March 8, 1996 -- A week that brought the official word that Metallica, one of the biggest rock bands in the world, will headline the 1996 edition of Lollapalooza. Traditionally, a showcase for less imposingly successful bands, this also promises to be the hardest-rocking Lollapalooza yet. Punk pioneers The Ramones and Soundgarden were also announced as main stage acts. Lollapalooza launches in late June, a few weeks after Metallica's new studio album is to be released. On Monday in New York, Metallica spoke with our MTV Latino News colleague, Javier Andrade, about the new album, and about Lollapalooza 96.
MTV: It's been almost 5 years since Metallica released their last studio album. The group attributes the long wait for their latest record to a new, less stressful way of doing things.
LARS ULRICH, Drums: We've nearly killed each other and others around us when we've made records before. I think we all felt that we wanted to see if we could come out of this somewhat alive.
MTV: The guys teamed up again with producer Bob Rock, who also worked on their critically aclaimed and commercially succseful 1991 releasese "Metallica". The band, who are currently recording in New York City, are experimenting with different gear as well as different ways of writing.
KIRK HAMMETT, guitar: Different sounds.
JAMES HETFIELD, guitar/vocals: Different amps and guitars.
JASON NEWSTED, Bass: Different instruments, yeah.
ULRICH: The input from Jason and Kirk was a lot stronger this time. And I think me and James took a little bit of a step backwards and just really wanted to do a band thing this time.
MTV: The reigning gods of arena rock will be traveling a different concert path this year, headlining the usually "alternative" Lollapalooza.
ULRICH: I think we do fit in. Because I think we've always been going against mainstream stuff. I think when the mainstream came to us it was very clear they came to us.
MTV: The band plans on doing a world tour after Lollapalooza, but they want to take an extended break before revisiting anywhere so they can put out a second album.
ULRICH: I think our idea right now is to go everywhere once and then kind of see what happens. Maybe and go back and work some more on some of the songs that are incomplete right now from these sessions that I think we feel are strong enough to put out on a second record from these sessions.
MTV: Whether it's shaking things up at Lollapalooza or playing to a stadium full of metalheads, Metallica's philosophy towards their art is simple and direct.
HETFIELD: Our attitude was we don't give a f**k what people think. So why should we start now?