Certain bands tend to court controversy wherever they go, no matter how much they achieve there’s always something for people to complain about during their career, one of those bands is the biggest metal band of all time, Metallica. (youtube) Metallica has seen complaints from all sides at different points in their career from religious groups to other bands who would typically be seen as their contemporaries even to the point of their own fans launching complaints at the band. (sfweekly) It’s difficult to please everyone, especially when you were originally loved for being “different” and people felt like you were this “secret little band” that they could love and you develop into iconic status, suddenly gaining the love of millions of people who typically wouldn’t have given you a second listen. (mtv) The biggest problem anyone seems to have with the San Francisco band is that they’ve become far too successful, in a country where most people want to become massive stars and have tons of money, it’s a bit strange when people are being degraded for being too good at what they do and making too much money or having too many fans, people call them sell outs for being able to reach heights in their career that nobody else dared possible. (rollingstone)
During their run Metallica has run into problems with the fans at certain shows, it’s fairly normal for a heavy rock band to be questioned as being part of certain festivals, no matter how big the name or the following of said band there are just certain crowds that want to keep the harder elements out of their midst. (metalinsider) When Metallica was courted for the Lollapalooza festival in the nineties people questioned their inclusion, many made the comment that you’re taking this festival that’s been essentially for the “weird” kids or the “outsiders” of the world and now you’re injecting this ultra-aggressive music into it, you’re essentially bringing the bullies to the audio-visual club. (courant) This year Metallica has been pegged as one of the headliners for the Glastonbury Festival, as a band that has played at almost any European festival you could imagine, it was an easy choice to accept the spot on the bill. (theguardian) Much like the Lollapalooza issues the lords of metal are now catching flack for their placement not only as part of the festival, but as a headline act as well. First word came out that a band, one I’ll admit I’ve never even heard of before, has taken shots at Metallica calling them terrible, which has been tried before only for the one calling them out to fade back to obscurity while Metallica just kept getting bigger. (loudwire)
With the trash talk failing to get enough attention to force the promoters to remove Metallica from the festival, a new attack has been launched, this one pointed directly at the man fronting the band. James Hetfield has never shied away from the fact that he’s an avid hunter, one of the stories about the band is that Lars felt comfortable taking his stance against Napster when he did because James was around the world on a hunting expedition in Russia so he knew the frontman wouldn’t take issue with what he said. (yahoo) As a hunting enthusiast Hetfield has taken on a new project doing narration for an upcoming History Channel show called The Hunt. The Hunt is focused on a hunt on Kodiak Island in Alaska for brown bears, Hetfield’s inclusion as the voice of the show is being used a as reason to remove his band from the festival. (independent) Glastonbury has been known for it’s somewhat hippie culture, and that group is known to be closer to PETA than the NRA, the stance is that Hetfield supports big game hunting and as a result his beliefs are completely opposed to those of some fans, so his band should be kept from performing. (theguardian) It remains to be seen if this attempt works or if it proves to be futile, personally I can’t see a promoter taking one of the biggest bands in music history off their lineup over something like this, there’s just too much riding on their appearance. We’ll see who blinks first, my guess is it won’t be the promoters.