simmering resentment and constant sniping any more. He quit the band ‘amicably‘ in 2001 and has since been replaced by Ozzy Osbourne‘s former bassist, the Hulk-like Robert Trujillo.
However. back in 199] they did what many thought they'd never do. They went . . . whisper it . . . mainstream. They were huge before. but nothing matched the success of their eponymous Meta/lieu aka The Black Album. ‘Nothing Else Matters‘ and ‘Enter the Sandman‘ ate up the charts and MTV screen time. They were a bona fide hate-fuelled- stadium-filling monster. They flirted with symphony orchestras. cut their hair and fought with Napster. Addiction took its toll with Hetlield entering rehab in 200]. He‘s now completely clean: there is no booze backstage at Metallica gigs these days. a far cry from their vodka-sponsored tours of yore.
They were still a big draw but people were starting to admit that on record they were losing their grip. Then came along Sr Anger (2003). equally loved and loathed by the fans. Many couldn‘t take the stripped punk fury. ‘St Anger’ and ‘Frantic' saw them at their seething best. raw aggression writ large.
Anyone lucky enough to catch their Christmas gigs in London in 2003 will tell you how breathtaking the Metallica experience still is. Tight as all hell. raw as fuck with pure enthusiasm spilling off stage into the mosh pit. Metallica are the ultimate metal experience.
There are few bands that could stand up to supporting Metallica. but Download has a few aces up its sleeve. Korn. headed by ex-mortician Jonathan Davies. stand accused of inventing nu metal but are far darker than any of their illegitimate offspring. Then. of course. there is the nuclear strength assault of Slipknot. the distillation of hate and the concept of KISS taken to its illogical conclusion. Nine masked members in horrifying fright masks: two guitars. bass. vocals. samples. decks and three. yes three. drummers. Imagine the gates of hell opening and you‘re part way to the Slipknot live experience. A collision of blood. guts and bodies. With new album Vol 3: The Subliminal Verses spreading the sickness. this is pure hatred and alienation committed to vinyl.
Opening up the day though. there‘s something for the ladies in the form of Finnish love metallers HIM. They‘re fronted by the gaunt Ville Hermani Vallo — all cheekbones and taut. paper-white skin. singing his way through tracks of gothic heartbreak along the lines of Buried Alive by Love‘ and ‘Funeral of Hearts‘.
Day two is more nu school with one of the old guard bolstering the night. Headlining are Linkin Park. the undisputed kings of nu metal. multi-million unit shifters welding tight metal guitar to hip hop beat structures and heavy pop hooks. Many true metal fans refuse to accept them into the fold. but you can‘t deny their catchy crunching anthems. And album sales of debut Hybrid Theory backed this up. with tracks like ‘Crawling‘ and ‘One Step Closer‘ becoming genuine top ten hits. They‘re a marketing man‘s dream: young and hungry for chart domination. Chester Bennington. a poster boy for a generation. adds the screaming and required angst while Mike Shinoda weighs in with MC skills. DJ Joseph Hahn. meanwhile. has become a demi-god among the baggy tousered masses. They're America‘s newest rock stadium fillers.
Just before them we get what many have dubbed the ‘Welsh Linkin Park'. Lost Prophets. This is a true exclusive for Download Scotland (the band aren't appearing at the Donnington event). If you’re after another good looking bunch of lads with pop savvy and killer guitar hooks. just check the intro to ‘Shinobi v Dragon Ninja‘. They‘re currently the biggest UK act in the US since Coldplay. scoring higher chart positions than the much heralded Darkness. These guys are MTV-friendly. slick. crisp straight-edgers
with a canny understanding of addictive guitars and pounding basslines.
For many. though. the day‘s real must see is Iggy Pop with the reformed Stooges. Iggy is one of punk‘s true elder statesmen and the band are as rabid live now as they were in 1969 when they released their debut. titled simply [969. with its classics ‘I Wanna be Your Dog’ and ‘.\'o litin‘. They had strong connections with the New York art scene — in particular the Velvet Underground — and John Cale went on to produce for them. Iggy also formed a strong friendship with David Bowie. They were punk but with a true intelligence. burning otit with the riotous Raw Power (1973) that featured the sublime ‘Search and I)estroy'. Iggy went on to a successful solo career and during the 80s he was as famous for his drink and drug consumption as
his music. But he‘s been gigging continuously. inciting stage invasions both at T in the Park and (iig on the Green during his rendition of ‘The Passenger“. Reformed in 2003 for California‘s (‘oachella festival. the Stooges are back with Ron (guitar) and Scott Asheton (drums) appearing on lggy"s Skull Ring and tearing down walls wherever they play.
Rounding out the bill we have a double bill of truly immense live performers. There‘s the Distillers. fronted by the untouchable rock chick Brody Dalle. current squeeze of Josh Ilomme (Queens of the Stone Age) and their ragged. impassioned punk rage. And
Rob Flynn‘s Machine llead weigh in with their
heavier than thou metal onslaught.
Hard. fast and heavy: just the way we like it. Here‘s hoping Download becomes a regular on the Scottish festival calendar
I Download is at Glasgow Green. 2—3 Jun. See panel trig/it) for details.
I Perth Festival of the Arts (until 30 May) Perth‘s 33rd arts festival presents a full programme of music, opera. comedy and drama. Various venues, Perth,
07 738 475295. £8—E26.
I Le Weekend (27-30 May) Stirling's festival for inventive new music and sound kicks off in this popular new(ish) venue. The impressive line-up includes the Japanese underground, folk, rock. jazz. See feature page 22. Tolbooth, Stirling, 07786 274000. 88—2 72; festival pass 822—240 (EM-£20).
I McEwans Sessions (27 May—Sep) New traditional music initiative runs in pubs. clubs and festivals all over Scotland through the year. See wwwvisitscotland. com/mcewanssessions for full details. Various venues, Scotland, 0845 225 5727, prices vary.
I Pot Fest (28-30 May) Over 100 potters sell their work at this annual pottery gathering. AgriCu/tura/ Centre, Perth, 07 738 626 7 83, prices vary.
I Loch Fyne Food Festival (29-30 May) This farmers' market with a difference specialises not only in a special array oi wines and beers but also offers a varied selection of food and entertainment. Loch Fyne Oyster Bar and Seafood Restaurant. 07499 600264
I Islay Festival of Malt and Music (29 May-6 Jun) Founded by the people of Islay in 1986. this traditional festival brings together concerts. ceilidhs. children's shows, distillery open days. guided walks and sponing events.
I Burns an’ a’ That (29 May-6 Jun) This impressive multi- disciplinary arts fest has gone from strength to strength with its diverse mix of street theatre. drama. poetry and music across the Bard’s native Ayrshire. Various venues, Ayrshire, 07292 678700, prices vary.
2f May ‘0 June 700-1 THE LIST 19