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Random Thoughts On Metallica’s Playboy Interview! 3/13/01



In the April issue of Playboy there is an interview with Metallica. Now I’ve never seen a Playboy before, but uh, somebody gave me a copy so I thought I’d give out my thoughts on their interview. This isn’t the entire interview because, from what I’m told, Playboy’s interviews are insanely long. So this is just a small part of it. If you want the entire thing, go buy the fucking magazine.

Anyway, here is a sample along with my not so Random Thoughts. I didn’t do any (Sarcasm Mode Turned Off) lines because I didn’t feel like it, so you figure out what’s a joke and what’s not. I’m tired of having to point all those things out.

PB: Some of your fans took Napster’s side, instead of Metallica.

Hetfield: (Grins) Because they’re lazy bastards and they want everything for free. I think Napster won the press war. Ya think? It hurt the fans’ perception of us – they see Metallica as some big bad guys who wanted to take their free stuff away. And your point is? I like playing music because it’s a good living and I get satisfaction from it. But I can’t feed my family with satisfaction. No, but you can feed your family with the money you’ve made from selling over 48 Million records in the US, not counting all the sales from around the world.

PB: Aside from his natural garrulousness, why did Lars because the band’s spokesman against Napster?

Hetfield: My wife and I were giving birth to a second child. So you and your wife were BOTH giving birth to your second child? That I would have liked to see. And family is number one. So Lars had to run with the torch, and there were a few bad moves. A few bad moves? That’s like saying, "Stephen Pearcy hits a few bad notes during a show." There were more than a few. You know, Lars can get really mouthy and be a snotty-nosed kid at times. I cringed at certain interview: "Oh dude, don’t say that."

Ulrich: I said some things that were borderline silly. What else is new?  When Limp Bizkit embraced Napster and took $2 million to play this "free tour" – it is possible to play free shows without taking sponsorship money, because we do that – I said it was total bullshit. I know a lot of people hate Fred Durst, but I think he’s really fucking talented. Sure, swing from Fred’s nuts now. How long before Fred Durst ends up on a Metallica song? Me and Fred kissed and made up. What’s up with Lars always kissing guys? When I open my mouth, most people cover their ears most of the time something somewhat eloquent comes out, and once in while I talk a bunch of fucking bullshit. I’m aware of that.

PB: What sort of things did the fans say to your face?

Hetfield: Some fans said, "Leave Napster alone, dude" – if they were suicidal (laughs). But that was after "Metallica rocks, dude." So you would turn your "thanks" into a "fuck you." I’ve gotten into plenty of arguments with fans who just wanted to "discuss" it. This poor girl in Atlanta, I made her cry. She felt money was evil. Why don’t you go live in Canada or some socialist country? That was uncalled for! Telling somebody to move to Canada; I’ve said some rude things in my time, but I would never tell anybody to move to Canada. That’s taking things too far.

Ulrich: If you’d stop being a Metallica fan because I won’t give you my music for free, then fuck you. Don’t forget to tell them that you don’t want them as fans. I don’t want you to be a Metallica fan. Thank you.

PB: James, what did you think of Lars after that first jam session?

Hetfield: Lars had a pretty crappy drum kit, with one cymbal. He had one cymbal to represent the one fill he knew. It kept falling over, and we’d have to stop, and he’d pick the fucking thing up. He really was not a good drummer. And you’re not that good of a singer, so it was a perfect match. To this day, he is not Drummer Of The Year. We all know that. When we were done jamming, it was, "What the fuck was that?" We stiffed him on the bill for the studio, too (laughs). There were so many different things about him. His mannerisms, his looks, his accent, his attitude, his smell. He smelled – he smelled like Denmark, I guess. They have a different view on bathing. We use soap in America. That was a good idea James. Pick a drummer with a shitty drum kit, who can’t drum, and smells like a bucket of piss. If that was your idea of a drummer, I’d hate to see your taste in women.

PB: How alienated was James when you met him?

Ulrich: I’d never met anybody that shy. He was really withdrawn, almost afraid of social contact. He also had a bad acne problem. James was as afraid of social contact as much as Lars was afraid of a bar of soap.

Ulrich: Girls would come on the bus and just blow the whole bus. Like, "Ok, here’s two girls, everybody get in line." And then they’d say, "And you two guys, Kirk is in the back lounge." People would say, "Eww, she just blew that other guy…" So? You don’t have to put your tongue down her throat.

PB: Who was the biggest slut in the band?

Ulrich: We all had some pretty slutty moments. I don’t think there’s anybody in this band who hasn’t had crabs a couple of times, or the occasional drip-dick. NOTE TO SELF: Never shake Lars’ hand.

PB: People who like fast music usually like fast drugs. Did the band get into speed?

Ulrich: James is the only one who never really engaged in any kind of drug abuse. He was too busy damaging his liver by drinking bottles of Jager. Me, Jason, Kirk and Cliff were always experimenting with different things to a higher degree.

Hammett: Cocaine has definitely been in our lives. You hang out with other musicians, and next thing you know, you have five guys crammed into a bathroom stall. I have a feeling that it’s not uncommon to see Kirk in a bathroom stall with guys. I had a bad coke problem on the And Justice For All tour, but I pulled out of that, because it makes me depressed, basically. I tried smack once. I was so thankful that I hated it.

Ulrich: I tried acid once; I was shit-fucking scared. The only drug I’ve ever really engaged in is cocaine. It gave me another couple of hours of drinking. And being an ass. A lot of people use it was a way to get closer to you, and you fall for that. I go through cycles where I say, "Ok, I’m going to pull away for a while." And then I take six months away.

PB: What did they do that was disrespectful?

Newsted: Turning the bass down on And Justice For All. Not listening to my ideas, musically.

PB: Is Jason even on And Justice For All?

Hetfield: His picture is on it (big laugh). I never understood that joke. If they want to haze Jason and fuck with him, fine, but turning down his bass in the mix just hurts the album. Why make your album sound like shit just to fuck with a guy? If you want to fuck with a guy, shit in his suitcase, but don’t fuck up your album.

Newsted: I don’t think Metallica sound do country. We came pretty close to it on Mama Said. I don’t think that tasted very good to me.

PB: Bands are usually like families, and it sounds like this family fights a whole lot.

Hammett: There are a lot of soap operas and petty dramas that come with being in this band. I find myself playing referee. Being on the fence isn’t something new to Kirk. I’ve been the buffer between James and Lars, I’ve been the buffer between Lars and Jason. A buffer is also somebody on a porn set who blows the male actors to keep them hard. Hmmm?

Hetfield: Lars’ name keeps getting brought up, doesn’t it? (Laughs) He’s usually the instigator, with his mouth. He can be a real ass at times, and pull attitudes. Thanks for the newsflash Captain Obvious. I punched him onstage once – probably our third gig ever. We agreed we were going to play Let It Loose for our encore, and he went up there and started a different song, Killing Time, because it started with drums. I turned back: "You motherfucker!" I couldn’t remember the lyrics, it was a complete failure.
I remember throwing him into his drum kit a couple of times, throwing some cymbals, cutting his head open.

Ulrich: I’ve gotten into a couple fights with Jason.

Hetfield: I’m definitely not the smartest guy in the band, so winning an intellectual argument is not going to happen. No, really? Resorting to violence used to work. And intimidation.

PB: James strikes us as kind of enlightened redneck.

Hammett: I’ll agree with that 100 percent. He lives a certain lifestyle that’s easy to poke fun at: He lives out in the country, drinks a lot of beer, has a bunch of guns, goes hunting.

Hetfield: I eat vegetables, too, man. They’re just too easy to kill. Carrots don’t get a chance to run. I think animals are there for us. We’re on top of the food chain.  I think James just made his way on Rikki Rockett’s Top 10 List Of Singers He Doesn’t Like, right below Ted Nugent.

PB: Are you uncomfortable with the degree of homophobia in metal?

Ulrich: Totally. Ultimately, why do me and Kirk stick out tongues down each other’s throats once in a while in front of the camera? Because you’re gay? The metal world needs to be fucked with as much as possible. I like to fuck with people, but I’ve never thought about making out with another guy. Hey Lars, just think how much you would fuck with people if you sucked on Kirk’s dick during a photo shoot! When the band started, everybody would sit around proving their heterosexuality by gay-bashing and stuff like that. Like, "Oh, fucking faggot." Does that elevate you to some greater he-man status? I never understood that.

PB: We’ve heard James use the word fag jokingly. Does that mean he’s homophobic?

Hammett: Uh, probably. Yeah, I’m sure Lars and Kirk have never used the word fag. James hasn’t had a lot of experience with gay people, That’s not true, James has been playing with Kirk since 83 and that’s a large reason for being homophobic. He needs to be enlightened in that area. 

Ulrich: I know he’s homophobic. Let there be no question about that. I think homophobia is questioning your sexuality and not being comfortable with it.

PB: For the first time in years, there are a lot of metal bands on top of the charts. Most of them are pretty bad, aren’t they?

Hammett: There’s a lot of fucking crap. That Papa Roach song (Last Resort), the main riff is from a fucking Iron Maiden song called Hallowed Be Thy Name.

Hetfield: Limp Bizkit seems a little cartoony for me. I don’t like some guy just yelling. So what were you doing on your past albums? Like Rage Against The Machine – it wasn’t singing, it was just some guy kind of pissed off, telling you his opinion. I will say Rage sucks. Fuck them.

Hammett: To me, Limp Bizkit sounds like a second-rate Korn. Korn has a much better vocalist who is somewhat intelligent. A lot of these bands get the right ingredients, the right formula, and-voila-they have a metal band. A band like Godsmack is just a cross between Metallica and Alice In Chains, with a bit of Korn thrown in.

PB: It sounds like this sabbatical is frustrating you.

Newsted: Yes. James and Lars started this thing together. They came through all of the hardships. And they have serious, written-in-stone feelings about the band, about how it needs to be run. That’s very, very hard to swallow sometimes. I guess our understanding is that we don’t want to be like other bands, you mean where you are cool to your fans? where people go off and do side projects. I have made some incredibly wonderful music with other musicians. He must be talking about Slaughter. It would just floor people. But I can’t release it.

PB: James and Lars won’t let you?

Newsted: It’s not Lars. It’s Kirk?

Hetfield: We just disagree about side projects. Fans have always viewed Metallica as something they can rely on: We’re always there, always strong, and that’s a band. We’ve been the same guys since day one, essentially. Not counting Ron McGovney, Dave Mustaine, or Cliff Burton. But otherwise, it’s the same guys since day one. The only way you can get out of this band is if you die. Tell that to Jason. When you say Metallica, you know who that is: Lars, James, Kirk and – uh, what’s that guy? Jason (Laughs). When someone does a side project, it takes ways from the strength of Metallica. If that’s the case, then what’s your excuse for Load and Reload? So there is a little ugliness lately. With Lars in the band there has always been ugliness. And it shouldn’t be discussed in the press.

Newsted: James Hetfield is the heart and soul and pride of Metallica, the protector of the name. I’m not out to disrespect him. I am.

PB: But he could respect you by letting you release the album?

Newsted: We’re getting really close to some things we shouldn’t be talking about. I would like him to see that this music is truly a part of me, like his child is a part of him.

PB: What did James say when you told him that you wanted to release the album?

Newsted: I won’t go there. What are we on the Jerry Springer show? "Don’t go there girl!" We have to change the subject.

Hetfield: Where would it end? Does he start touring with it? Maybe. Does he sell shirts? If he was smart. Is it his band? I would think so. That’s the part I don’t like. It’s like cheating on your wife in a way. Which you guys have probably all done at one time or another. We’re all married to Metallica. Married to each other. Fags. Oops, I guess that means I’m questioning my sexuality and not being comfortable with it.

PB: What if Jason were to put it out anyway?

Hetfield: I don’t know. It would disappoint me a lot. Not nearly as much as your fans were disappointed by your last few albums.

Hetfield: I don’t mind being looked at as the asshole in the band. Well, within the band. As long as the fans think Lars is the asshole, that’s fine (laughs).

Newsted: James is on quite a few records: In the South Park movie, where Kenny goes to hell, James is singing, and he’s on just about every Corrosion Of Conformity album. That’s a shot at him, but I’m going to keep it. Wow Jason, what a shot! You really put him in his place. I can’t play my shit, but he can go play with other people.

Hetfield: My name isn’t on those records. And I’m not trying to sell them.

PB: You want loyalty and unity in the band, but if you’re too much a dictator, you can end up losing band members. We’ve got three words for you: Guns N’ Roses.

Hetfield: Those are three ugly words (laughs). Not nearly as ugly as the words, "S & M." They were a prime example of egos out of control. We’re definitely not in a Guns N’ Roses situation. True. In G N R, it was only one guy who was an ass. In Metallica, it’s both James and Lars. It would never get like that. I’d kill us all before that happened.

PB: Is this just the usual tension within Metallica, or is it worse now?

Ulrich: That’s a great question. It’s an interesting time to interview the four of us separately. You’re hearing people get things off their chest – almost using you as the middleman. Like, James and Jason won’t call each other, so they’re having a conversation through you.

PB: You have James haven’t talked, either.

Ulrich: I haven’t spoken to him for a while, that’s true.

Hetfield: He hasn’t called me. I’m sure he’ll say I haven’t called him.

Ulrich: It’s a little bit of the rock star stubbornness. Like, "He’s not calling me, so I’m not going to call him. Fuck him."

A bunch of multimillionaires acting like fucking teenage bitches. "He’s not calling me, so I’m not going to call him." Shut the fuck up! You’re not in high school anymore!


I’m out like Lars hair,


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