Metallica headline Glastonbury 2014

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The case for …. put by Brian Nicholson

Napster, Load, Reload, S&M, St. Anger, THAT snare sound, therapy, Lou Reed… Now Glastonbury and Bear hunting. Metallica are not shy of making controversial moves in the modern music industry. They most certainly have done ALMOST everything. Now they’re about to headline Glastonbury. Alarm bells have already started ringing from those not happy with the sudden change in direction. A band like Metallica headlining Glastonbury? NONSENSE. But is it? Is it not what Glastonbury is all about? Opening yourself up to ALL styles of music?

Now its came out that James Hetfield has been for decades an advocate of hunting. This has angered many a Glastonbury fan, but is this the excuse they’ve been looking for? Tradition is tradition for some. Hetfield has been open in the media about hunting. In their documentary ‘Some Kind of Monster’ Hetfield disappears off to Russia on a hunting trip. He shows the band photos as he tells them stories of his adventures in the wild. Not a word said by anybody though. Not one soul. Now he narrates a show and 13,000 people sign a petition to have Metallica removed from Glastonbury?! Another excuse for a protest, is it? It was never a problem at Download or any other big festivals. And how many of those will even attend Glastonbury?

Metallica being announced got a loud “BRAVO” from myself. Why not, I thought. If any band should, it should be Metallica. The metal band who dare to be different. But we now have the opinions of social networkers who have brought it upon themselves to stamp their feet so hard on the muddy ground. We as a nation just voted UKIP as representatives of GB in Europe. I think bigger things to worry about, we have.

The case against put by Wayne Madden 

As a long-time Metallica fan I took the news of decision to play Glastonbury 2014 with mixed feelings. While I knew that Glastonbury had long been associated with divergent acts and mixed genres it had been left relatively untouched, until now, by the “heavier genres”. Those in support of Metallica’s inclusion on the Glastonbury bill cite a major coup for Metal musicians, forcing their way into the mainstream, overcoming adversity and breaking down barriers and social norms.

I see it as quite the opposite.

Despite being a Metallica fan, I see their music and their presence at Glastonbury as outdated, with a collective age nearing 200 and over thirty years experience in the field. They are four extremely talented musicians, no question, but they represent the pinnacle of their genre and not it’s most relevant and useful. I believe that adding an act like Mastodon to the bill would have been of more use, an artist with talent and experience but one which has not become something of a novelty act, used to be a sign of “token metal influence” at such a prestigious festival.

Those who attend or watch Glastonbury on a regular basis may scoff at the music Metallica play, failing to understand it, yet Metallica’s best material is not the “greatest hits” they will undoubtedly perform, neither should it be considered the most relevant example of the genre they represent. A BBC news article announcing their performance quoted “Enter Sandman” and “Nothing Else Matters” as hits we should expect to hear; both songs are 23 years old.

I believe Metallica’s inclusion at Glastonbury 2014 has simply signified their presence as an “acceptable” mainstream act within the zeitgeist, something their songs of influence, hope, rebellion and anger do everything to avoid…something which leaves their long term and passionate fans despondent.

Where do you stand? 

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