METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich spoke to BBC 6 Music about the “hoopla” surrounding the band’s appearance at the Glastonbury festival, saying that everyone attending the event should get “ready to have a good time.”
METALLICA is the first metal act to headline Glastonbury in its 44-year history.
Glastonbury is a very laid-back type of festival, with more of a hippie/indie vibe than most, which is why there has been so much controversy over METALLICA playing the show in the first place.
Says Ulrich: “People have short attentions spans in 2014, and so when people have attention short attention spans, they sometimes like things broken down in easy, digestible soundbites. It’s sort of, like, ‘OK, now, METALLICA at Glastonbury. What’s the soundbite? Here comes the big, bad heavy metal metal and our precious little festival.’ I don’t think that it’s generally really like that.”
He continued: “Rock and roll goes back a very long time in England, and there’s a tradition with British music journalism that maybe has a little bit more of a need to, sort of, categorize, pigeonhole, label…
“I don’t really know what it is about hard rock in England, but there obviously is people that snub their nose a little bit at hard rock and look at hard rock as inferior or lower class, some sort of lower music form or something, and people that listen to hard rock are less educated or than all these people on their indie precious thesholds. I’m certainly not slagging it… I’m observing. [laughs]
“We’ve been dealing with various versions of this for 30 years. We’re faily used to everybody having an opinion about METALLICA. For me, the fact that people still talk about METALLICA 33 years later, I think, is pretty great.
“We’re not much for categorizing rock music. We enjoy and engage in and listen to and appreciate all different types of wonderful music. As far as I’m concerned, there’s only two kinds of music: there’s great music and less great music, and beyond that, I’m not sure it needs to be pigeonholed.
“At Glastonbury, there’ll be probably some people who have never experienced hard rock the particular way that we play it, but I don’t think they need to brace themselves. Show up and be ready to have a good time and free your mind and the rest will follow.
“We basically had played every country in the world’s version of Glastonbury [laughs] and nobody bats an eye, and this is sort of what we do.
“I understand and appreciate that Glastonbury is a British institution. Not only did they survive when Jay-Z showed up a few years ago, but they, I think, even enjoyed it, and I see no reason that the same shouldn’t happen when METALLICA takes the stage.
“Everybody’s happy and we’re in good shape and fit to fight and ready to go.
“We’re still looked upon as being the underdogs. I think it’s great.
“Sometimes it’s kind of fun to stand in the middle of all the hoopla. Here comes the big, bad hard rock band to our precious little festival.”
Glastonbury festival’s founder and organizer Michael Eavis has defended his decision to book METALLICA as one of the headliners of this year’s event, claiming that no other band has been as “keen” to play the festival as the San Francisco-based heavy metal giants.
“We have been going for so long that people don’t expect us to put on a heavy metal band,” Eavis said, according to Sky News.
“We had RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and we have had lots of fairly heavy metal bands in the past but this is not a typical headline.
“We usually have bands like RADIOHEAD, COLDPLAY and U2, THE ROLLING STONES, but I am really looking forward to them.
“There’s no other band in the whole history of the festival that has been so keen to play. They will do the best set of their lives here.”
Eavis also briefly touched upon the petition that was launched online last month calling for the removal of METALLICA as Glastonbury headliners after it was announced that frontman James Hetfield was hosting a new series about bear hunting on the History channel. Eavis explained Hetfield “said they were only killing bears that were dangerous to life.”
He added: “I don’t know the truth behind that whole saga.”
METALLICA will headline the event on Saturday, June 28, with ARCADE FIRE in the slot the previous night (June 27) and KASABIAN starring on June 29.