METALLICA's HETFIELD Says 'St. Anger' Sales Are A 'Bummer'

METALLICA frontman James Hetfield has told Reuters that the U.S. sales of the group's latest album, which fell off the pop charts earlier this month, are a "bummer."

But the band are not giving up on its U.S. fans, and plan to launch a six-month tour of indoor arenas on March 2, they announced backstage at the American Music Awards on Sunday.

"St. Anger" has sold about 1.5 million copies in the United States since it debuted at No. 1 in June, according to Nielsen SoundScan (the record has been certified double-platinum by the Recording Industry Assocationa of America).

"It's a bummer," Hetfield said. "In Europe it's doing really good, and some other places ... It is what it is. We can't change that. We do our best and that's all we can do."

Drummer Lars Ulrich said "St. Anger" is METALLICA's best seller in Europe since its 1991 self-titled release, the so-called "black album," and the band are preparing to launch their third "St. Anger" tour there in December.

"It's a very challenging record," Ulrich said of "St. Anger", which was features no guitar solos and was widely panned for its "unconventional" production approach. He added that U.S. rock radio programmers seemed more interested in playing bands like NICKELBACK.

METALLICA recently scrapped their South American tour because of exhaustion, and Hetfield expressed mixed emotions about their busy tour itinerary. The band just returned from Japan and will also play New Zealand and Australia early next year.

"We've been a live band, get out there and play, play, play. It's kinda tough, because nowadays that was the area we wanted to lay back on a little bit, and enjoy our families."

METALLICA's record sales in the U.S., according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA):

"Metallica" (1991) – 13 million
"…And Justice For All" (1988) - 8 million
"Master of Puppets" (1986) – 6 million
"Ride The Lightning" (1984) – 5 million
"S&M" (1999) – 5 million
"Load" (1996) – 5 million
"Reload" (1997) – 3 million
"Kill 'Em All" (1983) – 3 million
"St. Anger" (2003) – 2 million

(Thanks: All Metallica)

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