Members of Metallica say they are proud that their music can be a source of refuge during one of the most challenging years in recent memory.

Despite any personal misgivings over racial tension, the pandemic or Donald Trump’s presidency, the band believes it provides a valuable channel for people to come together and blow off steam, no matter what they’re dealing with.

Republicans and democrats might not think they can get along, but drummer Lars Ulrich tells The Independent he’s seen proof that that isn’t true.

“We played Abu Dhabi a few times,” Ulrich recalled, “and there were maybe 50,000 people there from Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon… incredible fans from all over the world whose countries don’t get on particularly well.”

At the shows, no matter where they are in the world, fans aren’t concerned about the politics of the people next to them.

In pre-COVID conditions, Ulrich says it wasn’t uncommon for him to see people embracing complete strangers and celebrating the music the love through “sharing a collective musical experience.”

“If you choose to travel around the world and connect people through music, that has to be the thing that pushes you,” he said. “All the s–t outside… none of that matters.”

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Metallica has been intent on reaching fans however it possibly can during the COVID-19 lockdowns. For more than 20 weeks, the band entertained fans with its #MetallicaMondays virtual concert series, while also raising more than $100,000 for COVID-19 relief efforts.

The band’s All Within My Hands Foundation has been busy, too, pledging more than a million dollars to various causes.

Last week, the band released its long-awaited S&M 2 live album with the San Francisco Symphony and unveiled its drive-in concert film.

Moving forward, the band is hard at work on new material with hundreds of new song ideas for the follow-up to 2016’s Hardwired…To Self-Destruct.

Article: Andrew Magnotta

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