In a new interview with So What!, which is a fan-club magazine of Metallica, the Danish drummer Lars Ulrich, known for his works with his band Metallica, took fans back to his bandmate James Hetfield’s returning to rehab.
As some of you might remember, Metallica has announced unexpectedly that they are forced to postpone its Australia and New Zealand shows due to James Hetfield’s returning to rehab.
Recently, the successful drummer appeared to mention the band’s rehab-era and post-rehab moments and made powerful comments.
First, Lars Ulrich started his words by saying that he feels different after all those happened. He also remembered the words that told him about James Hetfield’s rehab situation.
“Well, with any of these things, whether it’s James’ situation or COVID-19, it’s hard to not have [a shock regarding] the way it has played out be part of an answer. I feel different about COVID-19 on October 16th than I did on March 1st, and I have a different set of realities, a different clarity, a different understanding, and a different relationship with it.
“The same goes for James’ issues and his need to embrace recovery again last year. So what were we [back in September 2019], two-three days out from [having done] S&M2? And I was told that James had some issues, and that he had to go and deal with that, and nobody at that time really knows what that means. You know, what does it mean for him, what does it mean for us, what does it mean for scheduling, all that shit. You just kind of sit there, and obviously your first thoughts are is he okay? What’s going on? Then the Australian dates got moved. Then there was the Helping Hands concert that got moved, so on and so forth. And you start understanding more.”
Lars Ulrich continued and said they were texting at the time when James Hetfield was in rehab. He also touched on band members’ relationships with each other and made touching comments.
“We spoke a couple times. We were texting. Started getting some more clarity, I mean, we’re coming up on 40 years here. You surrender to the elements. It’s part of the ride and obviously none of us are officially married to each other, but you know, in marriage vows you say ‘in the good times and the bad times, in health and in sickness, in ups and then downs,’ and if there’s anything that’s clear almost 40 years later, it is that we’re in this for the long haul. We love each other, we believe in each other. We have each other’s backs. We will fight for each other. And we sort of roll with it.
“I’m not gonna bullshit you. If I look back to a year ago, there were days where I was more positive, there were days where I was less positive, and there were days where you sit and wonder, ‘How is this going to play out?’ And Kirk, Rob, and I were probably talking and communicating closer and more intimately than ever before. This shit is never easy, but it’s also part of the ride, and so you just learn.”
Metallica drummer admitted that Metallica is the thing that connects them to each other.
“We’re different people from each other. We’re independent people from each other. We live our own lives, and Metallica’s the thing that connects us. And so like in any next level, strong, binding relationship, there are parallel paths, which are the state of the collective – the group – and the state of the individuals.
“So it’s like, ‘How is James, how is Lars, how is Kirk, how is Rob?’ That’s one conversation. And then, ‘How is Metallica?’ which is a different conversation, and what gets tricky is that both of those conversations exist on parallel trajectories, but also overlap more often than not. When you were 19 years old, maybe there was a greater emphasis on the collective or on the gang mentality, and when you’re 156 years old like I am now, maybe the percentages shift. There’s a significant emphasis on your family, yourself, and the trajectory you’ve created for yourself outside of Metallica, so it’s an interesting place where all that kind of comes to a head and you have to prepare yourself for the ups and downs.”
Lars Ulrich concluded by touching the current condition of the band and said that all is well.
“I don’t know what Kirk told you, I don’t know what Rob told you, I didn’t read James’ interview. It’s hard for me to imagine that everybody was not feeling sort of the same thing, which was first and foremost, ‘How is James? Is he okay? Will he be okay? Will he find the tools, and will he find what he needs on the path of his recovery?’ And then at the same time, ‘How am I feeling about this? How is the band feeling about this?’ and all that kind of stuff.
“But a year later, here we are, all engaged. James is in a very healthy place, the band is in a very healthy place, and obviously COVID has played a major role in all of it. It’s been a mind fuck of a year; I’m sitting here on October 16th, I feel confident and excited about the state of the Metallica-nation, and I feel very optimistic about what’s ahead.”
Metallica is currently preparing to perform an acoustic concert under the name of ‘Helping Hands Concert and Auction,’ which will be taking place at 5 PM ET on November 14, 2020. Tickets are still available on the band’s website, and prices $15.
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