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The Transition Years (2000 - 2002)

Metallica started off the new millennium by adding yet another Grammy to their collection. On February 23, 2000, Metallica received a Grammy for “Whiskey in the Jar” for Best Hard Rock Performance, making this the band’s fifth Grammy. Yet, despite the starting off with yet another accolade to their success, the first couple of years of the new millennium turn out to be a bittersweet mixture of success intermixed with rocky periods in Metallica’s amazing success story. The first rocky patch started on April 13, 2000 with thousands of fans become dismayed over the band filing a suit in U.S. District Court naming Napster, and several schools including Yale University, University of Southern California, and Indiana University for not blocking Napster from their campuses. The suit charged Napster and the schools in question with copyright infringement, unlawful use of digital audio interface device, and violations of the Racketeering Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act. The lawsuit was prompted when Metallica discovered that a demo of their song "I Disappear" was being distributed via the Napster P2P file-sharing network. Not only was the song unfinished, it was supposed to be released in combination with the “Mission: Impossible II” soundtrack.

In an effort to counter the public relations nightmare and to explain their reasoning to their disgruntled fans, Metallica held an on line chat on May 20, 2000. Metallica explains: "Metallica is suing Napster because we felt that someone had to address this important artistic issue, and we have always been known for taking a leadership role in the fight for artist's rights. We were the first band to sue our record company, Time Warner, for the right to control our future. Rather than allowing the record company or any other corporation to own our recordings and compositions, we chose to fight for (and eventually win) control of our music. This issue is no different. Why is it all of a sudden okay to get music for free? Why should music be free, when it costs artists money to record and produce it?”


The suit with Napster was settled out of court in 2001 with Metallica and Napster agreed to an out-of-court settlement which led to many Napster user accounts being locked out (the band did not take legal action against any individuals for copyright infringement). This led to Lars Ulrich providing a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding copyright infringement on July 11, 2000.

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In the middle of this controversy Metallica proved they were still Metallica by launching a very successful yet unconventional notion of embarking on a stadium tour when not promoting a resent album release. “Summer Sanitarium” proved to be very successful but was marred by tragedy when on July 4, 2000 a 21-year-old man fell to his death at Baltimore show. And again a few days later, when James was hospitalized for slipped discs and unable to perform a few of the scheduled dates of the tour. Rather than cancel the dates, Metallica performed with special guests including members from Kid Rock, System of a down and Korn. Later in the year, as promised, Metallica made up the dates where James had been unable to perform. They wrapped up the year by accepting an invitation to perform at the “My VH1 Music Awards”. Instead of playing in front of the celebrity audience, they decide to play outside, in the parking lot for 200 fans and fan club members. They played "Fade to Black" at what would turn out to be Jason Newsted's last performance with the band.


2001 also saw the release of the much anticipated “Fan Can 4”. The can design and name was a parody of the Justice album. The live tracks were recorded in 1989. “Fan Can 4” CD and video cover designs were created to mach the year the recording was done, and the t-shirt was a "local crew" shirt from the same tour. This should have been the 1999 fan can but was delayed until 2001.

Top  S&M

St. Anger Era (2002 - 2005)

While anticipation was high for Metallica to enter the studio to produce their eight studio album fans were shocked and dismayed by the announcement that Jason left the band. Jason official statement for leaving Metallica was: "Due to private and personal reasons, and the physical damage that I have done to myself over the years while playing the music that I love, I must step away from the band. This is the most difficult decision of my life, made in the best interest of my family, myself, and the continued growth of Metallica. I extend my love, thanks, and best wishes to my brothers: James, Lars, and Kirk and the rest of the Metallica family, friends, and fans whom have made these years so unforgettable."

With fans worried over the fate of the band and the much anticipated new album, the news of Jason’s departure overshadowed yet another tribute to the bands success when on February 21, 2001, Metallica picked the Grammy award for best Rock Instrumental Performance for the S&M version of "The Call of Ktulu", the band’s 6th Grammy.

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Not being a band to throw in the towel when fate sends them down a rocky road, Metallica hunkered down in an old ex-army barracks, called The Presidio, to jam and begin work on the next album. Rather than trying to find a new bass player while recording their new album, Metallica has their producer, Bob Rock, fill in and record all the bass parts. However, further setbacks were to delay the production of the new album as the band, especially James, decided that their personal lives needed attending to if they were to continue to succeed as a band. James entered rehab to address his alcoholism. The results were to manifest themselves two-fold: when they came together again in the spring of 2002 there was a deeper respect and appreciation for each other than ever before. And they were finally ready to make a new album, free of outside expectations, free of inner expectations and independent of anyone.

When recording was resumed, it was in their newly built Headquarters in San Rafael, California complete with their own custom recording studio. To ensure that the new found appreciation of each other would last, Metallica had sought the guidance of a therapist, Phil Towle, to assist them with their interpersonal relationships as they finished recording “St. Anger”. The entire process was documented on a home video to be released in 2004 titled, “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster” as Filmmakers Bruce Sinofsky and Joe Berlinger followed Metallica to document the band's recording process. The filmmakers trailed the band for two years and logged over 1200 hours of footage, resulting in an almost two and a half hour long documentary.

Finally, in June 2003, Metallica's eighth full-length recording, “St. Anger”, debuted at number one on the album charts. Being an intentionally raw and unpolished album, harsh criticism from fans followed. The record's under-produced sound, James' "flexible" sense of pitch, Lars' use of a steel snare drum, and the absence of any guitar solos received particular criticism. Despite the criticism, the album won the best metal performance at the 2004 Grammy Awards.

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Once they finished recording St. Anger, the band immediately began auditions for a new bass player before embarking on a new tour. After three months of auditions, Robert Trujillo, a former member of Suicidal Tendencies, and Ozzy Osbourne's band, was chosen as the new bassist. Once Robert was up to speed and fully entrenched in the band, they did another “Summer Sanitarium” tour to be followed by the lengthy “Madly in Anger with the World” tour. With the rock band, Godsmack, supporting, Metallica toured for nearly two years, for fans all over the world. Nearly every show on this tour was professionally recorded and made available for sale on line at LiveMetallica.com.


Prior to the kick off of these tours, Metallica was invited to New York to receive yet another prestigious award. The band had been selected to be 2003's MTV Icon. The show to be aired on MTV was taped on May 3, 2003. Avril Lavigne, Sum 41, Snoop Dogg, Korn, Limp Bizkit were amongst the artists covering Metallica songs. At the end of the show, Metallica played a medley and a short clip of a new song. Upon returning to San Francisco, Metallica kicked off their summer tour on May 18, 19, 21 and 22, 2003. They treated their fans to four exclusive, Metclub Members only shows at The Fillmore, San Francisco.

All four nights of the Fillmore shows were recorded and then released in a compilation album available only to the lucky MetClub lottery winners able to purchase “Fan Can 5”. “Fan Can 5” proved to be the longest anticipated Metallica disc ever released available only to Met Club members through a 1 in 5000 that won a lottery. The disc includes selections from the “clubbers only” Fillmore shows. The tracks to be added to the CD were voted on and chosen by club members. The DVD included footage from the Fillmore shows in addition to footage from the famed Parking lot show from the Oakland Coliseum preceding a Raiders football game, The Relaunch party held at the Metallica Headquarters, and bootleg footage from a surprise show at Kimos in San Francisco.

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At the conclusion of the “Madly in Anger with the World” tour and after nearly two full years of touring, the band took a year long hiatus to spend time with family and friends in 2005. The hiatus ended in November 2005 when Metallica accepted the prestigious invitation to open for the Rolling Stones for two shows in San Francisco, California on November 13 and 15, 2005.

Top  St. Anger

The Death Magnetic Era (2006 - 2010)

With the hiatus officially over, 2006 began with fans in high anticipation of the entering the studio for the first time with Robert in the band to begin writing, recording and producing the band’s ninth studio album. On February 16, 2006, Metallica announced on their official website that after their 15+ year relationship, longtime producer Bob Rock was stepping down and would not be recording Metallica's next studio album. Rock had produced every Metallica album since 1991. Metallica began  working on their next studio album, which was not to be released until  September 2008, with legendary producer Rick Rubin. Rubin has produced albums for other prominent Metal bands such as: Slayer, Slipknot, AC/DC, System of a Down, Danzig, Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.  However, the arrival of the band's tenth studio album seemed to be something that the fans would anticipate almost indefinitely.

Early in 2006 a very few privileged Metallica fans were given the rare opportunity to see Metallica play in a very small venue, Harry O’s, in Park City, Utah as part of the Sundance Film festival. Because they were featured in the film, “The Darwin Awards”, Metallica was invited to play at the film’s after party. MetClub members were offered a chance to enter a lottery to win tickets to this prestigious show.

“Escape from the Studio ’06” Tour

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Shortly after, there was rumors and speculation about the release of the new album. These were further heightened by the announcement of the “Escape from the Studio ’06” tour starting in March of 2006 where Metallica was to play for the first time ever for fans in South Africa. Then after a few months back in the studio the “Escape” tour continued during the summer as Metallica astounded fans world wide by paying homage to Cliff Burton and the 20th anniversary of his last studio album with the band, by playing “Master of Puppets” in its entirety during the summer festivals in Europe and Japan. The band wrapped up the “Escape” tour in Korea with a more typical set list featuring parts of “Master of Puppets” intermixed with a selection of the band’s greatest hits.

Metallica unveiled two new songs anticipated to be on the “New Album”. The song given the nickname “The New Song” debuted in Berlin, Germany on June 6, 2006, and “The Other New Song” debuted in Tokyo, Japan on August 12, 2006. Playing new songs during a tour prior to being released on a studio album is a long standing Metallica tradition. Four songs from “Ride the Lightning”("Fight Fire with Fire", "Ride the Lightning", "Creeping Death", and "The Call of Ktulu") were performed before the release of the album; Master of Puppets' "Disposable Heroes" was debuted in September of 1985; ...and Justice for All's "Harvester of Sorrow" received its live debut in 1987, Load's "2x4" and ReLoad’s “Devil’s Dance” were played during the Escape from the Studio '95 mini-tour; and ReLoad's "Fuel" (in it’s working in progress version “Fuel for Fire”, with alternative lyrics) and "Devil's Dance" were played at various points during the Load tour 1996-97 and again during the 3 shows European mini-tour in August 1997 ("The Memory Remains" and "Bad Seed" were teased numerous times at shows throughout 1996 and 1997).


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On October 13, 2006 Metallica announced that they would release a DVD containing all their videos from 1989 to 2004. The DVD, titled “The Videos 1989-2004” was released worldwide on December 4, 2006 and on December 5 in North America. While enjoying the DVD release, fans around the world looked to 2007 with much anticipation of the release of “The New Album” and its corresponding tour.

Top 

“Sick of the Studio ’07” Tour

2007 began with rumors and speculations about when the new album would be released, with fans fearing the wait would last through the year into early 2008. In March 2007 hope sored when, Metallica left the comfort of Head Quarters to descend upon the greater Los Angeles area to begin recording their 9th original studio album. This was the first time the band had recorded outside of the Bay Area since they spent an eternity at One-On-One Studios recording The Black Album in '90 and '91. However, interviews by various band members confirmed the rumors of an early 2008 release as the band geared up for the summer' tour once the recording was finished.

The spring of 2007 saw the birth of a new Metallica Baby and an awesome cover of The Ecstasy of Gold in tribute to Morricone.  On February 22 "We All Love Ennio Morricone", a tribute album featuring Metallica's cover of "The Ecstasy Of Gold" was released.  Metallica's track was produced by Mike Gillies.  On Monday May 21, Lars Ulrich and Connie Nielsen became the proud parents of a boy, Bryce Thadeus Ulrich-Nielsen in San Francisco. His older brothers, Layne, Myles, and Sebastian were psyched!

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As 2007 drew to a close, most fans were optimistic about 2008. At the beginning of December, the band were nominated for an award in the 50th Annual Grammy Ceremony. Their cover of the timeless Ennio Morricone classic ""The Ecstasy Of Gold" was nominated in the Best Rock Instrumental Performance but unfortunately the band lost out to Bruce Springsteen's cover of Ennio Morricone's classical masterpiece "Once Upon A Time In The West".

Mission: Metallica - The Countdown Begins

Early in 2008, Metallica Fans began to receive information about a new site to be launched in May 2008, Mission: Metallica.  Once launched, the website contained daily "Fly on the Wall" video clips, cool contests, exclusive photo archives, new riffs, and most importantly, news of the new album.  The title "Death Magnetic" was issued, a couple of letters at a time in a guessing game with the album's cover art to follow a couple weeks later.  Fans around the world flocked to Mission: Metallica (or to YouTube if not a MetClub member and too cheap to join Mission: Metallica) to watch the daily video clips and keep tabs on the albums progress.

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As the release of Death Magnetic grew nearer singles began to be released on the Mission Metallica and the official Metallica website. The first single The Day that Never Comes was also released Worldwide via local radio stations and was the first video to be shot and released from Death Magnetic.  By the time the album was released anxious fans had been given a hefty taste of what was to come as more singles were released including "Cyanide" and "The Judas Kiss". To add to the anticipation, the band hosted a radio show which was broadcasted live from the band's "HQ" on September 4th, the band hung out with Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters.  A few lucky fans were able to win exclusive tickets to attend the event.

"European Vacation ’08” Tour

With all the excitement with the news of the new album, a new tour came as a surprise when Metallica releases details of shows across Europe - in the languages of the countries the shows would be played. The "European Vacation '08" Tour, comprising of three legs, had Metallica playing to audiences at the Pinkpop Festival, Rock in Rio, a return to Russia, the Pukkelpop Festival and ending with the Leeds and Reading Festivals.

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During the middle of their "European Vacation" Metallica flew back to the UAS to play shows across the country after a nearly 4 year gap.  They headlined the Bonaroo festival in Tennessee, followed by 3 shows in the East coast area.  Metallica played radio shows in Arizona and California, an intimate set at the Hullabaloo Benefit Show at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, then headlined with Ozzy Osbourne at the Dallas, Texas Ozzfest 2008 show, Ozzy's only US concert appearance that summer.

Death Magnetic Unleashed

Finally September 12, 2008 rolled around with fans around the world declaring it to be Death Magnetic Day.  Metallica's ninth full-length studio album, Death Magnetic, hits the stores and with it, the release of the entire album as downloadable content for Guitar Hero III.

About the Album, James stated: "'Death Magnetic', at least the title, to me, it's… It had something to do with… It started out as kind of a tribute to people that have fallen in our business, like Layne Staley [ALICE IN CHAINS] and a lot of the people that have died, basically — rock and roll martyrs of sorts. And then it kind of grew from there. Thinking about death… some people are drawn towards it, and just like a magnet, some people are drawn towards it, [and] other people are afraid of it and push away. And the concept that we're all gonna die sometimes is over-talked about and then a lot of times never talked about — no one wants to bring it up; it's the big white elephant in the living room. But we all have to deal with it at some point. So that's kind of the subject matter."

According to Hits Daily Double, METALLICA's "Death Magnetic" has sold 329,000 copies in the United States in its first full week of release to hold on to the top spot on next week's The Billboard 200 chart. "Death Magnetic" also debuted at No. 1 in countries all over the world, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the U.S.

World Magnetic '08 & '09 Tour 

In August 2008, just prior to the album’s release plans for a fall tour began to emerge. Metallica announced: "Time for a different sort of vacation ... one right here on our home turf!! Now that "Death Magnetic" is complete, we're ready to start a proper indoor arena tour of the States and Canada and we can't wait to visit all of our 'Talli-fans here . . . it really has been too long (hey, what's four years amongst friends?)." 

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The band played 35 gigs on the 1st leg of this new tour during 2008 & 2009 along with The Sword, Down, Lamb of God and Machine Head.This was followed by more North America dates in the beginning of 2009 and a European 2009 tour beginning late in February and lasting into the summer which includes an appearance at Sonisphere, a brand new festival held on 6 countries and with 7 shows.

The World Magnetic Tour began with the band playing two special "Death Magnetic Celebration" gigs on the September 12th in Berlin and September 15th in London.  This was followed by a radio showcase on September 14th and a TV show appearance on "Later with... Jools Holland" on September 16th.  In October Metallica performed live at “Los Premios MTV” in Zapopan, Mexico with a broadcast in the USA on MTV LA. This was followed by two "invite only" rehearsal shows in  Daly City, CA (just outside of San Francisco)  and in Glendale, AZ to kick off the Death Magnetic Tour.

The North American leg continued on through 2009 wrapping up in late December in Oakland, California. The leg continued in early January 2009, starting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and finishing up in Newark, New Jersey in early February.

In February 2009, the band commenced a European tour. The group played three rounds of batches of dates, resuming in late March and then returning again in May. In between the first and second legs, the band performed a small promotional show in Austin, Texas, U.S. to support the video game release Guitar Hero: Metallica. The European legs began in Nottingham, U.K. and eventually culminated in Cologne, Germany.
 
In June 2009, the group played three dates in Mexico City. The shows reached a total capacity of 156,728 and were the band's first shows in Mexico in ten years. Later in the month, the group returned to Europe, performing a mixture of indoor and outdoor shows, and festival appearances. The leg featured headline slots at the first iterations of the Sonisphere Festival, a new festival event which took place in Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the U.K.. The leg began in Helsinki and finished in early August in Knebworth, U.K..
 
In September 2009, the band kicked off a third North American leg, beginning in Nashville, Tennessee and finishing in mid-November in New York City. The act resumed touring duties in December, performing five dates in the Western U.S..

Acclimations and Awards

Hall of Fame - Late in 2008, Metallica announced: We're honored to be among the nine nominees being considered for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame . . . has it really been 25 years since our first record came out? Yeah, that's the criteria to be nominated." Early in January 2009, it became official, Metallica was to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a ceremony held in Cleveland on April 4, 2009.  

Later in October 2009, Metallica was asked back to participate in The 2th Anniversary Hall of Fame Concerts, a two night concert series held at madison Square Garden with s U2, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Stieve Wonder and many other Rock and Roll greats. 

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MTV Europe Awards -  Upon nomination, the band stated: "We're honored to be nominated by our friends at MTV Europe for two awards in the "Rock Out" and "Headliner" categories. The show will be broadcast live from the Liverpool Echo Arena in Liverpool, England on Thursday, November 6.  We wish we could be there, but alas, we're on tour in Omaha, NE that night!"

The Grammy's -  Not only did "Death Magnetic" pick up four Grammy nominations, (Best Metal Performance, Best Rock Instrumental Performance, Best Rock Album and Best Recording Package)  for the 51th annual Grammy Awards, which were held on Sunday, February 8, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the  album won...Best Recording Package and My Apocalypse won for Best Metal Performance! Congratulations to Rick Rubin, who picked up the Producer of the Year Grammy.

Video Games - Metallica Guitar Hero

The release of Metallica Guitar Hero is to be celebrated with a Guitar Hero Metallica Madness Tournament in Austin, Texas. A three day competition to culminate on March 20th with an Exclusive Metallica Event in Austin.  MetClub members were given the opportunity to win tickets to the event in a special drawing with a hint the band may be performing! 

 2009 ended with a big announcment: The Big Four

"You've been posting and chatting about it for months and we're here now to confirm it . . . Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax will all share the same stage for the first time EVER! Look for the four of us at the Sonisphere shows in Warsaw, Poland and Prague, Czech Republic on June 16 and 19, 2010 with a few more of the festival dates still in the works, you can be sure these shows won't be the only ones.

In the words of Lars: "Who would have thought that more than 25 years after its inception, thrash metal's big 4 would not only still be around and more popular than ever, but will now play together for the first time...what a mindfuck! Bring it on!"  

Top  Death Magnetic 

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