The Only Time Lars Ulrich Nearly Attacked James Hetfield

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In the world of rock bands, it’s no surprise that disagreements and conflicts sometimes emerge, even among the greats. Case in point: the iconic band Metallica. Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield, founding members of the band, had their own share of heated moments.

During the making of Metallica’s ‘St. Anger’ album, tensions reached a peak. Hetfield took time off for rehab, later suggesting changes to the band’s working dynamics upon his return. The documentary ‘Some Kind of Monster’ gives us a glimpse of these intense exchanges.

One particularly notable incident had Ulrich almost getting physical with Hetfield, shouting profanities inches from his face.

The band’s therapist, Phil Towle, reflecting on this episode in Metal Hammer’s ‘Metallica 40’ magazine issue, shed light on the deep-seated emotions at play.

He mentioned how the band anxiously awaited Hetfield’s return, unsure of the band’s future. Lars’ evident frustration was not just about the wait, but also the constraints Hetfield wanted to impose on the group’s working hours.

But that wasn’t the only time the two clashed. On the Howard Stern Show in 2021, the band recounted an earlier incident.

During a gig, there was a disagreement between Ulrich and Hetfield about the first song for their encore. Ulrich wanted a track with a drum lead, while Hetfield had another song in mind. To Hetfield’s annoyance, Ulrich started with his preferred drum intro, adding to their history of disagreements.

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