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Lars Ulrich Provides Update on James Hetfield’s Rehab

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Metallica frontman James Hetfield is currently in rehab, having canceled the band’s planned tour of Australia and New Zealand (with Slipknot) to take care of himself. The band has remained quiet on James’s condition since the initial announcement despite revealing they’ll be headlining five major American festivals next year.

Lars Ulrich has broken the silence regarding Hetfield’s condition in a new interview with USA Today, and while he’s clearly taking caution to protect James’s privacy, it’s relieving, as a fan, to get at least some update.

The interview touched on Metallica’s recent S&M2 performance, the upcoming 30th anniversary of The Black Album and other topics before author Patrick Ryan asked about Hetfield:

You guys recently announced that you’re postponing your fall tour of Australia and New Zealand as James reenters rehab. How is he doing now, to your knowledge? 

“He’s doing what he needs to; he’s in the process of healing himself. I feel bad for everybody down in Australia and New Zealand, but we’re excited to get back to full force and come back stronger and healthier than ever. Along the way, there’s obviously an occasional bump in the road. But it’s been an incredible ride, and we’re looking forward to getting back down there, hopefully next year.”

James has been vocal about his struggles with addiction and sobriety through the years. Were you surprised when he told you about his decision to return, or how did you react? 

“I don’t have anything more to add – we put out a statement a week ago. I think the biggest surprise is just how positive the feedback has been from our fans and friends and peers alike. It’s very heartwarming, and it’s just blown our minds how much love and appreciation and support we’ve gotten in the last week since we had to postpone this. It’s an incredible thing.”

Like I said, cautious, which is totally understandable; the last thing James or anyone in the Metallica camp needs right now is a circus revolving around his health. Presumably we’ll learn something more concrete about the series of events that led to James’s stint in rehab once he finishes treatment and gets back out into the world.

Until then, now would be a good time to get tickets to see Metallica at those five major American festivals next year, at each of which they’ll be performing TWO nights with different sets!

You can read the rest of the chat with Lars at USA Today.

[via Ultimate Guitar]

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