Lars Ulrich Says Metallica’s Load-Era Haircuts Weren’t Coordinated Amongst the Band Members
Thinking about it now, it’s pretty funny how pissy Metallica fans got about the band members all getting haircuts around the time Load came out. In the fans’ defense, the band’s members did seem to all cut their hair right at the same time, which made it seem as though it was a coordinated effort to try and ensure that the band appealed to the alternative rock crowd that was so dominating MTV at that point. (Also, Load blew, which didn’t help their case any.)
Now, in a new interview with WJRR, Lars Ulrich asserts that the haircuts were actually just a coincidence (via Ultimate Guitar):
“It’s funny how these things end up being perceived – there was this perception that the 4 members of Metallica went to a barber shop together and ordered like a 4-for-1 discount, or some crazy thing like that. That wasn’t the case at all. [Jason] Newsted actually – he shaved his head on the ‘Black Album’ tour. That was the end of ’93, and ‘Load’ came out in ’96. So there was like an almost three-year span where – shock, horror – all four members of Metallica got haircuts at various times between ’93 and ’96. It was kind of a downtime.
“This was back in the day when there was no social media and when you’re off the radar, you’re off the radar. And then ‘Load’ came out, and all of the sudden there was like, ‘Woah! They all got haircuts!’ Obviously, we didn’t get haircuts at the same time, we just all decided individually at different times to somewhat trim our hair. And then people came to the conclusion that that was some sort of contrived purposeful undertaking, which of course it wasn’t. People always find an angle to hit you in the places where you least expect it, and you have to accept that. And we accept that – some of it is kinda funny, actually.
“So occasionally we sit and chuckle when people throw some of the stuff at us. Which is fine. Ultimately, I guess it means that people care, that people are passionate, and sort of still caught up in what Metallica does. That’s a good problem to have. But I wish my hair was in that good of shape today. [Laughs] I wish for the glory days of 1996, but that’s a different conversation for another day.”
That the ‘dos weren’t actually coordinated seems plausible… but, honestly, so does the idea that some stylist came in and made everyone look ‘just so’ (these kinds of things happened in the ’90s). Only Metallica’s barbers can ever be sure. Luckily for all parties involved, it really, really, really doesn’t matter. Like, really. At all.