In a little more than a week,
Will there be onstage dramatics — the kind we witnessed in 2006, when Blondie were inducted into the Hall and feuded with former members Frank Infante and Nigel Harrison — if former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted decides to crash the ceremony? Will the band refuse to perform, like the famously splintered Van Halen did when they were inducted in 2007?
When MTV News sat down with Metallica frontman James Hetfield in Austin, Texas — hours before a thunderous secret show at South by Southwest — he told us that the entire goal of his band's induction was to avoid drama at all costs ... and celebrate everyone who has made Metallica the band they are today.
"It's one of those things where they're like, 'Oh, Metallica, it's all about you,' and it's like, 'Thank you,' but we want to highlight and celebrate everyone's who's helped with that. It's a big family reunion," he said. "There's not many bands that have shown up there that are still a band, still making records, and have people coming to the shows. We're kinda drama-free, hopefully, and the more people you invite, the bigger, cooler party it is."
His sentiments were echoed by guitarist Kirk Hammett, who told radio news services that not only would Newsted — who split with Metallica in 2001 and was replaced by current bassist Robert Trujillo — be welcomed by his former bandmates, he'd also be performing with them at the Rock Hall induction ceremony.
It's huge news for Metallica fans, and Hetfield said he wouldn't have it any other way. After all, he's seen how ugly it can get at the Rock Hall firsthand — and it's not his style.
"We were there [to induct] Black Sabbath when Blondie's thing kind of went down, and it was like, you know, so be it, that's them. We don't have to do that," Hetfield smiled. "Let's celebrate. It's like, how many times does this happen? And you're gonna get up there and screw it up like that? No, no, no. We're not doing it like that. It's gonna be a celebration; it's not gonna be about excluding, you know?"