JAMES HETFIELD Says METALLICA Holds 'No Ill Will Towards' Former Bassist JASON NEWSTED

Jono Pryor of C4, New Zealand's youth entertainment channel, conducted an interview with METALLICA guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield and bassist Robert Trujillo prior to the band's September 21, 2010 concert at the CBS Canterbury Arena in Christchurch, New Zealand. You can now watch the chat below.

When he was asked about the band's current relationship with former bass player Jason Newsted, Hetfield said, "Last time we talked to Jason was at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. We're not coming over for barbecues or anything, but, you know, we're at peace and he's at peace with his decision [to leave METALLICA]. And that's good; there's no ill will towards anything he's done or he's going to do at all."

Jason was inducted, along with the current members of METALLICA and the band's late bassist Cliff Burton, into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame on April 4, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio.

METALLICA played "Master Of Puppets" and "Enter Sandman" at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, with Newsted and his replacement, Robert Trujillo, both taking part in the performance (the group played as a five-piece). They also led a "surprise jam" at the end of the night consisting of "Train Kept A Rollin'", with RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS' Flea, LED ZEPPELIN's Jimmy Page, AEROSMITH's Joe Perry and Jeff Beck.

According to MTV, Newsted quit METALLICA in February 2001 for several reasons, including his desire to play more of a creative role. He also felt the band had lost its focus and was spending too much time involved in litigation and political rhetoric. And finally, he needed time off to recover from neck and back injuries he sustained banging his head every night onstage.

Although there was bad blood between METALLICA and GUNS N' ROSES back when the two bands toured together in 1993, Hetfield now says he "kind of" has respect for GUNS leader and sole original member Axl Rose. Hetfield told Australian radio station Triple J, "I've got nothing against GUNS N' ROSES. I mean, he's doing what he wants to do at this point. I don't know if there's much 'guns' or 'roses' in any of that, but it's Axl, and he is Axl and he has not changed or waned one bit, and I kind of respect that."

In the interview, Hetfield was also shown a copy of GUNS N' ROSES' current rider, which includes a bed. Hetfield remarked, "A bed? That's pretty amazing. So he sleeps at the gig."

Although that 1993 trek was marked by injuries, riots, and friction between the two camps, Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich didn't rule out touring with GUNS again at their Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame press conference. "You know, we're road dogs and we love to tour, so if that opportunity ever came in the right situation, of course," Lars said. "We've learned to never say never, 'cause you don't know what great thing's gonna be handed to you," Hetfield added. "All four of us really like (the new GUNS album) 'Chinese Democracy'," Lars continued. "I think it's a great record and, who knows, I mean, we never say no to anything."

As previously reported, a one-hour private drumming lesson and lunch with Lars Ulrich are being auctioned for charity, with all proceeds going to the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, a not-for-profit public charity dedicated to transforming education to create opportunities for children.

The winner of the auction and a guest will be flown to San Francisco and taken to METALLICA's headquarters, where they will meet Ulrich for a tour, lunch and the winner's private lesson. The prize will include airfare, hotel and a batch of METALLICA gear.
Finally, "The Big Four: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria", a DVD chronicling a June 22 concert in Sofia, Bulgaria by METALLICA, SLAYER, ANTHRAX and MEGADETH, will hit stores in the U.S. on November 2.

The two-disc set will contain the complete sets from all four bands, as well as behind-the-scenes and interview footage. A deluxe edition will include the entire show on five CDs, a poster, a guitar pick and more.

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