In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich talked about the time his bandmate and longtime friend James Hetfield battled with alcohol addiction which led the whole band to receive support for mental health.
As you might remember, Metallica frontman James Hetfield has been through some hard times while dealing with his alcohol addiction over the course of many years. During the recording of the band’s eighth studio album, ‘St. Anger,’ Hetfield entered rehabilitation for his alcohol problem was mainly caused by family issues.
Since then Hetfield seemed to be doing okay until the time his alcohol issues emerged once again in 2019. The members of Metallica decided to cancel their tour of Australia so James could go rehab.
Recently, the iconic drummer Lars Ulrich joined an interview with Rolling Stone magazine and talked about how James’ issues affected him and the whole band in general. During the conversation, Lars was asked to share further information about a scene from the Metallica documentary, ‘Some Kind of Monster.’
In the documentary, Ulrich’s therapist, Phil Towle, suggests some lyrics for him to use in future Metallica songs. The question led Lars to open up about the time his dear friend and bandmate, James had to struggle with alcohol addiction and how the rest of the band affected by that process.
According to Lars’ statement, they were in a phase that no one was talking about how they felt and how the band’s success affected their mental health for the last 20 years. However, when Hetfield entered rehab to deal with his substance abuse issues, it opened up a completely new phase for his bandmates as well.
Here’s what Lars Ulrich stated:
“It was a very transitional, experimental time. We’d been a band for 20 years, and we realized we never had a fucking conversation about how we’re feeling, what being in Metallica is doing to everybody. It was just this fucking machine. And then James Hetfield had to go away and deal with some of his substance abuse issues, and then that opened up this whole thing.”
Furthermore, the iconic drummer admitted that regardless of how he felt about his therapist at that time, he actually saved Metallica. Ulrich went even further and claimed he wouldn’t be sitting there for the interview if it wasn’t for Phil Towle.
Here’s what Lars said about the impact of his therapist:
“It was a difficult time with Phil. And as easy as a target as he is to make fun of, whenever I get asked about it now, I find myself defending him. He did save the fucking band. I think you and I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to each other if it wasn’t for him.”
Click here to read the entire interview with Lars Ulrich.