METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich has issued a videotaped message explaining his absence from the group's headlining performance at the Download festival on Sunday (June 6). A BLABBERMOUTH.NET transcript of the message follows:
"We've been going pretty hard for most of the year, as you are aware, and we had to take a little bit of a chill-out time back there in October, as some of our Latin American friends might remember. It kind of caught up with me the other day, and I had to just kind of chill out. There's no reason to bore anybody with a lot of details. But I'm fine, as you can see, and I'm looking forward to playing tonight. I had a little episode on the airplane going to Donington the other day, and I thought that it would be best to get it checked out 'cause I was having a bit of a weird half hour there. I think that the last six months of playing super-duty metal and traveling all over the world at my age kind of caught up to me a little bit. But I wanna thank, obviously, all the fans at Donington for being so supportive. And I wanna thank… From what I heard from James and Kirk and Rob, it went well. And I wanna thank, obviously, Joey from SLIPKNOT for stepping up, and Dave from SLAYER… God, I wish I could have seen that. No, on the second thought, it's probably better that I don't see it. But that's pretty cool that Joey and Dave, and of course, Flemming, my trusted companion and drum roadie for coming up on 20 years this year, [stepped up]. So I appreciate the three of those guys [filling in], I appreciate my 50,000 friends in England for being supportive and understanding. This is the first METALLICA show I've ever missed, so I still have the best track record. But sometimes you've gotta do what you've gotta do. So I apologize to all our friends, once again, who traveled and… We've had an awesome run in England, between Reading and Leeds and the secret Donington show and the couple of nights at Earls Court, so I'm sorry that I missed it. But I'm back here in Ludwigshafen [Germany, site of Tuesday night's METALLICA show] and we're gonna just keep going 'till we fall over. [laughs] I appreciate all the love and the support and all you fucking haters out there, I know who you are and I know where you live and I'm gonna come find you… Nah, it's all good."