According to the anonymous Navy SEAL who claims to have killed Osama bin Laden, Metallica asked that their music not be used for torture after the band discovered that’s exactly what was happening.
“When we first started the war in Iraq, we were using Metallica music to soften people up before we interrogated them,” said the Navy SEAL referred to as “the Shooter” to Esquire magazine. “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.
“But 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,’” continued the Navy SEAL regarding the Christian rock act from Seattle, Washington. “They sent us CDs and patches. I wore my Demon Hunter patch on every mission. I wore it when I blasted bin Laden.”
“Part of me is proud because they chose Metallica. It’s strong, it’s music that’s powerful. It represents something maybe they don’t like, freedom, aggression, I don’t know. Freedom of speech,” Hetfield said at the time. “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. We’ve got nothing to do with this and we’re trying to be as apolitical as possible, ’cause I think politics and music, at least for us, don’t mix.”
With the widely circulated article putting a spotlight on the aforementioned Demon Hunter (specifically in regards to supporting torture), the band has issued a lengthy statement regarding the situation on their official website.
“As for the talk about enhanced interrogation techniques that has sprung up in the media in the last 24 hours surrounding this story, we feel that it is an unnecessary distraction,” the band said in the response. “It’s been widely reported for years that heavy metal music has sometimes been used in these situations. We have no specific knowledge of our music being used for this, nor have we ever volunteered it to be used as such, nor are we commenting on it beyond that. The debate about enhanced interrogation techniques is for politicians, military intelligence, pundits and others of the like to have.
“The members of Seal Team 6 and The Shooter are American heroes who deserve our support,” the band stressed in the statement’s conclusion. “We are honored, humbled and blessed that Demon Hunter was of any support or comfort to Seal Team 6 or anyone in the US military at any time.”
Demon Hunter is currently touring the U.S. and Canada with In Flames, All Shall Perish and Battlecross, before the band heads to Australia for a string of shows starting at the end of March.
-Scott T. Sterling, CBS Local