Regarding comparisons to the classic 1976 LED ZEPPELIN film “The Song Remains The Same”, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich said: “I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but [we felt strongly that] it shouldn’t be ‘The Song Remains The Same’. We don’t want to be in the non-concert part. We don’t see ourselves acting.”
He added: “[We decided] it shouldn’t be in the infomercial style that a lot of the current ones are, where they follow a band on the road, and here they are on and off airplanes. There wasn’t a blueprint for this movie, and that’s what made it so hard to sell in Hollywood.”
“[Director] Nimród [Antal] came up with the story line,” frontman James Hetfield added. “It really is two movies in one. We wanted to have the best concert footage ever filmed and also have a story line and give it some legs that will be open for interpretation. There are so many metaphors in there. And there’s no good side or bad side. There’s just turmoil. That’s just a part of human nature — fight or flight at times. For me, when the rider shows up he’s the embodiment of hate. And then there’s fire. Of course. You gotta have fire.”
Ulrich also spoke about METALLICA‘s penchant for avoiding the obvious path and taking chances with their projects.
“We’re four guys and we’re always thinking, ‘Let’s be creative and try something different,'” Ulrich said. “The model of album, tour, album, tour is a little old. There are so many other ways to express yourself now. There are festivals [like our Orion Music + More festival], and Lou Reed calls, and movies. There are so many different things we want to do. We’re just so curious, and we want to live in these things and experience them, and that invigorates us so when we go back to making another record or writing a song we have all of these experiences to draw from.”
“Making a film of this size was radically different than making a record,” added Ulrich. “For me, the biggest thing was the scale of it and the amount of people that are involved. It can get overwhelming at times. It’s been three years and there are times it felt like the whole thing was running amok and [we wondered] who’s steering the ship. The intimacy you have in the recording studio where you really feel on top of what’s going on…I don’t feel we had that the whole time [with the movie], but we tried to commandeer it. I’m proud to say most of what you see does come from us, but it’s been a mindfuck at times. And we’re all psyched to get back to the studio and get back to that intimacy again.”
“Metallica Through The Never” opens this Friday (September 27) on IMAX screens before expanding to more theaters on October 4.