Metallica's foremost concern is for the fans

By Hindustan Times

Mumbai, Oct. 30 -- A day after heavy metal giants Metallica's debut gig in the Capital called off, apparently due to safety concerns, the organisers are hopeful for a good start at Bangalore. "The gig in Bangalore is as per schedule," confirms Karuna Prithvi of DNA networks.

Leaving almost 20,000 angry fans to raise hell, the band posted on their website that they were "deeply disappointed" with the situation: "We arrived in Delhi on Friday excited and ready to play our first show ever in India at the F1 Rocks concert. However, at the end of our afternoon press conference, we were notified that there was a serious question as to whether the show could proceed with regards to the safety of the audience. Our foremost concern is for the fans." Minutes before the cancellation, the metal outfit was at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Gurgaon expressing excitement to perform.

"We will bring energy and madness here and hope to receive the same," said James Hetfield, the band's frontman. Do The Big Four (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax) plan to perform in the country? Guitarist Kirk Hammett chips in, "Unlikely. But we're here today, so you never know."

Metallica, who recently collaborated with singer-songwriter Lou Reed, is unaffected by the love-hate response to their latest album, Lulu. "Like my fans, I love to hate it too. But the album's special for us, it opened many doors. And it's not meant for everybody to like," says Hetfield. Ask him what he thinks of rock outfits pairing with hip-hop and rap artistes like Pitbull and Snoop Dog, and Hetfield comes forth in his characteristic style, stating, "I already have a dog..." The band admits they're still working on their next release.

"Our work is influenced by our experiences. India is definitely part of that this time. Our music is the music of Kali," says Hetfield. And though Metallica confesses they haven't heard much of the Indian metal scene, Hetfield adds, "I've seen Zakir Hussain perform. And watching him play is to see Slayer on steroids." Though the band's debut may not have been perfect, they are optimistic about Bangalore. "For all our fans who have played covers of Metallica, I would like to say 'Thank you for playing our music here, since we didn't get to'," adds Hetfield.

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