Metallica’s Lars Ulrich on Apple Music: ‘They’re very passionate about artists’

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The drummer discusses the tech company's controversial new streaming service

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has spoken about Apple‘s new streaming service Apple Music, saying it would be a “no-brainer” to team with the tech giant.

Apple announced the new service at its developers’ conference in San Francisco earlier this month (June 8). The features of Apple Music will include on-demand streaming, 24/7 radio station Beats 1, and social networking that allows artists to connect with their fans. The service will launch on June 30.

SEE MORE: Apple Music: Five Reasons To Be Excited – And Five To Be Wary

Appearing at the Cannes Lions Festival on Monday (June 22), Ulrich was asked his thoughts on streaming services like Apple Music, Tidal and Spotify following the metal band’s infamous anti-Napster stance.

Ulrich said: “You don’t want to necessarily say yes to [every business partnership] that comes your way. Obviously, in the case of Apple, they’re a bigger brand or company than anybody and they have some very smart people running it. So we’d call [Apple Music] a no-brainer. Personally, I have 37 Apple products and that’s just me not counting the rest of my family, so that’s a fairly easy one for me.”

On Spotify, the musician added: “We’ve been in a relationship with Daniel Ek and Spotify for a few years, which has been very rewarding. He’s a smart guy and getting our music out, we try to align ourselves with the people who are smartest. You can tell a lot about the companies by the people who run them. With Daniel, he’s very passionate about music so you feel safe with him. Same with Eddy Cue and the people who run the music over at Apple; they’re very passionate about artists and music and so on, so you feel like there’s safe relationships to be in.”

“Some of the other companies you maybe deal with a little more cautiously. We try to put ourselves somewhere in the middle. We’re not necessarily the tip of the arrow coming in first, at the same time we don’t like to be too difficult and demanding. We flow in with the waves as they reach the shore.”

Quizzed on whether Metallica would be open to such corporate partnership, Ulrich continued: “We’re definitely open to it now, but it’s tricky. I wouldn’t say that we’re proactively out there hunting down brands to try to fulfill some piece of a larger battle plan or manifest or something. People think I’m joking, but when I say we’re available in the Yellow Pages, within the entertainment industry, you know how to reach out. People can find us.”

Apple Music recently attracted criticism for its policy of not paying musicians, producers, songwriters or rights holders during a three-month free trial offered to listeners. The company later made a U-turn on its royalty scheme following an open letter from Taylor Swift, confirming that it will be now be compensating artists during the trial.
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