The filmmamker behind Metallica‘s groundbreaking 2004 documentary Some Kind Of Monster revealed that the band didn’t want it shown that they offered bassist Rob Trujillo $1 million for joining the band. Loudwire reported that Joe Berlinger, who co-directed the fly-on-the wall film with the late-Bruce Sinofsky, were given free rein to make the movie they wanted — but admitted there were several instances where Metallica almost interfered.
Originally released on July 9th, 2004, Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster followed the band through the three most turbulent years of their long career, during which they battled through addiction, lineup changes, fan backlash, personal turmoil and the near-disintegration of the group during the making of their St. Anger album.
Berlinger appeared on the Greatest Music Of All Time podcast and said the band was less than thrilled with a preview of the doc: “It’s a three-hours-plus screening. (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. Lars (Ulrich) just kind of looks at me, pats me on the back and just kind of shakes his head. James (Hetfield) just kind of looks at me — like, this stare — and walks out. The management looked a little nervous.”
The band had a huge issue with showing them offering Trujillo the $1 million signing bonus, recalling, “We sat around the table for hours. (They said) ‘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.”
Berlinger spoke about Hetfield ultimately giving his blessing for the film, which coincided with him seeking treatment for alcohol and the band replacing Jason Newsted on bass: “(Hetfield 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. I’m not sure I ever want to look at it again, but we either treat this movie like (the shelved 1972 Rolling Stones documentary) C***sucker 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.'”
- In 2014 Metallica released a 10th anniversary two-disc Blu-ray edition of the band’s 2004 documentary, Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster, on November 24th.
- The new edition of the film contained a new bonus feature, Metallica: The Monster Lives, a 25-minute follow-up segment filmed at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival during the premiere of the band’s second film, Metallica Through The Never.
- The segment features interview footage with the band and Some Kind Of Monster co-directors Joe Berlinger and the late-Bruce Sinofsky in which they all look back at the decade since the release of the film.
CHECK IT OUT: The DVD trailer for Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster: