How the Metallica Movie ‘Some Kind of Monster’ Lucked Out
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich said the band's documentary Some Kind of Monster was a hit due to a “very lucky” set of circumstances.
He noted that the 2004 film – which followed the near-collapse of the band amid Jason Newsted’s departure, James Hetfield’s addiction issues and the struggle to make the St. Anger album – generated the best response from movie buffs like him, rather than music fans.
“I’m very, very proud of how the project came out,” Ulrich told Collider in a recent interview. “What worked about it, and [directors] Joe [Berlinger] and Bruce [Sinofsky]’s vision, really, was the dramatic arc that ended up sort of organically playing itself out.”
Ulrich noted that the movie "probably resonated with more people in the film world than the music world, which is interesting, because a lot of people in the film world were almost shocked at how transparent it was. And I think at that time, before social media … not a lot of people had seen a rock ’n’ roll band that vulnerable and that up-close. … There was a lot of stuff in there that a lot of times doesn’t get aired, because people only want to sort of promote the positive things or whatever.”
The drummer said he wouldn’t be against taking part in a similar project, but that social media meant it probably wouldn’t have the same level of success. “Everybody’s much more used to seeing behind the scenes of musicians and actors and creative types,” he argued. “So it probably has little less ‘holy fuck!’ value than it did 20 years ago when that movie first came out.”
He emphasized that a "significant part of the reason that movie connected with so many people was because of that dramatic arc that was there. Obviously, when we were going through that process for those two years, nobody knew how it was gonna end. It’s pretty crazy that none of it was scripted, and so we were very lucky … in that there was a sort of, almost, basic screenwriting 101.”