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Full Bug
03-22-2004, 11:29 AM
Metallica: Back on top, in control
After years of metal scrapping, the boys found an outlet
By MIKE ROSS -- Edmonton Sun
The term "annus horribilis" can mean different things, depending on whether you're the Queen of England or the Kings of Heavy Metal.

Stop your snickering. For Metallica, playing Tuesday at Rexall Place, the "horrible year" lasted most of the new millennium. Consider the following:

- Bassist Jason Newsted quit the band in 2001. It took him almost two years to work up a good parting shot, prompted the band's decision to slum ... er, tour with Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit: "I think Metallica are just a joke ... what they are doing now is such an obvious cash thing and has nothing to do with the music that we're supposed to be fighting for." He also said that drummer Lars Ulrich doesn't practise enough.

- Singer James Hetfield entered rehab in the summer of 2001 to deal with "alcoholism and other addictions." He's fine now.

- The band members sniped at one another in separate interviews for Playboy magazine. Among the revelations: Hetfield is homophobic, Ulrich didn't bathe very much in the early '80s, fisticuffs have been exchanged on occasion. Only Guitarist Kirk Hammett said he has "never hit anyone in the head."

- Despite its alleged reputation for rebelling against the "Man," Metallica actually became the Man for a time when they sued Napster. Fat lot of good it did, too.

- Further to this, the band seemed to be in court more than on-stage as the most litigious rock band in history. Among the "cease and desist" actions: the Metallika furniture store in Waco, Texas; Victoria's Secret "Metallica" lip gloss; Pierre Cardin's "Metallica" tuxedos; a band of Edmonton smartasses calling themselves "Metallica"; and the Periodic Table of the Elements, specifically elements 72 through 80 (heavy metals). OK, not the last one, but this sort of thing did not go over well with Metallica fans.

- The horrible and aptly titled symphony album, S&M, didn't help, released in the dying gasps of the last millennium.

- Neither did the fact that the music of Metallica was used to terrify captured soldiers during the war in Iraq last year.

Hell, you'd be angry, too.

And so Metallica's latest album, St. Anger, is likewise aptly titled, named for the patron saint of anger, whoever he or she is. In the year or so it took to make it, the remaining band members actually sat down and shared their feelings.

There were anger management issues, obviously. Communication problems. Some guilt, too. Mistakes were made. Substances were abused. Priorities were clouded. Top this with a rich layer of denial and we have a heady brew of self-therapy just waiting to be committed to record. St. Anger is it. The Metallica "re-evaluation" was "definitely a very positive growing experience," Lars Ulrich says. "I think we came out of the whole thing a lot stronger than we did going into it."

The 40-year-old drummer goes on to say that the members of Metallica became "more comfortable" acknowledging their own "vulnerabilities ... I think when you get to a point in your life where you're comfortable embracing that side of yourself and comfortable talking about it and writing about it, then it feels pretty good. It's kind of purging and liberating to talk about that kind of stuff in songs."

The caring, sharing attitude continues with the new guy Robert Trujillo (they swapped bassists with Ozzy in a move orchestrated entirely by the "queen of publicity stunts," Sharon Osbourne) - hired not just as a sideman but as a full-fledged member of Metallica with all attendant rights and responsibilities.

"I think people would be surprised," Ulrich says of their newfound communication skills. "We had a band meeting recently because there were a couple of things about the tour we needed to get back on track. The four of us sat down for three hours and just talked to each other about some things that were going on. I think we're getting more comfortable with that in the last year. It's a strengthening, bonding kind of thing. And after you spend, you know, 20 years not talking to somebody about anything below the surface, it's kind of invigorating to actually do that."

On a cellphone on the road somewhere between hometown San Francisco and Sacramento - driving by the prison where Charles Manson is "spending his senior years" - Ulrich addresses several of the issues that have besmirched Metallica's shiny reputation over the last few years.

ON NEWSTED: Yup, he got a raw deal: "Jason put an awesome 14 years into this band and I'll respect and love him for that forever. At the same time, he was never really let into the band. Jason's the kind of guy that lives and breathes music 24 hours a day and Metallica was never really enough of an outlet for him. In some ways, it's amazing it lasted 14 years."

Ironically, "What Metallica is now, more so than in the '90s, is much closer to the model that he envisioned Metallica being. In some perverse way, he almost had to be the sacrificial lamb for Metallica to get to that point."

ON BEING SUCH PERFECTIONISTS: "We certainly were - and we spent the St. Anger project trying to rid ourselves of that. We wanted to prove to ourselves that we could make a record that was far from perfect. It's very raw. It's a collection of real moments. A lot of the mistakes have been left in; some of the guitars are not in tune, some of the vocals are a little wonky, there's no time corrections in the drums. We just left as much in there as we could."

ON THE RESULTING LACK OF MASSIVE COMMERCIAL SUCCESS: "It's a very challenging record. It's a very hard record for some people to get into. Commercial rock radio in America seemed to be a little perplexed how to deal with this record. But I'm proud of the fact we made it. I'm proud of the fact that Metallica is again more of an underground kind of thing. We sold five million copies of this record. So obviously by most people's standards it's an overwhelming success - and it really is in places like Europe and Australia. It's the biggest record we've had since the 'black' album 12 years ago."

ON BEING THE BIGGEST UNDERGROUND BAND IN THE WORLD: "Something like that, yeah. But for some reason, the American commercial radio stations I think are a little scared of putting St. Anger in between Linkin Park and Staind or whatever. It sounds a little more threatening or something."

ON GETTING DISSED BY GUITAR MAGAZINE: "If you got a magazine named Guitar that sells 200,000 copies a month based on somebody playing guitar solos, how are they going to feel about a record with no guitar solos?"

ON BEING TARRED AS THE 'BAD GUYS' IN THE NAPSTER-DOWNLOADING ISSUE: "I heard myself say about 5,000 times in the last three years: we're not the ones that are really affected by all these changes. We're doing fine, thanks for asking. We're set up. It's the people who sell 100,000 records and the people that get dropped from their record company deals because their records aren't performing."

ON BEING SO STICKY ABOUT THE 'METALLICA' TRADEMARK: "It's been a bit weird for us to be the bad guys. But we've always liked to steer our own ship, to be in charge of the things that have the Metallica name associated with it. We have a name that's sort of generic, in some sense. It can be associated with a colour or whatever else. So we have to protect that. If we don't, if people walk into a tire store and buy Metallica tires and then when the tires f------ explode on the freeway they're going to come after us, it gets into all that bulls--- grey area ... You try and control the things you can control and spending a lot of time trying to control how people perceive what you're doing, it becomes, sort of, well, there's only 24 hours in a day and so chasing that stuff too much becomes a waste of time."

IN OTHER WORDS, GOD GRANT ME THE SERENITY TO ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE, THE COURAGE TO CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN AND THE WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE?: "Yeah, that's it."
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Dont you feel all warm and fuzzy now?
:rolleyes:
I wonder if the band shares a big warm group hug before they go onstage......
This is not the same band I loved back in the 80's when they kicked ass, they still get it done for their live shows, but I cannot see myself ever buying another album from them in the future.....

WACF
03-22-2004, 02:09 PM
It's all entertainment....

If I like it...I buy it.
St. Anger was not their best but I enjoy it once and a while.

They took a different road but hey...it is a business and we all try and make more money.
They did...I won't fault them for that.

What would you work for...$5/hr or $10/hr....

I am going to the May concert here and it is going kick ass....from the boots I heard anyways...

HippieLettuce
03-22-2004, 04:28 PM
Cliff Burton died. That's what happened to Metallica.

Big Troubles
03-22-2004, 04:35 PM
No man...way off. Bob Rock is what happened to Mettalica. Garbage now. Id like to see them regroup themselves, and come out with something more intellegent than St. Anger

WACF
03-22-2004, 05:09 PM
St. Anger was a HUGE dissapointment.

Bob Rock took them in a more "this is how you are gonna make more $$$" road.

WACF
03-22-2004, 05:13 PM
At least that is my opinion.

I do agree that Cliff dying was a turning point.

It just seems all bands are more raw in the beginning.
Once they get air play and more popular they seem to wuss out for the singles.

Big Troubles
03-22-2004, 05:14 PM
yup. shame too. Bon Jovi was the same. still are. areosmith. Blech. its all radio and video shit.

Full Bug
03-22-2004, 05:18 PM
- Bassist Jason Newsted quit the band in 2001. It took him almost two years to work up a good parting shot, prompted the band's decision to slum ... er, tour with Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit: "I think Metallica are just a joke ... what they are doing now is such an obvious cash thing and has nothing to do with the music that we're supposed to be fighting for."

Seems that way to me, you tell'em Jason......

PhxRocker
03-23-2004, 12:12 AM
I think Metallica sold out about 10 years ago or so.
I totally dig the first 4 albums....raw, awesome thrash-metal.
The Black Album....I like about half of it, but you could just start to feel them trying to please everybody instead of doing completely what they wanted to do (Bob Rock anyone?).

Then came Load and IMO they sold out completely.
It seems like they said "Well, our original core-audience is now turning 30, so let's cut our hair, change our style, and start playing "alternative" type hard rock so we can appeal to the new batch of 18-20 year olds." And "Fuck those old fogeys who started listening to us back in `83-`84 (of which I am one :) )....we don't need `em anymore!"

Y'know, I was just talking about Metallica with an old friend of mine....and we both agreed that back in like `85 or `86 we figured Metallica would be the LAST band that would ever sell out to a trend. They were so fucking uncompromising back then, and that's one of the reasons we fucking swore by `em.
In fact, there's a line in the song Damage, Inc. that goes "Following our instincts, not a trend..."
Yeah, right....I guess they were full of shit.

They may still be able to kick ass on the old tunes in concert (I couldn't tell you, I haven't seen them live since `92) but the new shit they're putting out sucks EVERY BIT as bad as Load or Re-load. St. Anger....what a piece of shit!
The songs suck, the production sucks (fucking snare drum sounds like a trash can lid), and there are absolutely NO guitar solos or lead breaks on the entire CD!

Well, I guess they got what they wanted...the 18 year olds fucking love `em!
But this 39 year old, who was part of their original core audience and who helped them reach the big time, says "As far as I'm concerned, stick a fork in their asses....THEY'RE FUCKING DONE! FUCK SELLOUTICA!!!"

Full Bug
03-23-2004, 12:24 AM
Well said PHX, you nailed the way I think of it as well.....

Dave IS VH
03-23-2004, 01:56 AM
Metallica, has never been the same after the Black album.

It seems like they are getting even more worst every year.

BrownSound1
03-25-2004, 02:18 PM
Metallica's last few albums have been pure shit.

Hollywood Jesus
03-30-2004, 01:43 PM
I don't know, man. I'm certainly more forgiving than some of you guys.

I love Kill 'Em All, Puppets, the Black album and Re-Load.

My least favorites are St. Anger, Load and the "One" album (forget the title now.)

So, my Metallica entertainment and disappointment goes across periods.

I love that Metallica stood up for musicians and copyrights fighting Napster. In my mind, Napster was The Man stealing from the artists. Someone comes into your house to steal, you take them out -- or at least click that shotgun a couple times.

Lou
03-30-2004, 08:59 PM
They've started playing more old-school Metallica on the radio and I'll tell you what, I'm really into it. I can't stand anything Metallica has done since And Justice for All but the old stuff I'm liking. You can tell they cared about the music back then.

All I grew up with was the Black Album onward, and I never liked it, but now that I'm hearing the old-school stuff the Black Album REALLY sounds like shit.

DLR7884
04-01-2004, 01:22 AM
Originally posted by HippieLettuce
Cliff Burton died. That's what happened to Metallica.

Cliff would have quit the band by now if they pulled the shit they have been pulling the past 10 years.


Originally posted by Dave IS VH
Metallica, has never been the same after the Black album.

It seems like they are getting even more worst every year.

You get "more worst" with every post.




Originally posted by Brownsound1
Metallica's last few albums have been pure shit.

I agree.

DLR7884
Fuck those money hungry buttfags!

Chong Li
04-01-2004, 09:23 PM
I havent heard anything good since Garage Days Revisited a few years ago (The double CD not the original).

S and M was a stupid idea, not even original and St Anger sucked.

Washed up.