Metallica: some kind of monsters?

Starting out as a simple "Making of the album" documentary which was supposed to be finished in a couple of months, the making of this film ultimately ran over two years and covers the recording of their first album in 5 years and a return to touring with the new bassist, Robert Trujillo.

But the film is much more than a great look at the processes of writing and playing 'metal' - in the words of Lars Ulrich : " This is a film about relationships and the people that are having these relationships happen to live and breathe play music in a band called 'Metallica'."

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster

When the film starts, Metallica's long-time bass player leaves, and the band employs a therapist/performance coach "Phil" to work with them. They start by defining a mission statement and the encounters which play out on camera are often harrowing to watch.

James Hetfield checks himself into rehab - a sojourn which eventually lasts 6 months. During this time the other band members were struggling with creating new material and at the same time facing the possibility that Hetfield might not return - and that Metallica, after 20 years and over 90 million albums sold, may cease to exist.

After 18 months of the (daily) process Lars Ulrich proclaims: "... this is what bugs me about this process... is that every single thought has to be dissected, every emotion... what were you feeling in that instant?... it really (expletive deleted) bugs me!"

Lars Ulrich talking to Metallica's therapist.

Robert Trujillo auditioned for and joined the band during the filming. His first gig with the band was at San Quentin penitentiary (with no rehearsal).

Robert Trujillo auditioned for and joined the band during the filming of 'Some kind of Monster'.

The second gig was at the MTV "Ikon" awards playing a medley of their greatest hits to millions of people via satellite. This is life in the rock and roll fast track. I won't tell you how much he was eventually offered to join the band!

Metallica is:

  • James Hetfield: Lead vocals, Guitar
  • Lars Ulrich: Drums
  • Kirk Hammett: Lead Guitar
  • Robert Trujillo: Bass Guitar

Kirk Hammett lays down a solo.

I heartily recommend this as a look inside rock and roll at the top of the field, and also as an excruciatingly honest look at the difficult processes involved as a group of dedicated and intelligent people struggle to improve their quality of communication as they battle with substance addictions and emotional addictions.

Metallica in rehearsal

Metallica in their native environment.