METALLICA’s LARS ULRICH Explains 3D Movie Idea

Rolling Stone magazine conducted separate interviews with the four members of METALLICA — guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo — during a recent visit to the band’s headquarters in San Rafael, California. The full interviews can be found in Rolling Stone‘s “The Big Issue”, as well as online at

Video footage of METALLICA‘s cover shoot for “The Big Issue” of Rolling Stone — featuring snippets from the the magazine’s interview with Ulrich — can be seen below. A couple of excerpts follow below.

Rolling Stone: What parts of the Orion festival can you take credit for?

Ulrich: I came up with the name [laughs]. For me, having the ARCTIC MONKEYS on there is big. I think they’re a heavy-metal band disguised as an indie band. If you listen to a song like “Perhaps Vampires Is a Bit Strong But…”, there’s almost a RUSH element in there. AVENGED SEVENFOLD are near and dear to me. They were on the fence about it. They were taking the summer off. I called one of the guys and said, “It would really mean a lot to us.” THE BLACK ANGELS are just cool. A friend of mine said, “Check them out,” and I was like, “Wow, it’s THE DOORS meets something else in 2011.”

Rolling Stone: Were there any bands you invited who said, “No way, we’ll get killed by your fans.”

Ulrich: The issue isn’t with the bands. It’s more if this type of festival can exist from the fans’ point of view. Because we’re doing it, it gets branded as a particular thing. We have to work harder. If Radiohead does it, it’s cool. If we do it, it’s not. I’m stunned that people are stunned by us doing these things. It’s our DNA.

Rolling Stone: The 3D movie is a weird leap, even for you. It has elements of documentary, fiction and live performance, on this crazy stage.

Ulrich: This has been circling for two years. It’s time to life-size it, get it out of our minds and on the screen. And if it’s done right, it can be sensational. You’re not watching METALLICA onstage. You’re onstage with METALLICA. In IMAX, James Hetfield is 38 feet tall, snotting on you, spitting on you. It’s 2,000 decibels. If there is an earthquake outside, you wouldn’t notice. But you can’t do that for 100 minutes. It loses its appeal. There is another element in there – intimate, small, a story that takes place over the same trajectory as the concert. The question is, “Where do they weave in and out of each other?” But you have to cut away from the concert to enjoy the concert.

Rolling Stone: Even at a METALLICA show, you gotta take a break for a beer or a leak.

Ulrich: This idea goes back to the Nineties, when IMAX movies started coming out. We were in talks with them. That’s when an IMAX camera was the size of a house, and they only had 12 minutes of film. You had to stop to reload. But seeing “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” in IMAX, which I did the week it came out, and then when we broadcast the “Big Four” show [with ANTHRAX, SLAYER and MEGADETH] from Sofia, Bulgaria, to movie theaters in 2010 — that’s what sealed the deal.

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