METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich has commented on the band's headlining appearance at this year's Reading and Leeds Festivals, which will happen, as usual, in England over the August Bank holiday weekend from Friday, August 22 to Sunday, August 24."Alongside the hallowed turf of Castle Donington there is no place in the UK that is more historic or more of an honor for METALLICA to play than at Reading," Ulrich told Kerrang! magazine. "Back in the day when I was first tripping on music, I'd look at the line-up and see bands like IRON MAIDEN, UFO and WHITESNAKE headlining, so for us to be asked to come back yet again and stand at the top of the pile so to speak is an absolutely tremendous gift from the organisers. It's just such an absolutely incredible thing to be a part of. "I remember playing the festival back in '03 and getting the chance to close down Reading, and that was such a massive feeling to carry around," he added. "The fact that they've asked us to come back and do the same thing again is absolutely huge in my eyes. We headlined Wembley last year, did Download the year before, and so playing Reading and Leeds just seemed like the obvious thing to do. In my eyes it's still one of the biggest and most monumental music festivals in the world, and with bands like SLIPKNOT and RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE playing I'm sure it's going to be one of the best line-ups that people have seen in quite a while." Ulrich said fans can expect to hear some new material from their forthcoming ninth studio album. "We're psyched to play some new songs," he laughed. "In fact, if we don't, then I give people permission to come and find me and slap me across the face! We're certainly planning on rolling out some of the new songs for the first time, but right now our focus is on finishing the record. As soon as that's out of the way, we'll be hitting the rehearsal room and getting to grips with playing these bastards live!"