Metallica’s Lars Ulrich criticises ‘precious’ music fans who look down on heavy metal acts

Drummer speaks out ahead of headline appearance at Glastonbury Festival this week

Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich has complained that UK metal fans are seen as being “less educated” by people he refers to as sitting on “precious indie thresholds.”

The US band will headline Glastonbury Festival this Saturday (June 27), but responses to the booking have been mixed, with Park Stage headliners Mogwai describing them as being “unbelievably bad”. However, Ulrich has responded firmly to his critics, blaming the music press for “pigeonholing” the band and its fans.

In an interview for BBC 6 Music, the Metallica drummer and founding member complained about the media’s attitude to hard rock. He continued: “People have short attention spans in 2014… They like things broken down into easy, digestible sound-bites. It’s like, Metallica at Glastonbury, what’s the sound-bite? ‘Here comes the big bad heavy metal band to our precious little festival.’ I don’t think it’s genuinely like that… but there obviously are people who 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 [think] that the people who listen to hard rock are less educated.”

Ulrich said that the growing controversy over the band’s booking was due to “a tradition with British music journalism, a need to categorise.” He continued: “We basically have played every country in the world’s version of Glastonbury… and nobody bats an eye. It’s sort of what we do. Though obviously, having played Reading and Leeds many times, I understand and appreciate that Glastonbury is a different British institution.”

Nonetheless, Ulrich is confident that the band will go down well at Worthy Farm. Comparing Metallica’s booking with Jay-Z’s 2008 headline slot, he quipped: “Not only did everybody survive when Jay-Z showed up a few years ago but they even enjoyed it. I see no reason why the same shouldn’t happen when Metallica takes the stage.”

Metallica will be joined at Glastonbury by fellow headline acts Arcade Fire and Kasabian. Other artists to pass comment on this year’s Saturday night headliners at the Worthy Farm Festival include Arctic Monkeys, Mick Jagger, Kasabian and Johnny Marr.