Lars Ulrich Reveals How The Rolling Stones Saved Metallica From A Breakup

I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell

I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell

Perhaps no band drama has been documented more completely than Metallica's, as the band's 2004 documentary Some Kind of Monster.

The doc shows the band at arguably its lowest point, following the departure of longtime bassist Jason Newsted, the alcoholism rehab of front man James Hetfield and the resulting strained relationship between Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich.

But in a recent interview with U.K. publication The Sun, Ulrich explained that one of the most important moments of Metallica's reconciliation in that time was thanks to The Rolling Stones and was not depicted in Some Kind of Monster.

"[W]e disappeared then for about a year," Ulrich recalled of when Hetfield's recovery and distance from the band. "And then the Rolling Stones called us up and said, 'Come and play some shows with us in California,' and we sort of agreed, you're not going to say no to the Stones, so that was it."

The drummer explained that The Stones' offer motivated Metallica to get back on stage; it reminded the band of its love for playing music.

"It gave us the way to start it back up again," he continued. "Whether you're a team in an office or a bunch of dudes in a rock and roll band, at some point people have to figure out how to get along and work as a team."

Newsted walking away, combined with the constant arguing gave Ulrich, Hetfield and guitarist Kirk Hammett a false sense of distance between one another, Ulrich explained.

"If you don't care, it's easier to walk away, but fortunately we cared enough about Metallica on behalf of ourselves and the fans to figure out a way to make it function," he said. "I'm happy that we did."

The opportunity presented by the Stones wasn't lost of the band at the time.

Ultimate Classic Rock points out that Ulrich said the gigs motivated the band to prepare "for the next phase of Metallica."

Photo: Getty Images

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