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China: U.S. rock band forced to cut songs from setlists

24 February 2017
Heavy metal band Metallica’s concerts in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai had certain songs removed from their setlists due to China’s censorship policies.
Photo: Metallica performing in China/Facebook

 

Heavy metal band Metallica’s concerts in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai had certain songs removed from their setlists due to China’s censorship policies, reported South China Morning Post on 23 January 2017.

Metallica frontman James Hetfield told the newspaper:

Why shouldn’t you respect their culture when you’re there as a guest and you’ve been invited to play? We want to be respectful, and just because we do things differently, it doesn’t mean it should be forced upon [others]. But hopefully we’ll keep coming back and they’ll realise we’re not a threat politically and we have no agenda except to cross boundaries with music and let people enjoy the songs. We’re not trying to bring a secret message to anybody.

The band had also been censored in China in 2013 when they played in the country for the first time. At that time, band members revealed they had to send the lyrics for their entire song catalogue to Chinese authorities for review before being granted permission to play in the country, reported music website Blabbermouth.net in 2013. As a result, the band was not allowed to play certain songs.

In 2016, British heavy metal band Iron Maiden were forced to alter lyrics, special effects and stage props to satisfy Chinese authorities.

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