Metallica’s big inspirations at Sonisphere 2011 festival at Knebworth

PUBLISHED: 13:28 05 February 2011 | UPDATED: 20:22 11 March 2011

Metallica on stage at Knebworth during their 2009 headline Sonisphere Sunday night set

Metallica on stage at Knebworth during their 2009 headline Sonisphere Sunday night set


A METAL band who inspired Sonisphere 2011 Festival headliners Metallica will support the thrash heavyweights at Knebworth House this summer.

Sonisphere Festival 2011

British heavy metal veterans Diamond Head – acknowledged as a major influence by Metallica drummer and founder member Lars Ulrich – were added to the three-day festival’s line-up this week for the biggest show of their 35-year career.

They will play Knebworth Park on Friday, July 8 alongside thrash metal’s Big 4 of Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax.

Highly influential, Diamond Head took a young Lars Ulrich on tour with them in the early 80s, where the Danish drummer realised being a rock star might be more fun than a tennis pro.

And when the Big 4 made metal history at Sonisphere Bulgaria in Sofia last year, they chose the Midlands band’s track Am I Evil to jam together on stage.


Very much at the forefront of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement in late 70s, Diamond Head tracks have been covered by Metallica, most notably on album Garage Inc., and they have supported the likes of Megadeth on tour.

Of their summer Sonisphere appearance, founding member and lead guitarist Brian Tatler said: “Diamond Head have been given the fantastic opportunity of opening for the Big 4 at this year’s Sonisphere Festival.

“This will be Diamond Head’s biggest ever show and myself and the other band members are very excited and looking forward to what will be an historic event.”

The travelling Sonisphere Festival arrives at Knebworth Park for the UK leg from Friday, July 8 to Sunday, July 10 and the 2011 line-up also includes Biffy Clyro, Weezer, Motörhead and Slipknot.

Metallica's James Hetfield on stage at Sonisphere

And Tatler is honoured to be playing Hertfordshire’s legendary home of rock music – a venue where he watched Led Zeppelin’s seminal 1979 concert.

He said: “Knebworth is one of those venues you only dream of playing.

“I saw Led Zeppelin there in 1979 and never imagined that one day I would be on that stage, it proves the saying ‘anything is possible’.

“It also means I get to see my friends in Metallica and Megadeth once again, which is always fun; I owe both Lars Ulrich and Dave Mustaine a beer.”

Metallica – James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo – are due to enter the recording studio in the coming months to start work on the follow-up to the Grammy-winning Death Magnetic and metalheads at Knebworth can expect to hear some new material.

The band will also play the new Sonisphere France the day after appearing at Knebworth. Slipknot will headline the Friday night in Amneville.

With the French festival taking place over the same weekend as Knebworth, a number of bands will play both venues, with Aussie rockers Airbourne and prog-metallers Mastodon already on both posters.

French metal group Gojira have also been confirmed for France, raising the prospects of them turning up at Knebworth.

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