Later this month, Metallica is set to become the first ever metal band to headline the UK’s Glastonbury Festival. Many aren’t particularly happy about that. Scottish post-rock band Mogwai said they were “shite,” Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson took a shot or two at them (likely in jest), a petition (that appears to be taken down) was started to get them banned from the festival, and even Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys, who Metallica selected to play at their Orion Festival a few years ago, said them playing the festival “didn’t add up,” before ultimately giving a seal of approval. Metal Hammer finally got Lars Ulrich to comment on the wave of hatred. Gesticulating wildly, Ulrich doesn’t even address Mogwai by name, and seems confused by it all:
“Glastonbury is like the Holy Grail in England, and we’re respectful to that. But if somebody sits there and talks about petitions or what some other guy says, there’s a point that it just becomes ridiculous.
“We’re fairly thick-skinned. Obviously if Mick Jagger has something to say, or Alex Turner, or the nice guys in Kasabian, it’s cool. But if some guy in some other band… it’s like, ‘Huh? What? Who are you?'”
Ultimately, Ulrich is right. Metallica was booked because they have one of the best selling albums of all time. Still selling about 2,500 copies a week, it will probably sell more in a month than Mogwai’s latest album will in a year. That’s not a shot at Mogwai, or commentary on the quality of music form either band. It’s just economics and booking. No need to get all flail-y, Lars.