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Metallica's unprecedented 'Through the Never' was a four-year haul

Metallica's unprecedented 'Through the Never' was a four-year haul

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(Yahoo!) - When fans first hear about Metallica's new 3D concert film Through the Never (out September 27), which interweaves live footage of the band's biggest songs with a surreal narrative story line, they might imagine a turbo-charged, high-tech production resembling the classic 1976 Led Zeppelin film The Song Remains the Same. Surprisingly, drummer Lars Ulrich said the structure of that movie was exactly what Metallica wanted to avoid.

"I don't mean to be disrespectful, but [we felt strongly that] it shouldn't be The Song Remains the Same," he said September 23 at New York's Walter Reade Theater at a post-screening Q&A moderated by New York Times writer Ben Ratliff. "We don't want to be in the non-concert part. We don't see ourselves acting."

Metallica also didn't want to create the kind of movie where a documentarian tags along with a band. "[We decided] it shouldn't be in the infomercial style that a lot of the current ones are, where they follow a band on the road, and here they are on and off airplanes. There wasn't a blueprint for this movie, and that's what made it so hard to sell in Hollywood."

Throughout their career, Metallica have frequently avoided the obvious path. After the progressive thrash album …And Justice For All, they slowed down, simplified their attack, and released The Black Album. Then they delved into alternative, blues, and classic rock with Load and Reload; and experimented with improvisational songwriting, unconventional editing, and challenging sound recording on St. Anger. They even recorded a much-derided impromptu double album with Lou ReedLulu.

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