INTERVJU: Metallica intervjuas av Zane Lowe från Apple Music

Apple Musics Zane Lowe slår sig ner med Metallica på Johan Cruijff Arena i Amsterdam för ett samtal inför starten av gruppens M72 World Tour. Bandet berättar för Apple Music varför de är ”de fyra största Metallica-fansen i världen” och pratar fortfarande om att jaga acceptans 40 år senare, konsten att skapa set-listor, den ökande Snake Pit och deras ständigt utvecklande scenproduktion, ritualen att öppna sina konserter med ”The Ecstasy of Gold”, den oändliga resan att hitta det ultimata riffet, det senaste albumet ”72 Seasons” och mycket mer. 



Den här intervjun tog plats på Johan Cruijff Arena i Amsterdam där Zane Lowe från Apple Music träffade Metallica och pratade om bland annat den kommande världsturnén, nya albumet och jakten på det perfekta riffet. Nedan kan du läsa intervjun i sin helhet eller kolla på hela intervjun via Youtube-länken.


James Hetfield Tells Apple Music The Group’s Members Are “The Four Biggest Fans of Metallica in The World

Zane: You’re about to embark on another adventure. And I think about expectation. I think about that word expectation, right? I know what we expect, the ticket holders, we want the show of our lives. We want it to be the best show of the tour every single night, right? I wonder how you’ve kind of been able to manage that through a lifetime of expectation, taking that really seriously every night.

James Hetfield: We want the same. We want the same too. We’re fans too. We’re the four biggest fans of Metallica in the world sitting right here. We want it to be the best for us selfishly, but also for the people who support us and the family, as we call them, come here and shake off the Covid or whatever they got going on in their lives to come here. As you look out here, you see this is designed around the audience to get audience in the middle, on the sides and everywhere. They’re a huge part of our show.

Metallica Tell Apple Music About Still Chasing Acceptance 40 Years Later

Lars Ulrich: People kind of roll their eyes when I say this, but still chasing acceptance or still chasing fitting in, or still chasing like, “Hey, we’re still hovering on the outside. We’re these misfits and this disenfranchised musicians that don’t really belong in the cool kid’s club. And people go, “You’re so successful.” Yeah, but 40 years later, I still feel like I’m on the outside.

Kirk Hammett: We’re still waiting for the invite to the cool guy’s club. Well, that’s what it feels like. It’s a feeling.

James Hetfield: We chase that but we don’t want to be in it. No, we don’t.

Kirk Hammett: As far as I’m concerned, this is the cool guy club for me.

James Hetfield on On Longevity and Gratitude

James Hetfield: I don’t think through COVID, through deaths, through accidents, through broken bones, there’s never been a doubt in my mind that we wouldn’t continue, you know? It might suck right now but we’re going to push through this in some form or another, your Napsters, all of these things.

Zane Lowe: Not even during those really tough personal times for you the first time around 20 years ago when you were really going through that first wave? We spoke about that before, but that wasn’t a moment when you were like, is this my life?

James Hetfield: Well there was a moment where it definitely had to be taken away to realize how much I care. And how much I care about it, and how much we all care about that thing too. And that it’s needed at times, you know? When you’re pampered, when everything’s fine, when something, the rug gets yanked out from under you. Gratitude, realizing what you do have and how much you do love it and you’re going to miss it. We don’t know much else, you know? We love what we do and this is what we get to do, and be of service to ourselves in the world with it.

Lars Ulrich Tells Apple Music About His Longtime Role As The Author of Metallica’s Setlists

Lars Ulrich: I mean, I don’t relish, but I accept it and James likes to point out, I obsess over it in the best of ways, of course… And I take it seriously, first of all, the fact that these guys trust me enough to carry that is a huge thing. So in terms of not letting the team down, of course, but I’ve been doing it for a long time, basically the whole time. And I have tools now available and so it becomes a combination of new album, it becomes a combination, obviously, of what’s called the toe tapping favorites of…We did a whole run last summer where we played Enter Sandman had always obviously lived toward the end of the set…We played it third all last summer and the look on people’s faces would come out. We say hello with Whiplash, we go into Creeping Death…People are like, “Holy f**k, is it time to go home already?”

All Credits: Apple Music/Zane Lowe

Lars Ulrich on the Origin and Legacy of Metallica’s “Snake Pit” and Its Integral Role in The Group’s Live Show

Lars Ulrich: I mean, the snake pit has been part of what we’ve been doing for basically 30 years going back to the Black Album days and… So the Snake Pit started off, one of our managers back in New York in the late 80s, early 90s, the idea that when you would go to a restaurant, that the best seat in the restaurant was actually not in the house, but the best seat was in the kitchen. So in crazy, cool restaurants, if you could somehow get into the kitchen and eat in the kitchen, you were in there where all the action was. So the idea that came out of that for that snake pit on the Black Album tour was basically to be in the middle of the stage. So we had a stage that was shaped like a diamond, Kirk was referring to it earlier. And there was 30, 40 spots in the middle of that stage. Radio contest winners. Friends, family, a few crazy metalheads from around the audience would end up in that snake pit and they would be on stage with us. And then it morphed and basically for I guess 30 years now, the snake pit has been an integral part of at least a Metallica indoor show. And then in the stadiums when we’ve been playing outside, it’s been sort of this extension of the stage. You’ve seen it but they’ve never been like crazy big. There’s been room for a couple of hundred here, a couple hundred there, whatever. We were told between 900 to 1200, depending on the density, obviously. And as you know, when you get into these things in different countries, the fire marshal has different and all this. But I mean, it’s going to be incredible. We’ve been in here for a week now, and we’ve been playing to the silence that you pointed out. And this is a big place and it’s a European football stadium, obviously it’s further to the sides. But when this is populated, not just with all these beautiful souls here on all the sides and on the floor…

Lars Ulrich Tells Apple Music About Constantly Evolving Their Stage Configuration

Lars Ulrich: Black Album was the first time when we started f***ing with the concept and how can we do it differently. And then on that tour, there was a drum kit on either side. Subsequently, I think on the Load Tour, we had two stages. One at either end of the arena with a drum kit on each of them. And then I think on what St. Anger, we had a stage that kind of spun around, Death Magnetic, something else. I mean, we always loved toying with and f***ing with the configuration. But when we’ve played indoors, we’ve always loved try to be in the middle of the arena. But then the opposite of that is when we played festivals or played stadiums or even smaller places or whatever, we’d be one end. So the whole thing is always about screwing with the configuration and always trying to play in a different setup. But obviously we’ve never done four drum kits and we’ve been here a few days trying to get the practicals of that figured it out. And Jimmy, my long suffering tech has put in a hell of a hell of a week…

Metallica on Opening Their Concerts with “Ecstasy of Gold”

James Hetfield: It’s connected to us. So I could only imagine what the fan feels when they hear that.

Kirk Hammett: You know, as our manager said, it’s like a calling. When you hear that, it’s revving up the engines, you know? Metallica is imminent…it’s a real mixture of emotions, but it’s always a huge shot of adrenaline, at least for myself. And I do have expectations for myself that I need to fulfill, you know? And so for me, just being in the moment and being totally present and just concentrating on doing the best I can is all I can do. And it’s all I ever really think about in those few moments when we’re just about to walk out.

Rob Trujillo: It also lets you know that you need to be there. Like if we’re in the bathroom or something, you know? Doing the pre-gig poo or whatever, it’s just like, “Oh damn.” You know? You start running.

Lars Ulrich Tells Apple Music About The Magic of Connecting With Their Audience On Stage

Lars Ulrich: I think a lot of it is really about two things, it’s about leaving something behind, which is the day, the week, the month, whatever you’ve been carrying around and freeing yourself of that as you walk to the stage. And then the other thing is connecting, connecting with people, connecting with the other guys in the band. At its best, when it really works, it’s a connection to each other and to the audience, breaking down those security barricades and doing away with those and becoming one. And the great thing about having the opportunity to do these type of configurations is that you maximize the potential for that connection because there’s literally more areas where more people can connect with band members and vice versa. And so at its best, that’s when it really works. I love to try to intellectualize it and try to find the answers way too close to it still to need to have more time to have it in the rear view mirror. And whether it came out of the darkness and the despair and the uncertainty of COVID, it all plays a little bit of a part in it. But we’ve heard ourselves say over the years, “As long as the body parts, the knees, the elbows, the shoulders, the throats, everything, as long as they’re capable, we still have that energy and that fire when we’re playing together.”

Robert Trujillo Tells Apple Music There’s No Shortage of Metallica Riffs

Rob Trujillo: There’s no shortage of riffs, bass lines, grooves. A lot of bands, when they’ve been around as long as Metallica has, they can’t come up with riffs. They’re just not inspired. That doesn’t happen here. In fact, we’ve got an abundance. I can’t tell you how many riffs I have that were never heard. And that’s a good thing. It’s a great problem to have. There’s a lot going on here creatively and that’s why I still think about the next round. And 72 Seasons’ a badass record.

James Hetfield Tells Apple Music About The Lyrics on ’72 Seasons’

James Hetfield: Life is a work in progress for me and for all of us. We all go through stuff. We all uncover things from our 72 Seasons and we’re still working through whatever. Trauma, old, new, big tea, little tea, whatever it may be. There’s still stuff and we’re all trying to get better at navigating life, and I think a lot of the lyrics on this record have a little bit more of an inkling of hope and them sprinkled in there.

James Hetfield Tells Apple Music About Writing Album Closer “Inamorata” on Zoom

James Hetfield: Written on Zoom, by the way. Lars and I sitting there fiddling around trying to connect over Zoom, right? The Pandora’s box was opened at that point. We’re bored, let’s do some stuff and that was one of the riffs that came out of that session. I wanted something haunting. I mean, I don’t know. I don’t think about it, man. Thank you Tony Iommi or whoever I just channeled. Or Cliff or whoever it is, thank you. Or thank you guitar for spitting that one out, you know? It just happens, I can’t explain it and I don’t want to know, you know? I’m a messenger…

Kirk Hammett Tells Apple Music Why He Loves Heavy Metal So Much

Kirk Hammett: Thank God for this music called heavy metal. That we all coexisted and live our lives in and draw inspiration from, you know? It really encapsulates, at least for me, so much of my inner experience ever since I was a kid to just this moment, you know? It’s why I love this music so much. It’s so emotional and it reflects the entire humane experience like in Inamorata, sadness, heaviness. But there’s uplifting parts of that song too that bring you out, and there’s contemplative parts of that song too, you know? Thank God for heavy metal, because there’s other types of music where it’s just straight. You can’t go those places.

Metallica on Buying a Vinyl Pressing Plant

Lars Ulrich: Well initially it stems out of wanting to, when we first heard that, obviously, first of all, five of us have been sitting here 10 or 20 years ago, “Going vinyl is the biggest thing again in the world.” I mean, nobody would believe that part of the conversation. But now there’s such a backlog of orders. And so when we had to make a decision, it’s coming up on a year ago when and how we wanted to release this record. All our deadlines were actually around the vinyl. And some people don’t do the vinyl because they just can finish the record and get it up to the DSPs in two, four weeks and a whole different thing. But we want that vinyl to be part of it. And so many of the fans are obviously asking for it. And so we’ve had a relationship with the great people down at Furnace for about a decade. And it just coincided with the fact that they were looking for somebody to come in and be partners in their organization and their business and we were like, “Okay, you know what?” So this works because we can control our own deadlines and our own setups. We can also help others and we can get more of friends, peers, other independent artists in under this umbrella. We can put additional funds to it and increase the shifts and all this type of stuff. So there’s so many things that can happen because of this. And listen, anytime that we have an opportunity to invest in something that is Metallica, it’s in the fabric of what Metallica is, we look for it obviously. I mean, we’re not running around and investing in camera equipment or if it fits within the world of something, when we’ve done other things. But it’s about something where Metallica has that it produces, I guess an advantage for being in this band and can also help the rock community and the other independent artists that are out there.

Kirk Hammett Tells Apple Music How Performing Sober Makes a World of Difference

Kirk Hammett: I got into a cycle where it’s just like play a show, go out, stay out all night, then wake up the next day hungover, go out stage, sweat the hangover out on stage and go do it again. But you know, there was no progression, you know? When I was doing that, I was kind of staying at this one level. It took me a long time to notice that I wasn’t progressing, I wasn’t going anywhere. And over time you notice, you take it into account and you do what you need to do to get back on track and it makes all the difference in the world. Yeah, I mean, I think that having a clear head about everything and especially on stage, makes a mountain of difference just in terms of performance, execution, everything, my own enjoyment. And being present. Absolutely being present.

Intervju: Zane Lowe, Apple Music 1

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