Filmmakers Bruce Sinofsky and Joe Berlinger begin following Metallica to document the band's recording process. The filmmakers trail the band for two years and log over 1000 hours of footage.
"They do let it all hang out for us… The film will show sides to Metallica that not only the fans don't know, but also the band themselves didn't know. It is incredibly honest and revealing."
--Bruce Sinfosky (Rolling Stone)
"Whether it's theatrical, whether it's Sundance or the f***ing Disney network, if the cutoff should be when the record's done, or if we should continue through the first six months until all that stuff is done, we're trying to figure all that s**t out now."
--Lars (Rolling Stone)
July 12, 2001
Metallica and Napster announce a settlement of their legal dispute. Napster pay an undisclosed cash settlement and say they may allow their material to be available on Napster's copyright friendly subscription service.
"I think we've resolved this in a way that works for fans, recording artists and songwriters alike, Our beef hasn't been with the concept of sharing music; everyone knows that we've never objected to our fans trading tapes of our live concert performances. The problem we had with Napster was that they never asked us or other artists if we wanted to participate in their business. We believe that this settlement will create the kind of enhanced protection for artists that we've been seeking from Napster. We await Napster's implementation of a new model which will allow artists to choose how their creative efforts are distributed. It's good that they're going legit."
--Lars Ulrich (Metallica and Napster joint press release)
July 19, 2001
James Hetfield enters a rehabilitation facility for alcoholism and "other addictions." The band halts all activities including work on the new album and the launch party for metallica.com.
"We have always thought of you all as family and wanted you to know before this information gets out through other sources. James is working hard toward recovery and, needless to say, he has our full support. We trust that you will appreciate the sensitive nature of this matter and respect our wishes to give James the time and privacy he needs to deal with his problems.
Until then, thank you in advance for keeping James in your thoughts and prayers, and we look forward to continuing to share music with you in the future."
"It took a lot for me to admit to my problems...It's a great feeling to have the support and comfort for me as a person from all the friends I've made out there. Thanks very much, it means a lot."
--James Hetfield (www.metclub.com)
December 4, 2001
James leaves rehab.
"My rough road has become smoother reading the show of support from the friends I've met through Metallica. My music and lyrics have always been therapy for me. Without this God-given gift, I don't know where I'd be. And now I truly feel the impact and the connection it's made with others."