PLAYBOY: When you stated the campaign against Napster, did you know it would drag on so long?
ULRICH: Didn't have the foggiest fucking idea, no. This whole Lars Ulrich-poster-boy- for-intellectual property isn't something I sought out.
PLAYBOY: Were you surprised when you got booed onstage last September at the MTV Video Music Awards?
ULRICH: I was unaware of it while I was up there. I got offstage, and people were like, "Wow, you handled the booing really well." I was like, "What booing?"
PLAYBOY:That's surprising, because you looked really uncomfortable.
ULRICH: I was kind of drunk. It was the worst awards show, hands down, that I've ever been to. I left, I went out to dinner with some friends and had some cocktails.
PLAYBOY: When Napster creator Shawn Fanning came out in a Metallica T-shirt, they cut to you in the audience, and you looked aghast.
ULRICH: You have to understand, the whole thing was planned. They asked me to present an award to Shawn Fanning. The day before the show, Napster's lawyers pulled him out of it. They thought I would do something rude or obnoxious to him. MTV asked, "Do you have any problem with him walking out in a Metallica T-shirt?". I was like,"Go for it." I knew about all that - I was just pretending to be sleeping. I had my hand over my face, nodding off. It was sort of contrived.
PLAYBOY: What would it take for you to drop your suit against Napster?
ULRICH: They have been inquistitive about trying to settle. The only thing we were after was getting our lawyers fees paid. And we believe they have the ability to block access to whatever band wants it blocked.
HAMMETT: Criticism is something we've always dealt with, since day one. When Kill 'Em All came out, there was nothing like it. When the second album came out, we had slow songs, for God's sake! Even our fans fucking criticize us. We have bulletproof vests on when it comes to criticism. To tell the truth, we feed off it.
HETFIELD: Metallica loves to be hated.
HAMMETT: Love to be hated, absolutely. Even before we were in the band, we were outsiders-so that mentality sits really fine with us.
PLAYBOY: Now that you're superstars-not only on MTV but also on VH1-it's easy to forget how unpopular you were at first.