METALLICA's JAMES HETFIELD: LARS ULRICH 'Never Rehearsed Until Maybe Four Or Five Years Ago'

October 11, 2023

METALLICA's James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo have reflected on the experience of performing at the Power Trip festival this past weekend.

The inaugural three-day Power Trip rock and heavy metal event began Friday (October 6) with sets from IRON MAIDEN and GUNS N' ROSES. Next up over the weekend were JUDAS PRIEST and AC/DC on Saturday, October 7 and TOOL and METALLICA on October 8.

Hetfield and his bandmates arrived early at Power Trip to check out all the bands, and METALLICA's longtime photographer Ross Halfin captured them having a great time watching PRIEST.

Now, on the latest episode of METALLICA's official podcast "The Metallica Report", James, Kirk and Robert have all spoken about the Power Trip weekend, with Hetfield saying (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "An interesting fact: Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer] never rehearsed ever until — I don't know — I'd say maybe four or five years ago, he started really getting into rehearsing. And now he'll — I mean, he'll rehearse four days for a two-hour set, which is what he needs to do, which is awesome.

"So there was gonna be rehearsals [for Power Trip] down at HQ [METALLICA's headquarters in San Rafael, California] for a couple days beforehand," he continued. "And I said, 'I'm not gonna show up guys. I would love it if we could find a rehearsal place here [closer to the Power Trip festival], 'cause I'd love to see all these other bands.' And Robert got on board, and then we found a place over here in the polo grounds [at the Empire Polo Club] to rehearse. And I'm grateful that Lars was up for it. So they did their rehearsals down there and then we came up and we have rehearsals and get to watch these bands. It's so frickin' cool to have your own compound at a festival for all the days of the festival… We show up, go rehearse and then go out there and watch IRON MAIDEN. I mean, how cool is that?

"So for me, there's a lot of inspiration in every single band that's played here," Hetfield added. "Just looking up ages — I know age is bullshit. I mean, there's plenty of the guys in these bands that are [in their] early 70s, late 60s, and it's inspiring. And the fact that they're up there still kicking ass in this kind of heat was fantastic. But every single one of those bands have been a part of our childhood and our upbringing in our METALLICA adventure. So it's really cool to be a part of this. And we used to hang out a bunch together in the early days, like at all the festivals we would go to and hang out. Yeah, we would play early on and then get to watch all the other bands after. We would hang out. It kind of felt like that again. Obviously, it was a different day, but we're all here hanging out and it's really fun. It's really fun to see. I just kind of realized that we're down in the very front looking up, Rob Halford riding out on a motorcycle and there's fans behind us, looking at us, like they're watching us enjoy that. How cool? I guess that's pretty cool. But we're fans at the end of the day. We wanted to be in the mix and see it. So it's been a fantastic weekend."

METALLICA closed out Power Trip with a 16-song set that spanned the band's entire career.

METALLICA kicked off the show with "Whiplash" from the 1983 album "Kill 'Em All" and followed it up with two tracks from its sophomore album, "Ride The Lightning", "Creeping Death" and "For Whom The Bell Tolls".

Elsewhere, METALLICA surprisingly performed one of its biggest hits, "Enter Sandman", as the fourth song of the set, before launching into two tracks from the band's latest album, "72 Seasons", "Lux Æterna" and "Too Far Gone?" Other tracks aired included "Fuel" from 1997's "Reload" and "Orion" from the 1986 album "Master Of Puppets".

Hammett flubbed the intro to "Nothing Else Matters", telling the audience, "Sorry, guys. I did it again. I screwed it up again. I'm gonna play it again for you." After taking a couple of steps back, he returned to the mic and told the crowd, "You know, it's really hot in this fucking desert," before adding a forced laugh. (Hammett previously botched the intro to "Nothing Else Matters" at METALLICA's sold-out show at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium in early August, and before that at the Boston Calling festival in May 2022.)Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo also performed a jam that Trujillo said the pair wrote specifically for Power Trip called "Funk In The Desert".

METALLICA previously performed at the Empire Polo Grounds in 2011 as part of the West Coast installment of the "Big Four" event, also featuring ANTHRAX, MEGADETH and SLAYER.

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