Thursday, December 10, 2015

Metallica's James Hetfield about Orion Music + More festival: "We lost millions of dollars both times"


Metallica's James Hetfield was recently interviewed by fan-club magazine So What!, Hetfield, you can read some excerpts below.


About Orion Music + More, Hetfield said: "I'm so glad we did Orion. Those two we did were fun. We got some bands out there in front of people, our fans mainly, and that was the whole idea. If it would have broken even, we'd still be doing it, but we lost millions both times. We can't do that. At some point, business comes into play. Why would you keep doing something that's damaging you and could prevent you moving forward?"

He added: "It was fun to do, we had a blast doing it, employed a lot of people and helped out both cities it was in. A lot of good came out of it, but we can't do it again."

About why he thought Orion didn't work, Hetfield said: "Maybe it was too adventurous, bill-wise. I think it was too wide. If it was more of a metal fest, or really hard, maybe? What we were going for was 'edge.' Every band that was there had some kind of edge. And it didn't matter what genre they were in. I won't say every band, but that's the vibe we were going for. Maybe it needed to be a little more secular. How do festivals get big? I don't know. If it's billed as the hippie festival, do all the hippies come? If it's billed as the death metal fest, do all the death metal people come?"

He continued: "And who knows? Maybe it was us attaching our name. It's, like, 'Ah, it's their festival. I don't want to go.' I have no idea! Are we putting too much importance on our name? If we opened up the Metallica hamburger stand over there, would more people come or fewer people come because they like us or don't like us? Are their opinions influenced by our moniker on there?"

About why Metallica fans were reluctant to spend their hard-earned money on a festival featuring a bunch of non-metal acts, he said: "Why, at the Metallica festival, are the Red Hot Chili Peppers playing? Or why did Eric Church play at a Metallica festival? That's just wrong. I'm not going.' And tribalism. I love tribal earth. I love 'belonging.' I love a sense of family. I love a sense of 'it's okay to be different when you're different together.' And everyone's different. Everyone knows they're connected at the end of the day, but maybe sometimes you just think, 'Why can't you just like what you like because you like it?' Do I have to sit through ten other bands that I don't like just to see the band I like? Maybe I don't want to do that.' It's as simple as that. Trying to please all, all the time, has never worked. Never."

He continued: "And instead of all the fans of those bands coming into one place to join together, which was kind of the 'new PC' way to be — 'it's one world, one family' — they actually canceled each other out instad. 'My God, I don't want to go hang out with a bunch of greasy metalheads, with lice, headbanging, and their bugs flying into my hair! I don't want to share a toilet with that guy!' Maybe it was that? I don't know."

Hetfield added: "Who knows why people are the way they are? We can't force people to think like us. And this is what happens when you're an artist. You can think the way you want, create what you want, put it out there, and you have no expectation. You've succeeded. Now, if you do a business venture with art involved in it, it's a different story, and it's hard to keep doing that and lose money. It just doesn't make any sense."