Metallica members bash each other in Playboy

3-8-01 antiGUY

It’s always sad to see bands air their dirty laundry in public. Metallica fans will get an eyeful if they read the latest issue of Playboy, and we aren’t talking about the picture either. 

Last week Reuters revealed part of the Playboy 12 page featured interview with Metallica that hit newsstands this week. The magazine interviewed the members of Metallica separately back in November and what the band members had to say about each other wasn’t all complimentary. 

Two months after the interviews took place Jason Newsted announced he was leaving the group for personal and physical reasons. With the revealing interviews now seeing the light of day, fans may be able to get a better idea of the “personal” reasons for his departure. 

During his interview Newsted revealed that things weren’t always rosy from the beginning. He joined the group after the tragic death of bassist Cliff Burton and Newsted claims that his initiation into the band became downright violent at times. Drummer Lars Ulrich admits that he and Newsted have gotten into a few fights over the years. And Newsted complained that his bass lines on the “…And Justice for All” album were turned down in the mix. Newsted also blasted vocalist James Hetfield for his limited vocal range. But the real strife came between Newsted and vocalist James Hetfield over Newsted’s side project, which according to the interview Hetfield forbid Newsted from releasing. 

Hetfield elaborated on why he was against the Newsted project during the interview; "We've been the same guys since day one, essentially. The only way you can get out of this band is if you die. ... When someone does a side project, it takes away from the strength of Metallica."

In their defense, it does appear that most of the negative comments came in response to the interviewer revealing disparaging remarks made by other members. Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich each attacked each other during their interviews. James took aim at Lars’ public persona, which often comes under attack by critics of the band, he called the drummer "Spoiled — that's why he's got his mouth." Hetfield also said of Lars’ drumming ability, “To this day, he is not Drummer of the Year. We all know that". For his part Lars questioned Hetfield’s sexuality, "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."

Internal battles are nothing new for rock bands, KISS’s Paul Stanley has said many times over the years that being in a group is like being in a four way marriage, strong personalities, differing ambitions and working closely with other people for so long it is only inevitable that clashes will occur. We have all read and seen accounts of other bands having spats, so these new revelations about Metallica are not surprising. What is surprising is the fact that they have not become public before now. As with any marriage arguments and disagreements are going to occur, and it appears that Metallica has had their fair share, but they have always worked through them in the past and carried on instead of ending things in a messy divorce. 


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