METALLICA's James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich recently spoke to the San Francisco Bay Guardian about the making of their $4.3-million documentary "Some Kind of Monster". Several excerpts from the interview follow:
On the sequence when former METALLICA guitarist Dave Mustaine joins Ulrich for a one-on-one therapy session:
James Hetfield: "When I saw that footage, I really wished I'd been there. There was a part of me that wanted to protect Lars from being attacked like that. I think Lars took responsibility for more than he had to — it wasn't just his burden to bear. I also wish that I could have helped translate some of the stuff Dave was saying, since as another person who is going through recovery, I knew where he was coming from too. I mean, we were 19 at the time. We didn't know about A.A.! We were on our own path to hell! But I'm really glad Dave came up to do that. I respect that a lot."
Lars Ulrich: "What do I feel when I see that footage? I feel sad for [Dave] ... not in a condescending way. Just sad that he feels what he's accomplished has been less than what we've done. I mean, he's made albums that I personally consider to be two or three of the best metal albums ever — I still listen to them! I'm surprised that he doesn't think he's a success. But hey, he's dealing with his stuff, just like we're dealing with our issues. I think that took guts."
On whether they are ready to show the world their "true" faces:
Lars Ulrich: "You want to act like you don't give a fuck what people think, but of course you give a fuck! I'm a human being. I care what people think of me even if I act like I don't. That whole Napster thing ... man, I wished we'd done it differently and had more information on stuff before we went out on a limb with it. I recognize there's a part of me that has this kindergarten-playground mentality, that likes to stir shit up. But as I get older, I realize that doesn't make me a bad person. The therapy helped a lot with that too.
"We wouldn't be a band if it weren't for this. The therapy and the film – it literally saved us. I'm not exaggerating. I'm so proud of the film and even prouder we had the balls to see this through. I think we're better people for it."
James Hetfield: "Well, the first time I saw this, I did think, 'Are we really sure we want to put this out?' There's some personal shit in there, y'know, stuff I see on-screen and think is just too embarrassing or intimate for others to see, but right now, that's kind of what I need in my life to keep myself humble and real.
"I'm really ready to blow that whole macho bullshit image thing out of the water. When I'm onstage and I'm playing the music that we play, this, well, character, I guess, comes out of me. That guy started to take me over a bit – it was ridiculous. People do expect you to be 'that dude from METALLICA' all the time. You can't live like that. And ironically, now that I've put that person behind me a bit, I feel more like a man than ever before.
"I hope the fans get out of this what they need to. Everyone goes through some bad shit, including us. It's a little scary opening up to this extent and then putting it out for everybody to see, but to me, it was like another part of my recovery, y'know. Letting some people in.
"All we wanted was to try and capture something truthful. And this is as raw as it gets. I'd like the fans to get to know us a little better with this. The more people who see who I really am, the more I can live comfortably in this world. It was a leap of faith, but I think it worked. We all needed to do this."
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