playboy april 2001

"I wasn't surprised that Jason Newsted quit Metallica. Just two months earlier, I'd spent a day with each of the four, and I've never seen a band so quarrelsome and fractious. Most of the barbs were cloaked in humor -- Newsted mocked Hetfield's singing, Hetfield mocked Ulrich's drumming, and Ulrich, whom I interviewed last, responded to several of Hetfield's quotes with scorn.

"But genuine tension was evident in these interviews -- the last ever to be conducted with this Metallica lineup -- because they shared one trait: Each talked about his need for solitude. Paradoxically, this is a band of loners, and the conflict between unity and individuality was pretty clear."


PLAYBOY: Aside from his natural garrulousness, why did Lars become the band's spokesman against Napster?

HETFIELD: My wife and I were giving birth to a second child [son Castor, born May 2000]. And family is number one. So Lars had to run with the torch, and there were a few bad moves. You know, Lars can get really mouthy and be a snotty-nosed kid at times. I cringed at certain interviews: "Oh dude, don't say that."

ULRICH: I said some things that were borderline silly. 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. Me and Fred kissed and made up. When I open my mouth, most of the time something somewhat eloquent comes out, and once in a while I talk a bunch of fucking bullshit. I'm aware of that.

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



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