Metallica’s Lars Ulrich: ‘Arctic Monkeys are a heavy metal act disguised as an indie band’

Drummer says the Sheffield foursome even remind him of prog rockers Rush…

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has described Arctic Monkeys as a “heavy metal band disguised as an indie band”.

The sticksman, whose band have booked the Sheffield rockers for their Orion Festival in New Jersey this summer, defended the decision and said that to him, they’re a band in the same vein as his own.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, he said:

For me, having the Arctic Monkeys on there is big. I think they’re a heavy metal band disguised as an indie band.


The drummer then compared the Monkeys to Canadian prog behemoths Rush, adding: “If you listen to a song like ‘Perhaps Vampires Is a Bit Strong But…’ there’s almost a Rush element in there.”

Ulrich also spoke about booking Avenged Sevenfold, who he said he taken a lot of persuading to play Orion. He said of this “Avenged Sevenfold are near and dear to me. They were on the fence about it. They were taking the summer off. I called one of the guys and said, ‘It would really mean a lot to us’.'”

b]Orion Music + More festival, will take place on June 23 and 24 in Bader Field, near Atlantic City in New Jersey.

Metallica will headline both nights, with The Gaslight Anthem, Modest Mouse, Cage The Elephant, Fucked Up, Hot Snakes, Titus Andronicus, Best Coast, The Black Angels, The Sword, Liturgy also booked to play the event.

Speaking to NME previously about the event, Ulrich said: “We’re trying to get our own festival off the ground, and it’s no fucking picnic. It takes five years to even really get on the map. So we’re trying to get our own thing off the ground in New Jersey in June. You’ve got to stay with it.”

Then asked why they’d decided to stage their own event, Ulrich replied: “We were invited to play Bonnaroo in 2008 and that was the first time we saw the European festival model work in America, the whole thing was a total mindfuck, it was great – it was us. The people were really accepting towards diversity, so it was back then we started thinking about doing our own thing. We really want to have that kind of European diversity and that sense of discovery.”


Metallica will play a headline slot at this weekend’s Download Festival as well as a series of other large European shows.

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