Disney have released a stirring, soaring interpretation of Metallica mega-ballad Nothing Else Matters.
Created in partnership with Oscar-nominated, Los Angeles-born composer James Newton Howard (The Dark Knight), the dramatic reimagined version of the ‘Black Album’ favourite features in Jungle Cruise, a new film based on the Disneyland/Disney World attraction sharing the same name. A synopsis of the film’s plot describes it as “an adventure-filled, rollicking thrill-ride down the Amazon with wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) and intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt).”
Speaking to the Collider website last year, Lars Ulrich described the collaboration with Howard as “kind of an interesting morph.”
“I don’t want to give too much of it away,” the drummer said, “but it’s a very unusual morph in that it’s kind of [Howard’s] arrangement of Nothing Else Matters that we’re playing. We wrote the song, but he took the song and rearranged it to fit something specific in the film – and obviously, I’m not going to give any of that away – but we then kind of took on his version of it. I think that’s all that should be said.”
It really goes back to [Disney production president] Sean Bailey, who is a lifelong rock fan, and is just all-around one of the greatest, most friendly, generous, warm, and embracing people you'll find in the music business,” Ulrich explained. “I think he's always been a Metallica fan, and we've gotten to know each other well. My wife and I are big Disney fans, so there's a great friendship there, and he's always looked for the right match where there was a way that Metallica could contribute to some project of theirs. This was the right fit, with Sean leading the calvary, and with James Newton Howard and his track record, and what he's done.”
This week, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett told Classic Rock that the Californian metal superstars are aiming to heal a divided planet with their forthcoming eleventh studio album.
“Metallica has always been about bringing people together through music,” said Hammett. “I think the sentiment now is that people need music more than ever to bring everyone together and collectively celebrate that we've got to this point. There's a lot of division in the world, and hopefully this Metallica album will cut through the division and bring people together in ways that are more beneficial for everyone over all.”
While the quartet are gearing up for the September release of a blockbuster reissue of their world-conquering self-titled fifth album, commonly known as ‘The Black Album’, work continues on piecing together ideas for the follow-up to 2016’s Hardwired… To Self Destruct.
“We've tried to make the most of the Covid year-and-a-half, and we've been pretty successful,” says Hammett. “We've got together remotely and worked, and we've got together [properly] and worked. Things are moving really well. I would say that the music we're coming up with is very appropriate for the times.”
“Music should bring everyone together, it should be a celebration,” the guitarist adds. “That's what music is about. It's not about selling albums or getting Grammys, it's about putting out good music and helping the situation with that music.”