LARS ULRICH CREDITS DOCUMENTARY FOR SAVING METALLICA
10 years after its initial release and a month after it came out on Blu-ray for the first time, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich credits the 2004 documentary, Some Kind Of Monster, with saving the band’s career.
Ulrich told The Wrap, “The making of the movie was one of the most extraordinary experiences in my life, precisely because it came at such a vulnerable time. The presence of the cameras helped keep things on track — there was another set of eyes and ears there. When somebody else is in the room, you watch your Ps and Qs a little more. I think it kept the whole thing from derailing.”
Ulrich added that having the cameras on them forced the group members to communicate more, saying, “This was the first time we had to talk to each other, get to know each other and work stuff out.”
The film was made during a difficult two-year period in which bassist Jason Newsted quit the band, frontman James Hetfield went into rehab for months and the recording sessions for what became the St. Anger record nearly blew apart.
The band’s record label, which initially funded the movie, wanted to re-edit it into episodes for a reality series. Ulrich explained why the band ended paying for the film itself: “They felt that the movie should be used as a promotional tool for the St. Anger record, and we felt that it should not be used as a promotional tool, because this had potential to just go to a place that very few films about rock and roll bands have gone. So we felt that the only way we could control it was to basically buy it back from our record company. So we wrote the record company a check.”
Co-director Joe Berlinger said that he and filmmaking partner Bruce Sinofsky were alarmed at first when Metallica took control of the purse strings, recalling, “As a documentarian, you don’t want the subject of your movie to pay for it for lots of reasons, most notably who is going to have control of the final product?”
Although the band was “stunned silent” when they saw their first screening of the film, Berlinger said that he and Sinofsky “got final cut in a situation where it could’ve been the exact opposite.”
Metallica made a second film, a concert movie called Through The Never, last year.
- The band is reportedly at work on its 10th studio album, although there is no word on whether it will emerge in 2015.