Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis has said that no band has been as keen to play the festival as Metallica.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live Eavis said: “”There’s no other band in the whole history of the festival that has been so keen to play, they will do the best set of their lives here.”
Earlier this year Metallica were announced as the headline act for the Saturday night of the festival, sparking immediate controversy at the choice of a heavy metal band.
“We have been going for so long that people don’t expect us to put on a heavy metal band,” Eavis continued. “We had Rage Against The Machine and we have had lots of fairly heavy metal bands in the past, but this is not a typical headline.”
Further controversy sprung up around Metallica’s set when frontman James Hetfield revealed that he would be narrating a documentary series about bear hunting, indicating that he was a keen hunter himself. A petition was started to try and have the band removed from the festival bill, stating that hunting was not in the spirit of the Glastonbury ethos.
Speaking to NME, festival organiser Emily Eavis said: “”They [Metallica] are an incredible live force. It’ll be an incredible show here and we’re totally up for it.” She also spoke about the debate concerning their set, saying: “The more opinion the better, in a way. It’s great people are talking about it, it’s going to make for something really interesting. And that’s what people should be doing, talking about it.”
Meanwhile, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has been defending their appearance. “Glastonbury is like the Holy Grail in England and we’re respectful to that,” Ulrich told Metal Hammer, “but when 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 and turn a blind eye to it or whatever, but if Mick Jagger, or Alex Turner, or the very nice guys in Kasabian who I love, it’s cool. But at some point, when there’s some guy in some other band… it’s like ‘Huh? What? Who are you?'”
“We’re definitely on a roll. We’re warmed up, loosened up and fit for a fight. We’re ready to go!” he concluded.
Glastonbury festival takes place between the 25th and 29th of June, with Metallica headlining the Saturday night. Their fellow headliners are Arcade Fire and Kasabian.