Playboy Interview:Metallica (April 2001)

April, 2001 by Playboy

PLAYBOY: Did you know they were telling people you were gay?
NEWSTED: No. I mean, dude, there was so much, that's like a minor detail.
PLAYBOY: Why did they do that and why did you put up with it?
NEWSTED: Because it was Metallica, it was my dream come true, man. I was defintely frustrated, fed up and kind of feeling unliked. They did it so see if I could handle it. If you're going to fill the shoes of Cliff Burton, you have to be resilient.
PLAYBOY: OK, guys, who was the biggest drinker in Alcohollica?
HAMMETT: James. He would drink half a bottle of Jagermeister by himself, as well as drinking Vodka.
ULRICH: James Hetfield. If me And James started drinking at the same time, six hours of hard liquor later, I would be passed out. For quite a while, he was embracing alcohol at a different level from the rest of us.
HETFIELD: I was. I had to have a bottle of Vodka just for fun. I'm surprised I'm still alive.


NEWSTED: That's a tough call. Fist for fist, I think Lars. He can take it to a different place, because he's Danish. They get conditioned real early.
ULRICH: [LAUGHS] I had much more of the binge mentality; I'd go every night for three days, then I wouldn't touch a drop for the next four.
NEWSTED: James is the only one that ever drank so much he couldn't show up for a rehearsal or for photos. He is the only one who ever actually poisoned himself.
HAMMETT: Jason's not so much of a drinker as the rest of us are. He likes to smoke pot.
PLAYBOY: People who like fast music usually like fast drugs. Did the band get into speed?
HAMMETT: Speed is a bad word in our camp. But speed freaks love us.
ULRICH: James is the only one who never really engaged in any kind of drug abuse. Me, Jason, Kirk and Cliff were always experimenting with different things to a higher degree.
HAMMETT: Cocaine has definitely been in our lives. You hang out with other musicians, and next thing you know, you have five guys crammed into a bathroom stall. I had a bad coke problem on the And Justice For All tour, but I pulled out of that, because it makes me depressed, basically. I tried smack once. I was so thankfull that I hated it.
ULRICH: I tried acid once; I was shit-fucking scared. The only drug I've ever really engaged in is cocaine. It gave me another couple of hours of drinking. A lot of people use it as a way to get closer to you, and you fall for that. I go through cycles where I say, "OK, I'm going to pull away for a while." And then I take six months away.
PLAYBOY: Jason, as time went on, did the band stop hazing you?
NEWSTED: They actually got tougher as time went on. The second and third years were the most brutal. Instead of fraternity pranks, there were things that cut deep and were based on disrespect.


PLAYBOY: What did they do that was disrespectful?
NEWSTED: Turning the bass down on And Justice For All. Not listening to my ideas, musically.
PLAYBOY: Is Jason even on And Justice For All?
HETFIELD: His picture is on it [big laugh]. Someone sent me a joke CD, with a sticker on the outside that says, "And Justice For All - now with bass!"
ULRICH: It's the only record of ours that I'm not entirely comfortable with. It became about ability and almost athletics, rahter than music.
PLAYBOY: Bands are usually like families, and it sounds like this familiy fights a whole lot.
HAMMETT: There are a lot of soap operas and petty dramas that come with being in this band. I find myself playing referee. I've been the buffer between James and Lars, I've been the buffer between Lars and Jason.


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