Metallica History – The 2000s
Rehab, recording delays and the departure of their bassist all made the beginning of this decade a rocky one. Fans were unsure of the future of their favorite band, but fortunately for the world Metallica did what they do best: they overcame any and all obstacles that were in front of them and created new, headbanging music. Metallica won several more awards, released a couple of more albums and toured more and more during the 2000s, making this another historical time period for the band.
Early in the year, Metallica picked up their fifth Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance for ‘Whiskey in the Jar.’ Just a couple of months later, the band, alongside ‘S&M’ conductor Michael Kamen, received the Arthur M. Sochot Award for Excellence for ‘S&M.’ The next month, on May 9, the soundtrack for ‘Mission: Impossible 2′ dropped, which included Metallica’s latest song, ‘I Disappear.’ That song was later nominated for five individual awards for the MTV Video Music Awards, winning the award for Best Editing in a Video. On Nov. 30, Metallica won two VH1 My Music Awards, one for Best Stage Spectacle and the other was simply called the Gods of Thunder award. Throughout this award-filled year, Metallica also made headlines when they waged a war against the music file-sharing website Napster. The band filed a lawsuit against the site, alleging Napster had committed copyright infringements when an unfinished demo of ‘I Disappear’ popped up on the site.
Jan. 17 marked a huge turning point for Metallica, as Jason Newsted left the band. Less than a month after the bassist’s departure, the band won their sixth Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for the ‘S&M’ version of ‘The Call of Ktulu.’ Celebrating that award while still picking up the pieces left by Newsted, Metallica decided to enter the studio on April 23 with producer Bob Rock (who would also fill in on bass duties). Recording of the band’s next album halted on July 19 after Hetfield entered rehab. As an early Christmas present for their fans, Metallica announced that Hetfield exited rehab, although at this point and time it was unclear what the status of the album was. This year brought with it a lot of obstacles, but one clear sign of victory for the band was when Napster settled the lawsuit filed by Metallica a year earlier. The settlement came after the company had already been shut down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Moving into Metallica HQ studios in Northern California on May 1, recording for the album picked back up, although Hetfield, fresh off his stint at rehab, could only work four hours a day, having to spend the rest of his time with his family. This obviously caused tension throughout the band and did not serve to speed up the recording process. As the band came to terms with the new situation, they held a ‘re-launch’ party on July 6 at Metallica HQ, playing a nine song set for fan club members. This served as reassurance for fans that the band was still working toward a new album, but also served as inspiration to the band to keep working through obstacles toward the completion of their current project.
On Feb. 5, Metallica announced the Summer Sanitarium Tour. The trek featured Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Deftones and Mudvayne. That same month, after going through several auditions with some of the greatest bassists around, Metallica offered Newsted’s position to Robert Trujillo, most recently of Ozzy Osbourne fame. While he did not play on any of the tracks on what would become the album ‘St. Anger,’ Trujillo was featured in the music video for the album’s title track, shot at San Quentin State Prison in California. May 3 brought with it one of Metallica’s biggest honors, being named an ‘mtv:ICON.’ One month later, on June 5, ‘St. Anger’ was released to a worldwide audience. The success of the album was translated not only in album sales (417,000 copies sold in its first week), but also in awards the band was nominated for that year. Metallica was nominated for Best Rock Video for ‘St. Anger’ in the MTV Video Music Awards and also received a nomination by the American Music Awards for Favorite Alternative Artist. To celebrate the year, Metallica played an exclusive show at the Joint in Las Vegas, performing 18 songs, covering their classic hits like ‘Hit the Lights’ and ‘Blackened’ and their latest tracks like ‘Frantic’ and ‘Dirty Window.’
On January 21, fans at the Sundance Film Festival got a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of the members of Metallica via the documentary ‘Some Kind of Monster.’ Days later, the band took home their seventh Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for ‘St. Anger.’ The next month, Metallica received an incredible honor in the reception of the Governors Award from the San Francisco Chapter of the Recording Academy. Another month passed, and Metallica received the Creative Voice Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. As if that wasn’t enough, on June 6, Kirk Hammett won the Outstanding Guitarist award from the California Music Awards. Two decades had passed since Ulrich placed that advertisement in the local newspaper, and his band was still making waves by way of awards. As if they needed something else to celebrate, on July 7, ‘Some Kind of Monster’ debuted to the public on the big screen. Besides being filled with awards and premieres, this year also brought with it a slew of live shows, covering Australia, North America, Denmark, Germany and several other countries.
Taking a break from the busy start to the decade, Metallica decided to spend most of 2005 with their friends and families, enjoying some much-deserved time off. The band played two shows in 2005, both performances in mid-November at SBC Park in San Francisco, both nights spent opening for the Rolling Stones. Aside from those shows, Metallica celebrated the release of ‘Some Kind of Monster’ on DVD and also enjoyed yet another Grammy Award nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Perhaps one of the most memorable moments in Metallica’s history came when the band had the incredible honor to induct Black Sabbath into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Both Ulrich and Hetfield gave speeches for the induction, and the band performed ‘Iron Man’ in honor of Black Sabbath. This year brought with it only one show in the United States, at Harry O’s in Park City, Utah. The rest of Metallica’s touring duties resided in Europe and Africa. Preparing fans for their next studio album, Metallica announced this year that Bob Rock would not be returning to the studio to produce the record, but instead they would team up with Rick Rubin.
Fans had become very familiar with ‘The Ecstasy of Gold,’ the song played before the beginning of nearly every Metallica performance. So it came as no surprise when the band decided to release their cover of the classic song, featuring it on the tribute album, ‘We All Love Ennio Morricone.’ Surely to the surprise of Metallica, their performance was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. Similar to 2006, this year brought with it only a handful of concerts in United States, with the bulk of Metallica’s live shows being in Europe. The most significant Metallica development this year came in April when the band jumped in Sound City Studios in Los Angeles to begin work on their next studio album.
Wrapping up recording on ‘Death Magnetic‘ on May 22, Metallica announced that fans could expect the new album on store shelves on Friday, Sept. 12. To get them excited for kind-of new music, Metallica covered Iron Maiden’s ‘Remember Tomorrow’ and released it on July 17. Eleven days before ‘Death Magnetic’ dropped, the music video for the first single, ‘The Day That Never Comes,’ premiered on Metallica’s official website. Oct. 21 marked the kick-off of the ‘World Magnetic Tour’ in Glendale, Arizona in support of the new record. The tour would continue throughout the rest of the year, with the last 2008 date on December 20 in at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. Finishing the year on a higher note than they could have expected, Metallica received four Grammy Award nominations for ‘Death Magnetic,’ including Best Rock Album, Best Recording Package, Best Rock Instrumental Performance and Best Metal Performance.
Following the four Grammy Award nominations, Metallica took home two of the awards on Feb. 8 for Best Recording Package and Best Metal Performance. On April 4, the day that many fans had been waiting for for decades finally arrived: Metallica was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The four current members were inducted, as well as Jason Newsted and Cliff Burton (posthumously). Metallica and Newsted played ‘Enter Sandman’ and ‘Master of Puppets’ at the induction ceremony. The end of this decade also brought with it two DVD/Blu-Ray releases from Metallica, including ‘Francais Pour Une Nuit,’ which covered the band’s show in the Arena of Nimes on July 7, and ‘Orgullo, Pasion y Gloria: Tres Noches En La Ciudad de Mexico,’ which covered Metallica’s shows at Foro Sol in Mexico City on Jun 4, 6 and 7. To wrap up the busy and successful year, Metallica celebrated another Grammy Award nomination, this time for Best Hard Rock Performance for ‘The Unforgiven III’ from ‘Death Magnetic.’