Metallica postponed their Australian/New Zealand tour coincidentally on the 33rd anniversary of Cliff Burton’s death due to James Hetfield having to return to a rehab facility. Fans have been supportive ever since including artists such as Tony Iommi and Jamey Jasta. While everyone is eager to hear an update on Hetfield’s condition, drummer Lars Ulrich spoke to USA Today and noted that “he’s doing what he needs to; he’s in the process of healing himself.” Ulrich also expressed how surprised he is by the positive feedback the band has been receiving from their fans:
“Q: 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?
A: 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.
Q: 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?
A: 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.”
Read the full interview on USA Today here.