I've always been more of a team player who wants to get the whole unit moving forward. A lot of times, if Lars and James had butting opinions, the last thing you need is a third person in there. It would just add to the inertia of the situation. As far as music is concerned, I wrote parts. All the parts that we ever write have bits and pieces from everybody. I was totally fine as long as they used my bits and pieces. [Laughs.] We wrote together as a band starting with St. Anger, and I have to say that now the dynamic between James and Lars and myself is a lot different — a lot more even as far as the quality of the ideas. And now that we have Rob [Trujillo, bass] in the band, who has the same approach and quality of ideas, I'm definitely thinking that four heads are better than two. The chemistry somehow works now.

With Some Kind of Monster, how hesitant did you feel airing all that dirty laundry?

I didn't want any of it to come out. But then I thought it can help people see that therapy is not a bad thing. I come from a generation where therapy was stigmatized. Going to see a shrink was considered a weakness. But after my experiences, my whole deal was, "If we can help people work their way through whatever situation they're going through, then I'm fine with it." But by the same token, I'm a very private person. So I really had to make a concession. If there's a band out there on the verge of breaking up, maybe they'll see this movie and think otherwise. I had a long talk with the producers about that very thing.

Metallica
Soren Starbird
Metallica

After the Napster backlash, how do you look back on the band's attempt to fight downloading?

I'm still against file sharing. I still think people should respect the concept of intellectual property. I don't have a problem with downloading that intellectual property once the people that deserve to be paid do get paid. Technology is a double-edged sword. It's convenient and quick, but we pay a pretty high price for that convenience, that impatience. I would much rather be able to go out and buy a better-sounding CD than a shitty MP3. The whole email and texting thing — I'm not sure if it's really bringing us together as much as it's isolating us. I kind of miss how people used to just call each other up.

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