LARS ULRICH: 'I've Always Felt Like Hugging DAVE MUSTAINE'

METALLICA's Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield recently conducted separate interviews with CHUD.com about the making of their $4.3-million documentary "Some Kind of Monster". Several excerpts from the interviews follow:

On the sequence when former METALLICA guitarist Dave Mustaine joins Ulrich for a one-on-one therapy session:

Lars Ulrich: "That interaction was emotional on many different levels. Especially bewildering, because it was difficult for me to comprehend that when he thinks back on his career and his own achievements and of making some of the best heavy metal albums of the '80s and onwards that he only thinks of playing second fiddle to METALLICA. That's kind of hard to comprehend. I thought it was great to spend some time with him. I've always had a soft spot for him. I've always thought he was sweeter than he was portrayed. I've always felt like hugging Dave Mustaine. I don't know why, maybe I'm sexually attracted to him. I've always enjoyed spending any kind of time with him. We go through these periods where we talk on the phone a lot and then we don’t talk for like a year and then all of a sudden we'll talk on the phone once a week for six months."

James Hetfield: "I wanted to jump in there and defend Lars, first of all. I can really, really relate to what Dave has gone through. He still struggles with a less than kind of thing. Out of all the great things he's accomplished, the critic in his mind is just relentless. I'm glad I wasn't there — if I was there it might have disrupted the natural way those two were communicating. It was cool to see Lars — I think he was more revealing in that scene than any other. He wasn't playing to the camera. I think he started getting loss and taking blame for things he didn't need to. Also really great for Dave, that's great footage to watch. It gives everyone hopefully a great insight into what struggles he's gone through as well."

On the fact that Dave wasn't very happy with his scene in the film and whether he talked to them about it:

Lars Ulrich: "We never talked about it directly, but I believe [the film's directors] Joe and Bruce kind of forwarded the Dave Mustaine scene or something close to the Dave Mustaine scene to him and he was not super-receptive to it. We were kind of debating what we should do with that. We're passed the point of pissing people off, at least on purpose. He wasn't super-receptive to it, we couldn't figure out if it was his managers or him; it was just odd.

"One thing that even happened to me is early on when I started to see some scenes from the film edited together it was difficult to watch, and odd. As soon as I saw it in the dramatic thread, as a film, I was like, 'Of course!' We could not obviously send him the film (or maybe we could have) but he saw that scene as an isolated entity and he was apparently not super psyched about the vulnerable Dave Mustaine being out there for the masses or whatever. It's unfortunate."

On whether there has been any follow-up to the meeting with Dave:

James Hetfield: "The only communications we've had regarding him is that he's somewhat annoyed at the footage and that disappointed me a little bit, but that makes sense to me. But I think the more feedback he gets from people the better he'll feel about it."

On the scenes with former bassist Jason Newsted, about what he was saying about the band and the egos:

James Hetfield: "Well, it's tough. There's truth to that in his reality as well. And yeah, egos, sure. He was surely one of them. The three together did not work. The way that the band is now there's a Lars and a James who are a little heavier on the ego side and there's a Kirk and a Rob, it balances it out really well. With Jason in there it was a little bit of, 'Hey, what about me?' We didn’t give him that chance, we'd crush his things every time, it was the nature of how we were. We'd do it different now. We can't change what we did back then — well we can by not doing it again. It must have been tough."

On how the fans have reacted to the film:

James Hetfield: "I haven't heard a lot of negative stuff coming back. I don't if that's because you get back what you put out, that people show up who need to show up at the time. Or if it just doesn't move them or they don't care, or if the ones that are negative about it are just soaking it up. But the feedback's been pretty good. We've gone on tour and there's been screenings here and there and people we've seen at the meet-and-greets have said that there were times they felt so embarrassed because they felt they shouldn't be seeing that stuff. Less with the Europeans. They feel, 'Wow, you're human. Hello, welcome!' They relate to it more I think. Americans are more shocked by the candidness. In America there seems to be more of a need to cover things up."

Read CHUD.com's complete interviews with Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield: Lars, James.

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