According to The Pulse Of Radio, METALLICA lead guitarist Kirk Hammett candidly admitted in a new interview with Rolling Stone that the band has to tour pretty continuously in order to pay for its huge overhead, which includes their own studio, salaries for their staff and crew, and their live show production. He explained, “The cycles of taking two years off don’t exist anymore. We were able to do that because we had record royalties coming in consistently. Now you put out an album, and you have a windfall maybe once or twice but not the way it used to be — a check every three months.”

Things were not so different a few years back, when frontman James Hetfield told The Pulse Of Radio that the band would continue to tour extensively despite wanting to dial back on road work. “We’ve been like a live band, we’ve had to get out there and play, play, play,” he said. “And it’s kind of tough, because, you know, nowadays, that was the area we wanted to kind of lay back on a little bit, and kind of enjoy our families and things. But, you know, it is what it is, and we can’t change that. We can do our best and that’s all we can do.”

Asked if the band finances its own recording studio in Northern California with cash earned from touring, Hammett said, “Yeah. The merchandise. We basically take funds from wherever we can. This is a real luxury. But great things come out of this.”

Hammett also told Rolling Stone that the band is not staging its upcoming Orion Music + More festival for the money, saying, “Whenever we go on these kinds of endeavors, it’s never to make money. We want it to be fun and exciting. Maybe break even. Or lose money. Whatever. It’s not a financial thing. We’re trying to come up with something cool.”

The festival will take place on June 23-24 at Bader Field in Atlantic City, with METALLICA headlining both nights over lineups that include AVENGED SEVENFOLD, MODEST MOUSE, VOLBEAT, SEPULTURA and many other acts.

Rolling Stone interviewed all four members of METALLICA separately for a cover story that’s on sale now.