Sunday, September 07, 2008

James Hetfield gets overexcited, confused at being the voice of torture

Ten years ago, if someone told James Hetfield that Metallica songs were being played at loud volume as part of a process of torture, he'd have been instructing lawyers to ensure that he was getting his sixteen cents per play.

Today, though, Hetfield is "proud" that Metallica was the Gunatanamo torturer's tune of choice:

"Part of me is proud is because they chose METALLICA," Hetfield said about the reports that the band's song "Enter Sandman" was used during the interrogation of Mohammed al-Qahtani — known as the 20th hijacker on Sept. 11 — and that listening to the track brought al-Qahtani to tears "because he thought he was hearing the sound of Satan." James added, "It's strong; it's music that's powerful. It represents something that they don't like — maybe freedom, aggression… I don't know… freedom of speech. And then part of me is kind of bummed about it that people worry about us being attached to some political statement because of that. We've got nothing to do with this and we're trying to be as apolitical as possible, 'cause I think politics and music, at least for us, don't mix. It separates people, [and] we wanna bring people together. So, so be it. I can't say 'Stop.' I can't say 'Do it.' It is just a thing — it's not good or bad."

Isn't possible that Al-Qahtani was sobbing not because he thought he was hearing the sound of Satan, but because he knew he was hearing a bloody Metallica track on an endless loop?

And how can Hetfield simper that he can't either condemn or condone the torture of people using his music as a tool? If the Wilson sisters from Heart have the guts to stand up and express a clear opinion about the use of their music, why can't Hetfield? And given that the first half of his quote you can almost hear the blood flowing southwards with macho delight, doesn't that make his pathetic refusal to take a stance even more embarrassing? Hetfield loves freedom of speech; it's just he's too afraid to actually use it.


Olive said...

Until I read that quote from Hetfield, I'd always assumed that "Don't Tread On Me" (from the same album as "Enter Sandman") was ironic. I'm not so sure now...

robin carmody said...

Well, I think Metallica always used to be regarded as less numbskull / quasi-right-wing than other metal bands, hence why they were taken relatively seriously in fields of the music press which were mostly anti-metal. I think we can pretty well drop those assumptions now.

Syd said...

Hetfield said in interviews for The Black Album that "Don't Tread On Me" was a statement about America and how she was peaceful, but would react if provoked, so there was never any pretense that it was ironic.

In fairness to James though, it would have been Lars asking for the 16 cents!

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