Rolling Stone recently went behind the scenes on Metallica’s North American WorldWired Tour. The feature observed how the legends have matured immensely over the years, especially since 2004’s Some Kind of Monster, learning the best thing for them is giving each other space. This particular trek is by far their largest production, consisting of 48 trucks, taking three days to build a set including lasers, balloons, and nearly 40,000 speakers. Rolling Stone calculated it generates 2.5 megawatts of power, enough to power 1,800 homes for a month. The gigantic stage stretches the width of the football field that has the “M” and “A” part of their logo with video displays in between and lots of pyro.
Drummer Lars Ulrich expressed how they went about to give their fans an ultimate experience:
“We very cautiously decided to do experiences. We spent a lot of time seeing what everybody was else doing. ‘What’s Black Sabbath doing? What’s Guns N’ Roses doing? What happens in the pop world?’ It felt foreign to us and, dare I say, a little hokey. So we just had to sort of get to a place where we would get comfortable with that.”
“When you’re in a bigger place, there’s more stuff to either worry about or that can go wrong. You’ve got curfews and public-transportation shutdowns and if you play nine seconds past a certain time then it’s $25,000 a second. We have awesome team out here, but there’s some times where you sit there and like, ‘Who’s actually steering this ship?'”
“Not a lot of bands have been jumping from the middle to the top. Guns N’ Roses have been around for 30 years, AC/DC have been around 45, we’ve been around for 130 years – it’s an odd thing. Sometimes it’s like, ‘Holy fuck, we’re playing stadiums. What if somebody finds out that we shouldn’t be playing stadiums?'”
Guitarist Kirk Hammett expressed how it feels like it’s 1993 again:
“There are a few bands still doing it on a level that’s similar to back in the day. There’s Guns N’ Roses, Tool, I wanna say Rage Against the Machine, but I’m not sure what their status is right now. But it’s weird. Like, what happened to everyone? Did they just fade away, give up? Did they lose interest? Did the audience lose interest? Why did the audience lose interest? There are a bunch of different questions on why they’re not here now and why are we.”
Bassist Robert Trujillo gave his answer to the ultimate question of who would be the next Metallica:
“[Black Sabbath bassist] Geezer Butler and I were on a flight two years ago and he asked me, ‘Who’s gonna carry the torch when we’re gone and Metallica’s gone?’ I didn’t know how to answer that question. I said maybe Gojira, but it’s not like they’re super young.”
Check out the full piece here, it’s worth the read.