Apparently Ted Nugent isn't the only gun-loving hard-rocker down with hunting. Metallica frontman James Hetfield is also a gun and hunting enthusiast, so much so, he recently landed a gig narrating the History Channel's The Hunt. The eight-part series, which documents an excursion to Kodiak, Alaska in search of brown bears, debuts on June 8.
While that news is probably pleasing as punch to hard-rocking gun nuts, some peace-loving fans of England's Glastonbury Festival are not amused. One launched page titled "Remove Metallica from Glastonbury Festival for their support of Bear Hunting" on Facebook. As of early this morning, it had more than 12,000 likes. Launched on May 25, the page's description notes, "Metallica's lead singer James Hetfield is a big game hunter and promoter. This is incompatible with Glastonbury Festivals ideals."
We reached out to Metallica's reps for a response to the controversy. They replied that the band is not doing press.
In a 2009 interview with Guitar World, Hetfield said that he took up hunting to prove "my manhood to myself." Later in the same interview, when asked if he still hunts, he said, "Nowadays it doesn't feel necessary, killing things just to kill them. I'm not against hunting, but it doesn't seem as necessary as going 150 miles an hour in my car now."
He added he lost his taste for hunting during a trip to Siberia. "I saw a bear print and it looked pretty human [to me]. I saw something in that that didn’t make much sense to me," he explained. "We were in this four-foot high chicken shack in the middle of nowhere, four-hour helicopter ride out of this sh**ty little town, drinking vodka. There was nothing else to drink. That was the end for me."
There's no word if Hetfield has changed his mind about hunting and if his role in the History Channel series extends beyond merely serving as the narrator.
While it's unclear if Hetfield still partakes in hunting, his love of guns apparently continues. In a 2013 interview with a magazine published in conjunction with the band's Orion Festival, he was asked about the gun control debate. "I love my guns. I love that my dad handed them down to me, and I'm taking care of them," he said. "To me, though, some of the gun laws definitely don’t make any sense, but also the Second Amendment is very important to me. Somewhere in the middle lies the truth. Both sides are operating on a fear base. As an NRA member, I don't think we need to be afraid that if we compromise on some things, [they] are going to change so much. I don’t want to make it easier for someone to have an assault weapon, but I also want to be able to protect my family."
As for landing the Glastonbury gig, a note of the band's website says, "Glastonbury is the largest green field festival in the world and over the forty plus years of its existence, a widely diverse group of artists have graced the stage including Paul McCartney, Oasis, David Bowie, U2, Muse, Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, Neil Young, Jay-Z and so many more. We're psyched and honored to be among the first hard rock bands to hit the Pyramid Stage and join this prestigious group."
While others are not, at least for now, Metallica is still scheduled to play the festival, which runs from June 25-29.