Metallica Receives Polar Music Prize
Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo were on hand at the Konserthuset in Stockholm earlier this evening (June 14) as Metallica were awarded the Polar Music Prize, Sweden's highest honor for musicians. During the ceremony, several Swedish musicians, including Ghost, covered their songs.
They were introduced by Roger Glover and Ian Paice of Deep Purple. In his speech, Glover recalled the first time he heard the band.
"In the early '80s, we were kind of riding high, doing a big festival in England," he said. "I heard this band backstage — well, they were on stage; I was backstage — and I thought, 'Umm, who's this?' Metallica. I'd heard the name, didn't know anything about them. I went on the side of the stage to have a look and I thought, 'Yeah, there's something happening here.' I'll tell you why: because the audience were singing every word they sang. And that's what impressed me. When you touch that many people with your music, there's something special going on."
Then Paice read the official citation, which equated the band with a pair of classical composers. "Not since Wagner's emotional turmoil and Tchaikovsky's cannons -- which I loved -- has anyone created music that was so physical and furious, and yet so accessible. Through virtuoso ensemble playing and its use of extremely accelerated tempos, Metallica has taken rock music to places it had never been before. In Metallica's world, both a teenage bedroom and a concert hall can be transformed into a veritable Valhalla. The strength of the band's uncompromising albums has helped millions of listeners to transform their sense of alienation into a superpower. Good on ya'."
With that introduction, Ulrich and Trujillo walked onstage and were given the award by King Carl XVI Gustaf. After stating that it was an honor to share the award with Dr. Ahmad Sarmast, the founder of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, Ulrich added, "Who would have thought, when Metallica started this musical journey 37 years ago, that one day we would be standing in front of both musical royalty and actual royalty, accepting one of the most prestigious prizes that can be bestowed upon musicians."
From there, the audience, and those watching on television, were treated to interpretations of Metallica's songs, with performances by Ghost, Candlemass and Vargas & Lagola ("Enter Sandman"); Dennis Lyxzen and Mikkey Dee ("Whiplash"); Moneybrother and Seek & Destroy ("Master of Puppets"); and Tuva Syvertsen, who radical reimagined "One" with strings and a beat-boxed bass.
Metallica will donate the prize money, approximately $125,000, to their All Within My Hands Foundation.
Ghost, Candlemass and Vargas & Lagola Perform "Enter Sandman"
Loreen Performs "Nothing Else Matters"
Tuva Syvertsen Performs "One"