LARS ULRICH Says METALLICA ‘Very Cautiously Decided’ To Offer ‘Enhanced Experiences’ To Fans On Tour

Tuesday, 20 June 2017
Widely considered to be one of the most fan-friendly bands in popular music, METALLICA recently began offering "enhanced-experience options" designed to provide super-fans with a wide array of unique experiences at concerts and events around the globe. According to Rolling Stone, the opening show of the North American leg of METALLICA's "WorldWired" tour on May 10 in Baltimore, Maryland saw a dozen or so fans pay $2,499 each for the opportunity to get a photo with the band and autographs and ask the musicians whatever is on their mind. They also got access to the "Memory Remains" exhibit of memorabilia, a mini traveling Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame that shows off the group's clothes, handwritten lyrics, original album art for "Ride The Lightning" and "Master Of Puppets", cassette collections and actual instruments. "We very cautiously decided to do experiences," METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone. " We spent a lot of time seeing what everybody was else doing. 'What's BLACK SABBATH doing? What's GUNS N' ROSES doing? What happens in the pop world?' It felt foreign to us and, dare I say, a little hokey. So we just had to sort of get to a place where we would get comfortable with that." Paid meet-and-greets are becoming staples of the touring circuit and are seen by some artists as a necessary evil to survive nowadays. Other musicians object to meet-and-greets on moral grounds, believing they favor richer fans over poorer ones. Similarly, many people view the fact that groups charge fans to meet them as completely exploitative, since artists are usually aware that young admirers are prepared to pay any amount of money to see their favorite band, sometimes at their parents' expense. Former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted called the paid-meet-and-greet practice "bullshit" in a 2012 interview. He explained: "My guys had been talking to me about doing those things, and they talk about KISS making money for this meet-and-greet. People will pay it, but that's not the point. I don't want to take money like that. If they want to buy a t-shirt and have something to show for it, that's what we do. You can't download a t-shirt. "There are certain things that make sense to me. I have never charged for my autograph up until [I launched my own] web site. That is my first time in my thirty-year career that I have charged for my autograph, and I have signed for hundreds of thousands of people. "I don't feel comfortable with charging people to meet me; I don't feel comfortable with charging people to get me to sign something when they are standing with me. If they buy it off the Internet and want an 8x10 or an autograph CD, they have that momentum. That's fine, but I'm not going to charge people to meet me. I just don't feel that's right. I'll pay to meet one of my old sports heroes, or something like one of the cats from the 1970s Orioles. I'll pay a couple of bucks for something, but I'm not going to pay for Gene Simmons. It's ridiculous; that's not what it's about."

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