In a brand new interview with Entertainment Weekly, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich spoke about how the band's Grammy performance with Lady Gaga came about. He said: "[The Grammys] always encourage you to do cool, crazy collaborations. We thought some of the songs on the new album lent themselves well to a female co-conspirator. I was at a dinner party at my buddy's house a couple months ago and she was there. We ended up sitting and talking about her old metal days in Jersey and the Lower East Side. I knew she was a metal chick at heart, but I didn't know how deep her metal roots were. Her relationship with METALLICA goes way back — like deep album cuts on the early couple records. We're sitting there and I took a shot. I said, 'Listen, we've been invited to do the Grammys again. Come sing with us. It would be so much fun. I think this is the right fit.' She just said, 'Yes.' She didn't have to, like, 'Oh let me just check with my team,' or 'Let me call my 17 managers.' There was none of that stuff. She's so open and so authentic. She makes all the decisions herself and she's so talented and she's so eager. And she blew up the fucking Super Bowl!"
Ulrich also talked about the technical mishap that left METALLICA frontman James Hetfield without a working microphone for the Grammy performance with Gaga. He said: "When I couldn't hear his vocals in the first verse, I knew there was an issue. But in the heat of the moment, you don't quite know where the issue is — it's very difficult to troubleshoot. We just had to battle through it and keep going, which is what we did. It's live television, this stuff happens. This year it happened to us, last year it happened to Adele. In the context of the bigger issues that face humanity, I think we'll all be okay. I think, in some ways, the fact that James and her were singing out of her mic, there was another level of intimacy that was created. I'm totally happy."
Despite the problems with the Grammy performance, Ulrich told Rolling Stone earlier this week that Gaga was the "quintessential perfect fifth member of this band," adding that he would like to work with her again.
The North American leg of METALLICA's "WorldWired" 2017 tour kicks off on May 10 in Baltimore, Maryland and will hit stadiums in 25 cities before winding down in mid-August. Support on the quartet's first North American trek since 2009 will come mainly from AVENGED SEVENFOLD and VOLBEAT, with GOJIRA taking over for the latter group for the last six shows.
General ticket sales start Friday (February 17) at 10:00 a.m. local time.
Each ticket purchased will come with a copy of METALLICA's new album, "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct", available as a physical CD or a digital download. Various VIP packages are up for sale as well.
METALLICA has also announced the formation of its All Within My Hands Foundation, which will raise funds through ticket sales to support national, local and Bay Area charities selected by the band members, while continuing to donate to music education programs and local food banks.