Metallica have bought a vinyl pressing plant to keep up with their own demand, the group announced today (March 14). The band now owns Furnace Record Pressing, a company based in Alexandria, Virginia, that’s worked with Metallica for roughly 15 years. The aim, according to Metallica, is to keep up with demand for their back catalog on vinyl, in addition to meeting their needs for their forthcoming album, 72 Seasons.
The band first started working with Furnace in 2008, and the plant currently operates in Alexandria, Virginia. The company has helped keep Metallica’s catalog in print along with expansive box set reissues of Metallica, Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, and more.
Eric Astor, Furnace’s founder and CEO, told Billboard that the plant will continue to press non-Metallica projects, but did not detail the company’s plans for allocating those resources. In a separate statement, Astor said, “Building Furnace into the dedicated and experienced family of experts that it is today has been a huge effort, but immensely gratifying. Knowing our long-term future is secured while also being better able to take advantage of growth opportunities is really exciting for every member of the Furnace staff.”
Jack White, whose Third Man Records opened its own pressing plant in early 2017, shared a congratulatory statement on Instagram. “Welcome to the cause gents! And thank you for putting your money to amazing creative use!,” he wrote. White continued, “Here’s hoping the major labels will also see this as further proof, and finally start investing in themselves.”
The band’s business development arrives a few weeks ahead of their next album, 72 Seasons, which is out on April 14. It’s the first LP from Metallica in more than six years, following 2016’s Hardwired… to Self-Destruct. They’ve shared “If Darkness Had a Son,” “Screaming Suicide,” and “Lux Æterna” from the record so far. In April, Metallica will embark on a lengthy tour of Europe and North America that extends through 2024.