Interview: Metallica on ‘Metallica Through the Never’ & Beyond

Metallica Through the Never Lars Ulrich

CraveOnline: Was there ever a song or B-side that you wish had broken out?

James Hetfield: Most of the B-sides were stuff you had to put on a B-side. It was a live version of something. I kind of get what you’re after. I think around Ride the Lightning when it was a little before MTV, but “For Whom the Bell Tolls” was maybe supposed to be a single from that album that never happened.

Kirk Hammett: I think at one point we were talking about maybe doing a video for “Master of Puppets.” Do you remember something like that? It was going to be like some Howdy Doody puppet shooting up.

James Hetfield: Oh, right. Something wacky.

Kirk Hammett: We were throwing around that idea but it never happened.

James Hetfield: But now we have a puppet in the movie.

Kirk Hammett: We saved the puppet idea.

James Hetfield: Check that one off.


If you could compose a new score for any classic movie, what would you like to do?

Robert Trujillo: The Wizard of Oz.

Kirk Hammett: There’s this movie from 1934 called The Black Cat that I’m totally obsessed with. It was right when movies started getting scored. The first movie to ever have a musical soundtrack was King Kong in 1933. This movie came out in 1934 and it’s one of my favorite horror movies. I would have loved to have been able to score that. It does have a score.

James Hetfield: Well, we kind of did, “The Ecstasy of Gold” has been our intro tape forever, from The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, Ennio Morricone, and we did cover that for his We Love Ennio CD. To just do the whole movie would be very cool but I don’t know if we could improve upon that. It’s pretty amazing on its own. Any of those spaghetti westerns, I love the music that Ennio did.

Robert Trujillo: There’s a film called Koyaanisqatsi and I thought that was brilliant. Philip Glass music to all this imagery and I think it’d be an incredibly thing if Metallica scored a film like that with just really powerful visuals and it all revolves around the music.


I wish Lars were here, because did I see a picture of him at Sean Parker’s wedding?

James Hetfield: Yeah, mm-hmm. He was ring boy. Flower girl.


So did they make up? Have all of you made up?

James Hetfield: Yeah, yeah, he’s living with Lars now. He lives in a trailer.

Kirk Hammett: They had a good wedding.


So what changed over the last few years?

James Hetfield: I don’t know, I can’t answer for him, man.

Robert Trujillo: What changed for him? He got invited to his wedding.


No, but a lot’s happened in the digital music industry since Napster.

James Hetfield: Absolutely. And, I don’t know, kind of like in our lives, as you get older, you’re able to get past certain roadblocks mentally and friendship-wise, like things with Megadeth, people from our past. They become a little less potent. They become less of a source of hatred or whatever. They affect you less and at the end of the day you’re just kind of realizing that everyone is looking out for the best interest, hopefully, for the world. He was wanting to do something. He had a vision and had no idea what the consequences would be.

At the end of the day, we’re all adults and you sit down and you talk and you go, “Hey, when I did this, that happened.” We did the same and let’s move on from there. I think we’ve learned a lot, like from obviously the Some Kind of Monster movie and the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Seeing all these bands that can’t even show up and play together because they’re arguing about something that happened 20 years ago and they can’t celebrate a great moment, or create a new moment in history. Life’s too short for stuff like that.


Speaking of Lars again, is he singing along while he drums even though he’s not mic’ed?

James Hetfield: Absolutely. Oh, he’s singing. You don’t want to hear it. [Laughs] He’s always wanted to sing. It’s great.

Kirk Hammett: He’s always wanted to be the lead singer or the lead guitar player.

James Hetfield: I’ve always wanted to be the drummer, so one day it might happen. 

Fred Topel is a staff writer at CraveOnline and the man behind Shelf Space Weekly. Follow him on Twitter at @FredTopel.