In this month's issue, Q329 out now, we let you interrogate Metallica in Cash For Questions. However with the band recently releasing 3D concert film Through The Never, we thought we'd put a few questions of our own to drummer Lars Ulrich, most pertinently why does a movie about a heavy metal gig need actors and script...
How the devil are you? "I'm good!"
You've released a 3D film, how long have you been planning that? "The idea has been lingering for quite some time, it goes back to the late 90s. IMAX suggested it back when they were making scuba diving and those kinds of movies. It was too impractical to do it in the 90s, but the idea came up again three years ago and then we figured we incorporate some different elements of the theatrical staging that we'd done over the years, threw in a narrative with real actors, stuff that we call the real movie part. It's really an attempt to do a different take on a concert film, and try to throw it a little bit, get away from the standard here we are backstage and here we are getting off a plane, getting massaged and all that kind of stuff."
What films were you inspired by then? "We wanted to make more of a hybrid, make a different kind of beast that's in line with the more theatrical music films of the 70s: Give Me Shelter, The Song Remains The Same, those types of experiences that maybe had a bigger vision, a grander vision rather than a documentary style that a lot of concert films have become in the last few years, post MTV."
After the reaction to your documentary Some Kind Of Monster, was there any trepidation about going back into film? "Some Kind Of Monster was probably accepted better in the film world than in the music world because a lot of people thought that it was too transparent for the music world. A lot of people were like 'we really should see that kind of stuff'. In the film world it really kind of worked because there was this dramatic arc to it, a natural dramatic narrative, which of course you couldn't script. When it came time to do this, the idea of putting a story in there instead of that thing that everyone does with the documentary footage rose to the surface. When we partnered up with Nimród [Antal, director] he went away and dreamt up trip and dreamt up that little story."
There's actors in film, why go for the narrative approach and not just a straight concert film, albeit in 3D? "It's been driven by an attempt to really create a different type of music film, and it just seemed like this had never been done before. So we we got further and further immersed in it we tried to drum a different kind of beast up. Whether people like it or not at least they'll never be able to take away that they haven't seen anything quite like this before." [laughs]
Do you act in it yourselves? "Do we act? We do not, no. We stay up onstage. We keep referencing other films, I don't want to be disrespectful, but it's easier to say what it's not but it doesn't have us acting in it. Trust me, that's the last thing you want to see!" Paul Stokes @Stokesie
For more head to Metallica.com.