Grammys 2017: Metallica’s Hetfield was “livid” at tech troubles

Metallica with Lady Gaga
Metallica with Lady Gaga

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich says that James Hetfield was “livid” after microphone issues threatened to derail the band’s Grammy performance with Lady Gaga on Sunday evening.

They played the track Moth Into Flame onstage at the ceremony is Los Angeles at the weekend, with frontman Hetfield forced to share the mic with Gaga at the start of the song when his mic stopped working.

Hetfield was then seen kicking over the mic stand and throwing his guitar off stage after the song. And while Ulrich was quick to shrug off the “technical snafu,” he reports Hetfield wasn’t quite so forgiving.

Ulrich tells The Late Late Show With James Corden: “In the heat of the battle, you’re out there, you’re playing. When it’s a technical issue, you don’t really know. Is it going to the house? Are the vocals going to the truck? Maybe it’s just the monitor – so you just gotta keep playing.

“We get off stage, we get back there and I haven’t seen him like that in 20 years. He was livid.

“He’s aged really well and is a pretty chilled guy – but the first five or 10 minutes in that dressing room was not a lot of fun.”

Ulrich adds: “But like they say, the show must go on. We fought through it and a lot of people said that it at least made for great television.”

Earlier this week, Ulrich called Gaga the “quintessential perfect fifth member of this band” and revealed he’d like to work with the star again at some point in the future.

Metallica have a handful of South American dates scheduled for March. They’ll then embark on the North American leg of their WorldWired tour from May.

Metallica WorldWired North American tour

May 10: Baltimore M&T Bank Stadium, MD
May 12: Philadelphia Lincoln Financial Field, PA
May 14: East Rutherford MetLife Stadium, NY
May 17: Uniondale The New Coliseum, NY
May 19: Foxborough Gillette Stadium, MA
May 21: Columbus Rock On The Range, OH
Jun 04: St Louis Busch Stadium, MO
Jun 07: Denver Sports Authority Field at Mile High, CO
Jun 11: Houston NRG Stadium, TX
Jun 14: San Antonio Alamodome, TX
Jun 16: Dallas AT&T Stadium, TX
Jun 18: Chicago Soldier Field, IL
Jul 05: Orlando Camping World Stadium, FL
Jul 07: Miami Hard Rock Stadium, FL
Jul 09: Atlanta SunTrust park, GA
Jul 12: Detroit Comercia Park, MO
Jul 14: Quebec City Festival D’Ete de Quebec, QC
Jul 16: Toronto Rogers Centre, ON
Jul 19: Montreal Parc Jean-Drapeau, QC
Jul 29: Los Angeles Rose Bowl, CA
Aug 04: Phoenix University of Phoenix Stadium, AZ
Aug 06: San Diego Petco Park, CA
Aug 09: Seattle CenturyLink Field , WA
Aug 14: Vancouver BC Place, BC
Aug 16: Edmonton Commonwealth Stadium, AB

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Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.