METALLICA played its classic song "One" with Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang earlier tonight (Sunday, January 26) at the 56th annual Grammy Awards. Video footage of the performance can be seen below.
During the rehearsals for tonight's show, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich spoke to Artisan News about playing with Lang Lang and how it feels to be back in primetime at the awards.
"It's been 22 years, I do believe [since we last performed at the Grammys], so we're excited to be back," he said. "That's a long time to be away from anything, so we've got a lot of energy stored up that we're ready to unleash.
"Obviously, the Grammys are mostly about mashups, and so we're doing a very cool one with our new best friend, which is the worldwide renowned pianist Lang Lang."
Speaking about the collaboration with Lang Lang, Ulrich said: "Well, I would like to think that on a broader scale that music is music. We have a tendency in METALLICA to not look much beyond that in terms of definitions. But, obviously, he's a very talented musician, he's a very dynamic musician, he projects himself very well. I mean, when he plays, he's really full of energy and he's got a lot of kind of showmanship and kind of energy that protrudes off the stage and right into people's hearts and souls. So I would like to think that it's a good collaboration."
METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett told Rolling Stone that the band's performance at the Grammy Awards would be "completely insane." He explained, "Lang Lang has interjected himself into the song in a way I don't think anyone else has ever done in the course of our career. He's going to be playing major parts of the song. He's going to be playing through the melody."
Hammett told The Pulse Of Radio that the song's arrangement highlighted Lang Lang's playing without changing the song. "We're not lightening up the song just for him," he said. "We're still hanging onto all the heavy parts and it's gonna be amazing. He's just an amazing pianist, and at one point he's going to be, like, weaving in and out of my guitar solo and playing parts of my guitar solo with me. That's gonna be interesting. I've never, ever experienced that ever before with anyone we've ever played with."
"One" was the first single released from METALLICA's 1988 album "…And Justice For All", becoming the first song from the band to gain substantial commercial radio airplay. It was also the basis for the first music video the group ever did.
Hammett told Rolling Stone that METALLICA has recorded a demo of "One" with Lang Lang's contributions on it.