METALLICA Drummer Explains Decision To Play One 'Big Four' U.S. Show: 'Let's Take Baby Steps'

As first reported on Tuesday (January 25), METALLICA has announced the details of the U.S. leg of the "Big Four" tour, which unites Eighties thrash metal legends METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX on stage for the first time. Disappointingly, however, there will only be a single North American gig for now, on Saturday, April 23 at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, California — the same location where the Coachella festival takes place every year.

During an appearance on yesterday's edition of "The Kevin & Bean Show" on the Los Angeles radio station KROQ-FM (106.7), METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich explained the decision to play only one U.S. show, stating, "Let's take baby steps here. We did seven or eight ['Big Four' dates] last year, we're doing one show in England and one show in France [this year]."

He added, "Listen, we don't wanna cram this down people's throats. We don't wanna sort of overstay the welcome, and we don't know what kind of response there's gonna be to this in America, so we're starting, obviously, without being disrespectful to the rest of the wonderful country...

"We have a history in Southern California, SLAYER has a history in Southern California, [MEGADETH mainman and former METALLICA member Dave] Mustaine has a history in Southern California, so there's a lot of history in California. And we picked, obviously, the Coachella site where this is going down the week after the Coachella, [which] is probably — along with Bonnaroo — the favorite festival site to go to in North America.

"I went and saw RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE a couple of years ago out there at Coachella and just thought it was a brilliant, brilliant place, so when the Coachella organizers asked us if we would come and play there the week after and they would leave the scaffolding up and all that business, it just seemed like a great way to kick this off in North America.

"If there is enough demand for it, obviously there's a very strong possibility that there'll be more shows, but we don't wanna overextend the welcome and we also don't wanna turn it into something that becomes this whole nostalgia trip that's gonna sort of be, 'Okay, now it's just gonna be this for the next few years,' and 'Celebrate the past.' So it's a balancing act, you know."

Audio of Lars Ulrich's appearance on yesterday's edition of "The Kevin & Bean Show":

Tickets go on sale this Friday (January 28) at 10:00 a.m. PT. METALLICA fan club members are encouraged to check out MetClub.com for pre-sale and VIP package info.

The "Big Four" tour first played selected dates in Eastern Europe last summer to an fantastic response, which led to the scheduling of shows this year in the U.S. and the U.K. There's no word yet on whether more "Big Four" events are in the works.

For more information about the show, including ticket pricing and transportation information, check out TheBig4Festival.com.

The two-disc DVD release of "The Big Four: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria", containing footage of the June 22, 2010 Sonisphere cinecast from the Sofia, Bulgaria leg of the "Big Four" tour has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments in excess of 100,000 copies. (Note: Due to the fact that the set consists of two discs, it was eligible for platinum certification after shipping 50,000 copies; platinum certification for a single-disc release is 100,000 copies.)

"The Big Four: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard "Top Music Videos" sales chart in November with first-week sales of 22,000 copies. The set also debuted at No. 1 in Canada, the U.K. and Austria, while entering at No. 4 in Germany.

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