Metallica’s James Hetfield wants to take fight to ticket scalpers

Metallica performing at Toronto charity show (Image credit: Getty)

James Hetfield believes more can be done in the fight against ticket scalpers – and he says Metallica find the current situation frustrating.

He argues that technology should be used to a greater extent than it is, and includes the legal secondary ticketing market as part of the problem.

Metallica have just released 10th album Hardwired… To Self-Destruct and plan to spend the next two years touring the world.

Asked about secondary ticket sales for the band’s recent low-key show in Toronto, Canada, Hetfield tells CTV News: “That’s their karma. There’s always going to be someone who has an agenda. They’re going to scoop up as many as they can.

“Technology can help for sure. It’s hard to believe something more can’t be done.

“There’s legal scalping out there too, which is frustrating. ‘Hey, wow, we just sold 10,000 tickets – and where did they go? To one place? Interesting.’

“We’re aware of it and doing what we can. At the end of the day, the fans get screwed and we get screwed. It shouldn’t happen.”

He adds: “I would just say, ‘Fans, beware. Be smart about it.’”

While Hetfield is keen to see technology used in the ticket rip-off battle, he’d happily see a reduction of online trolling and complaining.

He says: “It’s this crazy fake world where people aren’t saying who they are, and they’d never say it to your face.

“I got sucked into social media – my kids are on Instagram so I wanted to look like a cool dad. But then that’s all I was thinking about. ‘Hey, I’m here, I can take a picture and try to get followers.’

“It was sucking my time and I started to neglect my real life.”

He’s learned to ignore those who criticise Metallica online. “That’s certainly a trap you can avoid,” he reports. “All you have to say is, ‘We’re artists. The end.’

“If you don’t like the songs, I get it. Don’t buy the record, don’t come see us.”

Meanwhile, the US State of New York has passed a law increasing the punishment for using ticket bot software. Legislation there and in other states prevents the operation of bots that purchase large numbers of tickets as soon as they go on sale. It was previously reported that just three bots bought 140,000 tickets between 2012 and 2014, which were then re-sold at inflated prices. As of February next year, bot use will be a Class A Misdemeanour in New York, allowing courts to send users to prison.

Sites under fire for selling secondary tickets with ID restrictions

Metallica tour dates 2016-17 so far

Dec 17: Oakland Fox Theater, CA
Jan 11: Seoul Gocheok Sky Dome, South Korea
Jan 18: Beijing Le Sports Centre, China
Jan 20: Hong Kong AsiaWorld-Expo, China
Jan 22: Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore
Feb 03: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Feb 05: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Feb 07: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Feb 09: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Mar 01: Mexico City Foro Sol, Mexico
Mar 03: Mexico City Foro Sol, Mexico
Mar 25: Sao Paulo Interlagos Racetrack, Brazil
Mar 31-Apr 01: Buenos Aires Hippodrome San Isidro, Argentina
Apr 01-02: Santiago Parque O’Higgins, Chile
May 19-21: Rock On The Range festival, OH

Watch every Metallica video from Hardwired… To Self-Destruct

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.