Playboy Interview:Metallica (April 2001)

April, 2001 by Playboy

HETFIELD: He introduced me to a lot of different music. I spent a lot of my time at his house, listening to stuff. I couldn't believe the size of his record collection - I could afford maybe one record a week, and he would come back from the store with 20. He bought Styx and REO Speedwagon, bands he'd heard of in Denmark. I would go, "What the fuck? Why did you buy Styx?"
ULRICH: I have an obsessive personality. When I become interested in something, I have to learn everything about it, whether it's Danish chairs from the great modern era between 1950 and 1956, or Jean-Michel Basquiat, or Oasis. When I was nine years old, it was all about Deep Purple. I would spend all my time sitting outside their hotel in Copenhagen, waiting for Ritchie Blackmore to come out so I could follow him down the street.


PLAYBOY: Since you love Denmark so much, why were you in LA?
ULRICH: I finished school in Denmark and moved to America to pursue a tennis career. We ended up in Newport Beach, which is like the snottiest fucking area of LA apart from Beverly Hills. There's all these kids in their fucking pink Lacoste shirts, and I'm in my Iron Maiden T-shirts. I guess there was a hatred for all that, a bit of an alienation. James Hetfield was the king of alienation. So there was a bit of a brotherly thing that brought us together.
PLAYBOY: How alienated was James when you met him?
ULRICH: I'd never met anyboday that shy. He was really withdrawn, almost afraid of social contact. He also had a bad acne problem.
HETFIELD: There wasn't much to say, I guess. When I met Lars, my mother had just passed away. Everyone was the enemy back then. I wasn't the best at talking - that came just from growing up in the environment I was in, kind of alienated. I was tired of explaining my religious situation. Once the band formed, I thought, I don't have to talk anymore. Lars can say it all. The no one really understood what the hell songs were about[laughs].

PLAYBOY: So, what was you religious situation?
HETFIELD: I was raised as a Christian Scientist, which is a strange religion. The main rule is, God will fix everything. Your body is just a shell, you don't need doctors. It was alienating and hard to understand. I couldn't get a physical to play football. It was weird having to leave health class during school, and all the kids saying, "Why do you have to leave? Are you some kind of freak?". As a kid, you want to be part of the team. They're always whispering about you and thinking you're weird. That was very upsetting. My dad taught Sunday school - he was into it. It was pretty much forced upon me. We had these little testimonials, and there was a girl that had her arm broken. She stood up and said, "I broke my arm but now, look, it's al better." But it was just, like, mangled. Now that I think about it, it was pretty disturbing.

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