Metallica's documentary Some Kind of Monster is a pivtol moment in the band's career, and surely the rawest they've ever been exposed on camera. At first, all that exposure didn't sit well with the band and they wanted certain scenes cut, including the moment they offered bassist Robert Trujillo the spot in the band for a one million dollar advance signing fee.
Turns out when the directors screened the movie for Metallica and their management for the first time, the band had some hestiations. Joe Berlinger, the movie's codirector and coproducer, tells he Greatest Music of All Time podcast about the awkward meeting the band and producers had after the first screening.
“It's a three-hours-plus screening,” Berlinger recalled. “[There’s] literally not a peep through the whole screening – not a laugh, not a moment of recognition, just total silence. And it wasn’t feeling good.” When the movie ended, he said, “Lars [Ulrich] just kind of looks at me, pats me on the back and just kind of shakes his head. James just kind of looks at me – like, this stare – and walks out. The management looked a little nervous.”
After the screening, everybody drove to Metallica HQ, which was about a half-hour away and things got tense. “And sure enough, we sat around the table for hours," he explained. "‘You can’t tell our fans that we paid Rob Trujillo a million bucks. [You] can’t show Lars auctioning off his art. They’re not gonna understand. We can't show this. We can't do this.' And the whole film was just crumbling before our eyes.”
Interestingly, Lars seemed "pretty chill about the whole thing," and after the producers felt they rightly defended their choices, Hetfield and Hammett began coming around. I happened to look over at James Hetfield at the right moment, because I saw this moment of clarity come over him. And he pushed himself out from the chair, stood up … and he said, ‘’Look, it's painful to watch. But you guys did exactly what you said you would do. It’s an honest, raw, truthful portrait of what we went through.’”
Hetfield referenced the Rolling Stones' shelved 1972 documentary saying “I'm not sure I ever want to look at it again, but we either treat this movie like Cocksucker Blues and lock it away in the drawer and nobody gets to see it, or we let these guys make the film they want to. … Let them make the film they wanna make. And I'm good with that.”
Ultimately, the film was made on the directors' terms. “There’s nothing in Metallica: Some Kind of Monster that’s in the film because we don't want it, and there's nothing on the cutting-room floor that was taken out because they requested it,” Berlinger stated. “It is truly our film. And that was a magic moment of just going full circle and James realizing … ‘Let's put it out there.’”
Just a reminder, if you ever want to rewatch the film, you can do so with us roasting the shit out of it.
Watch the interview here:
[via Ultimate Classic Rock]