Metallica's drummer Lars Ulrich has come out in support of Irish rockers U2 following their free album giveaway, branding the stunt cool, creative and radical.

Last month (Sep14), U2 teamed with technology giant Apple to install their new record Songs of Innocence on every iTunes user's account for free without permission, prompting a fierce backlash.

The move sparked criticism from stars including Prince, who accused the band of undermining the music industry by giving away their work, but Ulrich, who is famously opposed to digital music piracy, has thrown his backing behind the band.

He tells Billboard magazine, "I think U2 are the coolest... It's 2014 and anybody who thinks outside the box, or attempts in any way, shape or form, to break the status quo in the world of music, should be applauded.

"To me, it's not about whether the endeavour is a success or not. It's the fact that they have the balls and the foresight to throw something this radical at all of us. We are embedded in our creative process right now and this type of attempt to reinvent the wheel inspires me immensely."

Metallica famously sued music sharing website Napster over illegal downloads in 2000 and the rockers have been open about their opposition to schemes which rob artists of their royalty payments.