Metallica’s Lars Ulrich ‘feels safe’ with Apple Music

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Lars Ulrich by Gage Skidmore
This is the face of safety.
Photo: Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has had some issues with music platforms in the past, but when it comes to Apple Music, he’s completely on board.

The outspoken musician spoke at creativity festival Cannes Lions and declared his complete approval of how Apple is handling its upcoming streaming service.

“I think that Apple is just about the coolest company in the world,” Ulrich said. “I am a huge supporter of Apple and all their products, and I have been fortunate enough to meet most of the people there, a lot of the people who make key decisions, and I feel very safe with them.”

This endorsement comes soon after Apple reconsidered its original decision not to pay musicians during Apple Music’s three-month free trial, which it reversed after artist backlash and a Tumblr shaming from singer/songwriter Taylor Swift.

Ulrich has had his run-ins with music providers in the past, most famously in 2000 when he and his bandmates spoke out against Napster, a peer-to-peer sharing service that let users quickly and easily transfer mp3s and other files (mostly porn, I’ve heard) back and forth. Metallica took issue with its unreleased tunes leaking early and ending up on radio stations before anyone could buy them and became the face of the campaign to shut Napster down. The name still exists as part of online service Rhapsody, but that stuff is not free anymore. And it’s probably all music now, too.

“We jumped in bed with Daniel Ek and Spotify three years ago and that relationship has been great,” Ulrich said. “They are very passionate about music. You can tell everything about a company from the people that run it, and Daniel Ek is very passionate about music.”

With Apple Music now set to pay musicians during the free trial and even Metallica embracing the new service, where is our Apple Music drama going to come from now?