KIP WINGER Says JAMES HETFIELD Called Him To Apologize For Dartboard Scene In METALLICA's 'Nothing Else Matters' Video

March 16, 2023

During an appearance on the latest episode of the "Appetite For Distortion" podcast, WINGER frontman Kip Winger spoke about METALLICA's "Nothing Else Matters" video, which is perhaps best remembered for a scene where METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich throws darts at a poster of Kip. Asked if he ever found out why Lars did that, Kip responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Nah, man, you can see a video on 'Howard Stern' where he's going, 'Man, I threw darts at Kip, but it was nothing personal.' He's never apologized, but [METALLICA frontman] James Hetfield called me about a year and a half ago and apologized for the incident. James was really cool. James is the kind of guy I can totally be friends with. And he was very sincere; it wasn't like he just called to apologize and then blow me off. He's actually texted me a few times; we text every now and then. I don't think Lars would ever call me to apologize.

"I think everybody was just young kids, and they were thinking it was funny," Kip continued. "To me, it's not funny to slag off a fellow musician. But who knows? They were just doing what they were doing. I don't know. I can't answer to that."

Referencing the unprovoked ridicule on MTV's popular "Beavis And Butt-Head" show, which, compounded with the change in musical climate of the mid-'90s, ultimately led WINGER to go on hiatus in 1994, Kip said: "'Beavis And Butt-Head' was hysterical; it was really funny. I ended up on the wrong end of it.

"I think that's just gang mentality," he added. "Gang mentality — people wanna hide behind… And especially on the Internet, they can hide behind their keyboard and go, 'That guy sucks.' But if I was in the room with the guy, he'd be, like, 'Hey, man, how's it going?'"

Circling back to the dartboard scene in METALLICA's "Nothing Else Matters" video, Kip said: "I just don't think it's a great practice to slag your fellow artists. Everybody has their opinion. There's bands that I don't like necessarily. But the point is that the older I get, the more I realize what goes into this stuff. So there isn't any band that I don't like where I can't appreciate what work they put into it. Because I don't care who you are, if you've taken the time to get your song on a record and put it out there and made a video, you worked hard on that. I don't care if it's good or bad to me — whatever; it doesn't matter — you put a lot of work into that, and I can respect that on every level."

Lars touched upon the Kip scene in the "Nothing Else Matters" video during a 2020 appearance on "The Howard Stern Show". At the time he said: "In the 'Nothing Else Matters' video, which was filmed at the studio while we were recording the Black Album, we had a dartboard... We'd get Creem magazine, Circus magazine, and we'd take posters of people who look particularly obnoxious and put them up on the board and throw darts at them. There's a shot in that video of me throwing darts at Kip Winger. To this day I apologize when it's brought up in interviews; it was nothing against Kip Winger personally."

WINGER's seventh studio album, "Seven", is due on May 5 via Frontiers Music Srl. The 12-track album was produced by Kip and recorded in Nashville.

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