone is looking for some great music that isn't emo...

Are you insinuating that emo isn't great music, or that's it's difficult to find great music that isn't emo?
posted by es_de_bah at 9:58 AM on December 14, 2005

Emo blows goats.

There I said it, cry about it why don't you and maybe you'll have another emo (s)hit.
posted by BlueWolf at 10:22 AM on December 14, 2005

I'm saying that the majority of new music is emo, and it is horrible, and if you are looking for something youve probably never heard before, go with kyuss! Of course I am biased, a fanboy, and a total musical elitist, so whos to say my opinion counts.

Anyway, if one wants to experience the genius of Joshua Homme and the qotsa/kyuss/desert rock scene, listen to some of my favorite songs:
Kyuss: El Rodeo, Demon Cleaner, Size Queen
QOTSA: Regular John (live version on new bonus CD is mindblowing), Ode to Clarissa, Born to Hula, The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret, Mexicola, Everybody Knows You're Insane, Born to Hula*
Desert Sessions: Making A Cross, I Wanna Make It Witchu

I could name a lot of others but those are some highlights. It should be noted that I consider all QOTSA albums except the first one Perfect Albums (as in, every single song is great).

* Easily my favorite guitar solo EVER.
posted by Mach5 at 10:51 AM on December 14, 2005

GAH the * song (my fav guitar solo) is supposed to be The Bronze, not Born to Hula.
posted by Mach5 at 11:10 AM on December 14, 2005

the majority of new music is emo? i'd suggest you start looking harder, Mach5. awesome new music abounds.
posted by es_de_bah at 11:44 AM on December 14, 2005

If you want some of the best new music available out there, check out my mp3 blog.

And darn you Mach5, your name's too similar.
posted by Mach3avelli at 12:10 PM on December 14, 2005

(Perhaps he copied it off someone else).

posted by voltairemodern at 1:13 PM on December 14, 2005

The only Kyuss influenced Metallica stuff is maybe the production values on St Anger. Very old-kyuss like.

If I were Homme, I would not be in a rush to claim any responsibility for St. Anger.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:27 PM on December 14, 2005

Mach3avelli: Since you linked your blog in an AskMe thread the other day, I have downloaded and listened to most of the songs posted - and it's great great stuff. I'm very into both early 90's shoegaze and post-rock bands like Mogwai (have you heard Mr Beast? It's awesome) and EITS, but hadn't heard of half of the stuff you've posted.
What I'm trying to say is: You rock. Keep it up.

posted by mr.marx at 6:11 PM on December 14, 2005

« Older Unclean! Unclean!   |   Elvis didn't do no drugs! Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments