METALLICA has denied asking the U.S. military to stop using its music to psychologically torture prisoners of war.
The Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden recently opened up to Esquire magazine about the raid on the Al Qaeda leader's compound and the shots that took his life, as well as the personal aftermath for the SEAL and his family. The SEAL, who is only referred to as "The Shooter" in the article, also mentions that he used the music of METALLICA on prisoners before interrogations — until the band asked them to stop.
The Shooter explained, "When we first started the war in Iraq, we were using METALLICA music to soften people up before we interrogated them. METALLICA got wind of this and they said, 'Hey, please don't use our music because we don't want to promote violence.' I thought, 'Dude, you have an album called 'Kill 'Em All'."
He added, "We stopped using their music, and then a band called DEMON HUNTER got in touch and said, 'We're all about promoting what you do.' They sent us CDs and patches. I wore my DEMON HUNTER patch on every mission. I wore it when I blasted Bin Laden."
"The Shooter" insisted that he did not torture prisoners, but that "repetitive questioning and leveraging fear was as aggressive as he'd go."
In a brand new statement posted on METALLICA's official web site, the band responded to The Shooter's comments in the Esquire article, saying: "There has been a lot of talk recently about us asking the military not to use our music to 'soften people up before interrogation.' We NEVER commented to the military either way on this matter. Any statements that have been made otherwise are not correct."
In a 2009 appearance on MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show", METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich said that the band did not "advocate or condone" the use of the band's music for torture, adding that if someone really wanted to use music to torture others, there were groups that were far more extreme:"If there are people that are dumb enough to use METALLICA to interrogate prisoners, you're forgetting about all the music that's to the left of us. I can name, you know, 30 Norwegian death metal bands that would make METALLICA sound like SIMON AND GARFUNKEL."
METALLICA frontman James Hetfield was asked by a German TV network in 2008 how he felt about the band's music being used to torture prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He replied, "Part of me is proud is because they chose METALLICA . . . And then part of me is kind of bummed about it that people worry about us being attached to some political statement because of that."
Hetfield talking to 3SAT about use of METALLICA's music to torture Guantanamo Bay, Cuba prisoners (go to four-minute, 45-second mark):