Despite all the chaos of 2020, at least one good thing has come out of this year: Metallica are “in a very healthy place” according to Lars Ulrich.

In a new interview with the band’s So What! magazine, the drummer has reflected on how frontman James Hetfield returned to rehab last September, explaining that he initially experienced a spectrum of emotions while worrying about his friend.

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?’” Lars recalls (via Blabbermouth). “And Kirk [Hammett, guitar], Rob [Trujillo, bass] 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.”

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The musician says that he and James spoke “a couple of times” during the whole process.

We were texting,” he says. “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.”

Lars continues that while he doesn’t know what exactly goes on in each of his bandmates’ minds, he imagines that Rob and Kirk were also “feeling sort of the same thing” when James entered rehab, 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.”

Happily, though, everything is much, much better now.

A year later, here we are, all engaged,” says Lars. “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.”

Lars adds that he feels “confident and excited about the state of the Metallica nation”, with “more clarity” on what else is to come. Ooohhhh…

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Posted on November 13th 2020, 4:54pm

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