METALLICA frontman James Hetfield spoke to the WAAF radio station about what fans can expect from the stage production on the North American leg of the band's "WorldWired" tour, which launched earlier this month. He said (see video below): "It's a huge stage. [When you're] our age and you've been around for thirty-six years and you're gonna do stadiums, go big."
The guitarist/vocalist added that he couldn't say for sure that it was "the biggest production" METALLICA has had so far, explaining: "I mean, when you say 'big'… I mean, we've done stuff where we've had two stages indoors and all kind sof crazy stuff. This, I would say, when you look at it, is the biggest we've done, as far as outdoors and just sheer size of it."
Hetfield also talked in more detail about the "WorldWired" stage set, which includes pyro displays that include forty-foot flames that turn into fireballs and fireworks galore.
"Some guy, the other day, in an interview, asked me… He says, 'Why do you have forty-foot flames?'" James recalled. "[I'm like] 'Why do you not? Why would you not have forty-foot flames if you could?' It's giant, it's big, it's huge."
He continued: "The whole idea around this is to make everyone feel as close as possible. That's what we've always done from day one — trying to get people drawn in. We wanna see facial expressions, we wanna see sweat, we wanna see the expression, the joy — everything that goes into making a show. So, on these big screens, if you're way up in the nosebleeds, normally you would feel like you're not a part of something. This, you're still able to count the nosehairs in Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer] — whether you want to or not. You're up close and personal no matter where you are, and that's what we've been trying to do."
The summer stadium leg of the "WorldWired" tour — during which METALLICA is playing some venues with a capacity of more than 50,000 — kicked off at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on May 10 and wraps up at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta on August 16.
Hetfield recently told the New York Post that he is missing more than his family on the band's stadium tour — he is also missing his bees. Hetfield has started beekeeping as a hobby, and he said that it can turn quite painful. "I had to move a hive one time, and one bee got perturbed, and that sets them all off," he explained. "I'm in my bee suit — everything's fine except I didn't put my boots on because it was hot. One area of my ankle was exposed and, of course, I end up with about twenty bee stings. If one stings you there, they all sense it and swarm there. That was not fun. I just had to throw my foot in a bucket of ice."
Later this year, METALLICA will head to Europe with a slate of fall arena dates planned through early November.