Metallica Discuss Shock At James Hetfield’s 2019 Return To RehabAugust 21, 2020
Members of Metallica have opened up about James Hetfield‘s decision to return to rehab to recover from his alcohol addiction.
Hetfiled, Metallica’s frontman and co-founder, went back to rehab last September, forcing the postponement of the band’s tour of Australia and New Zealand.
In an interview with U.K. magazine Metal Hammer, Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo and Lars Ulrich discussed Hetfield’s addiction issues and how it affected the rest of the group.
“We really didn’t see it coming. James seemed like he was fine, but then you look back and you try to analyze the situation over time and see where there were red flags,” Trujillo said.
“Being on the road can be very challenging, and I would imagine for James, to get up there in front of all those people and have to be ‘on,’ meanwhile your family’s not with you and all these things are going on, it builds up,” he added.
“Whenever something happens to a bandmember like this, it’s so deeply unsettling. It comes as a shock,” Hammett said. “You have to do a bit of scrambling just to cover some ground.”
Ulrich added, “I’m an only child, so these guys have been in my life longer than anybody else other than my parents. We know what the MO is. As you see your brothers, your friends, your partners go through ups and downs for decades, you know what the process becomes.”
The band had to cancel their tour dates, saying at the time, “As most of you probably know, our brother James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years. He has now, unfortunately, had to re-enter a treatment program to work on his recovery again.”
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