ABC/Randy HolmesDuring a Metallica show in Zurich, Switzerland earlier this year, guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo paid tribute to hometown heroes Celtic Frost with a cover of the Swiss metal band’s song “The Usurper.” But that’s not how Celtic Frost frontman Thomas Gabriel Fischer sees it.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Fischer says that Hammett and Trujillo “butchered” the song, and that the performance was “humiliating.”
“They’ve long lost the ability to play true metal, in my opinion,” Fischer adds of Metallica. “Maybe I should go onstage and do a really miserable version of [Metallica’s] ‘Hit the Lights’ with, like, 200 mistakes to set the balance.”
In fairness to Hammett and Trujillo, the cover was performed as part of the duo’s regular “doodle” segment of Metallica’s show, during which they often play rough, just-for-fun versions of songs originally by artists local to whatever city they’re playing.
Fischer does admit that his criticism of Metallica is “completely personal,” and that he’s particularly offended by frontman James Hetfield, due to his enthusiasm for hunting.
“I know probably the majority of your readers will not share this feeling, but even if they had done a fantastic job [with the cover], I could puke all over it because I don’t support people who go hunting bears for a hobby,” he says. “I cannot respect a person like that, even if it’s a genius musician.”
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