Metallica front man James Hetfield has never been one to mince words, and in a new interview with Artisan News Service, he says there are too many bands in the contemporary marketplace. The guitarist then suggests natural selection as an obvious way of leveling the playing field.

Asked if rock music is dead, Hetfield replies, “It dying and popularity are two different things. You know, if it’s not popular, fine. I kinda like it that way,” he adds with a laugh.

“I love being the underdog. I love being the thing that’s not liked. I love to build it up again. That’s part of the mission in life for me.”

Hetfield concedes that the internet has lowered the bar for bands to get their music out, resulting in a glut of inferior product. “There’s too many bands out there, and some have to die off so the strong survive,” he says, much to the amusement of drummer Lars Ulrich.

Watch James Hetfield and Other Rockers Comment on Whether Rock Is Dead