Metallica were back on top of the metal world in 2019 when it was announced they would be taking a break from the road as frontman James Hetfield re-entered rehab to further address his addiction issues. In the most recent issue of the band's So What! fan club magazine, drummer Lars Ulrich recalls learning of Hetfield's return to rehab and how they've dealt with that moving forward.
According to Ulrich, there was a bit of unknown initially as things started to play out. "[Back in September 2019], two [or] three days out from [having done] S&M², I was told that James had some issues, and that he had to go and deal with that, and nobody at that time really knows what that means," said the drummer. "You know, what does it mean for him, what does it mean for us, what does it mean for scheduling, all that shit. You just kind of sit there, and obviously your first thoughts are, is he okay? What's going on? Then the Australian dates got moved. Then there was the 'Helping Hands' concert that got moved, so on and so forth. And you start understanding more."