Metal legends Metallica recently announced the two-day Orion Music and More Festival, where the band will headline each night by playing a different classic album, Ride the Lightning and The Black Album, in their entirety. There's a super-long video on the festival site featuring an interview with the band, conducted by a dandy British man, who totally refers to the members as "chaps." In it, the band say they hand-picked the festival's 22 confirmed acts, with more to come, and that some cool non-music offerings like film screenings and surfing activities will soon be announced.
Yet the festival, running from June 23 and 24 at Bader Field in Atlantic City, features some exceptionally un-metal acts like UK pop-punks Arctic Monkeys and Cali dreamboats Best Coast. In the promo video, Metallica drummer and expert pontificator Lars Ulrich said the band aimed to provide the wide diversity of acts seen at most major festivals. "There's only two kinds of music: Great music and less-great music," he breathlessly opined. But which one of these metal legends is secretly jamming Titus Andronicus? Through painstaking research and elaborate data-mining techniques, I have come to some conclusions.
James Hetfield: Hot Snakes, Avenged Sevenfold, Roky Erickson
This is an easy one. After penning such introspective lines as "My lifestyle/Determines my death-style," Hetfield can surely appreciate the vocal intensity of hardcore garage rock band Hot Snakes (who are coming to the Crescent Ballroom on March 28 -- so no need to fly to Jersey). Avenged Sevenfold, while arguably not as influenced by Metallica's style as other popular acts, could still be considered metal contemporaries. I also think Hetfield would have a morbid fascination with the plight of Roky Erickson, the psychedelic rock songwriter who was arrested in 1969 for possession of a single joint and ended up receiving experimental, permanently altering electroshock treatment in a Texas mental asylum. Harsh toke.
Kirk Hammett: A Place to Bury Strangers, Black Angels
I imagine Kirk Hammett would have an immediate appreciation for A Place to Bury Strangers; the band uses hand-built guitar pedals to create their impenetrable, shoegazey whorl. The festival roster lists Black Angels as a confirmed act, but I'm not sure if it's referring to the Austin psych-rock quartet or one of 6,000 metal bands with that moniker. Either way, Hammett picked them because Black Angels is a fucking heavy-ass name.
Rob Trujillo: Liturgy, Fucked Up, Best Coast
Trujillo, formerly of Suicidal Tendencies and Black Label Society, is a career shredder. I'd like to think he'd be down with Liturgy's geometric black metal compositions as well as Fucked Up's anthemic take on classic hardcore. I'm also betting that Trujillo made the biggest what-the-what? pick of the lot, Best Coast, simply because he has same headbang-perfect length of jet black hair as BC guitarist/professed metalhead Bobb Bruno. Again, this is all very scientific.
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Lars Ulrich: Arctic Monkeys
I'm going to take a cheap shot. My already low opinion of Lars Ulrich, the king of bonehead slog-metal beats, became totally unsalvageable after that scene in the Metallica documentary Some Kind of Monster where Ulrich auctions off his art collection at Sotheby's for millions of dollars. Ulrich laments the hiatus the band was undergoing due to Hetfield's stint in rehab, all while sipping champagne. I could see Lars traversing the European countryside with a foxy Swedish weathergirl, popping an Arctic Monkeys CD into the 5.1 stereo system of his prototype Lexus coupe, pounding on the steering wheel and saying inane shit like, "It's so great hearing young musicians have this much fun, you know? The biz can really start to sour if you let noxious fame trappings distract from your collective aesthetic vision. I mean, this song is about a girl who looks good on the dance floor, but it's just so visceral."