Published Jan 14, 2016A cease and desist letter sent to Canadian Metallica tribute act Sandman last week has become "The Thing That Should Not Be," as Metallica have come out in support of the cover band and claim an "overzealous" lawyer is to blame for the snafu.
It had been announced by Sandman, a Toronto-area outfit who have been around since 1994, that they were served papers last weekend. The 41-page cease and desist letter claimed the act were infringing on Metallica's copyrights, including how Sandman's logo was modelled after that of Metallica. The band name itself is a reference to Metallica's massive hit, "Enter Sandman."
While the story gained traction in the press, Metallica stepped in this week to say that they hadn't personally singled out Sandman in the matter. Speaking with Rolling Stone, the band apologized for the unsolicited actions of an "overzealous lawyer."
"We hear that a Canadian Metallica tribute band is a little upset with us and with a little digging, figured out why," the band said in a statement. "It turns out that a certain letter was delivered to the band Sandman that neither we nor our management were aware of until it surfaced online. Lucky for us, the band was kind enough to post it for us to see, and it turns out that we have a very overzealous attorney who sent this letter without our knowledge."
Metallica have now officially given Sandman their blessing, with drummer Lars Ulrich having called the cover band to give them the thumbs-up. Part of the reason why they're supporting Sandman is that they, too, had once been a covers act.
"We have a long history of not only enjoying tribute bands, but we started as one," Metallica said. "Heck, we even recorded a two-disc album of covers [1998's Garage Inc.]! We will always remember those days and continue to enjoy tribute bands, even inviting them to support us on various tours over the years."
Sandman guitarist Joe Di Taranto noted of the experience: "They want us to continue paying tribute to Metallica with their full blessing and approval. We will continue to fly the Metallica flag, loud and proud!!"