The tensions in Metallica in the early 2000s are well-chronicled. In the film Some Kind of Monster, the band tackles life after bassist Jason Newsted, issues with alcohol abuse, and the all-around fractured state of the friendships within the band. “That period certainly wasn’t easy for us and, since then we have learned boundaries and where our breaking points are” explains drummer Lars Ulrich in a new interview with The Sun.
Following the release of St. Anger in 2003, the band went away for a while. “We disappeared then for about a year” adds Ulrich. The stress of facing down some of their long-simmering issues seemingly took a toll and the future was uncertain. Luckily, one of the most iconic band’s in history came calling and gave the members of Metallica a reason to get things together. An invite from The Rolling Stones proved to be enough inspiration for the guys to overcome what had stalled them.
“The Rolling Stones called us up and said, ‘Come and play some shows with us in -California,’ and we sort of agreed, you’re not going to say no to the Stones, so that was it” Ulrich tells The Sun. “It gave us the way to start it back up again. Whether you’re a team in an office or a bunch of dudes in a rock and roll band, at some point people have to figure out how to get along and work as a team.”
“If you don’t care, it’s easier to walk away, but fortunately we cared enough about Metallica on behalf of ourselves and the fans to figure out a way to make it function” Lars continued. “I’m happy that we did.”
Once again The Rolling Stones are set to start a tour in the US, kicking off their No Filter US Tour on Friday June 21st. You can find the full list of dates and openers here. Metallica is still on their WorldWired Tour that has been going since 2016. You can find their list of upcoming shows here.