In a recent video chat with Rob Dietrich, the new master distiller of METALLICA's Blackened American Whiskey, drummer Lars Ulrich reflected on the band's nearly four-decade existence ahead of METALLICA's 40th anniversary.
"It always feels like we're just getting started," Lars said (see video below). "Forty fucking years! Yeah, it's crazy. We're in 2020 here, so I guess next year is the 40th anniversary.
"All those clichés about 'age is just a state of mind,' but there is definitely a part of me that still feels like all the best years are ahead of us. I guess that's kind of how I have always thought.
"I can't spend a lot of time in the past, and I can't spend a lot of time going down memory lanes," Lars explained. "Obviously, when people like you and I are talking or if I'm doing interviews or whatever, I can hang in the past, but when I'm not doing that, I spend most of my time in the future — [focusing on] what's ahead.
"People go, 'What's your favorite METALLICA record?' It's, like, you know what? The next one is my favorite METALLICA record. So I always think ahead.
"But, listen, it's been an awesome ride so far. Forty years next year, and I'm just thankful for James [Hetfield], Kirk [Hammett] and Rob [Trujillo] and thankful for this incredible ride. And it feels like, I guess, in some peculiar way, that we're getting closer and closer. I guess social media, the way that we connect with the fans nowadays, still touring all over the world, the spirit and the way we connect with the fans just feels more and more pure, more and more transparent and more and more honest. We just throw it all out there.
"I love social media. I love the fact that you and I can sit here and do this. And to me, what rock and roll is is really just about connecting to other people.
"When I think of the last three or four years and the 'Hardwired[… To Self-Destruct]' ride, it's amazing how it feels like it's getting more and more intense and more and more intimate — I guess, always working on trying to break down that barrier between the band and the fans and trying to make us all one. The indoor stage of the last couple of years, playing in the round, with the snakepit, and the shows we've played in the last few years outdoors, it just feels like we're connecting at a more intimate level than we ever have before. So, like I said, hopefully we're just getting started."
METALLICA has been largely out of the public eye since last fall when the band canceled an Australian tour and announced that frontman James Hetfield was returning to rehab for the first time since 2002 to battle his addictions.
Hetfield made his first major public appearance since entering rehab on January 30, when an exhibit featuring 10 of his classic custom cars opened at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
In March, METALLICA announced that its South American tour, which was originally planned for April, has been postponed until December. In addition, the band's appearances at four Danny Wimmer Presents-produced festivals in May and September have been canceled: Epicenter in Charlotte, Welcome To Rockville in Daytona, Sonic Temple in Columbus and Louder Than Life in Louisville.
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