Metallica, Ready for The Spotlight

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Just a week before their Imax 3-D concert film, “Metallica: Through the Never,” was set to get its star-studded premiere at San Francisco’s Metreon Theater, the members of Metallica – drummer Lars Ulrich, singer James Hetfield, guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo – convened at their headquarters in an unmarked industrial building in a part of San Rafael where it feels as if bad things happen after dark.

With the walls lined with various pieces of memorabilia from the heavy-metal titans’ 30-plus-year run – everything from a plaque from their MTV Icon tribute concert to fans’ handmade banners from stadium shows all over the world – they were hunkering down over last-minute details before the movie’s official release.

Directed by Nimród Antal, “Through the Never” presents an innovative mix of live footage of Metallica performing with the fictitious story of a young roadie, played by star-of-the-moment Dane DeHaan (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” “The Place Beyond the Pines,”), who is sent out on an unusually grim errand.

We sat down with Ulrich and Trujillo to talk about the film.

Q: It must be incredible to see yourself on a 100-foot Imax screen in 3-D. Have you ever had the chance to watch yourself perform like that?

Ulrich: Obviously, the whole idea with this film, at least the concert art of it, was to get the audience up onstage and get them to really be part of the action in the trenches. You know, with the band, being spit on and sweat on and gooed on and whatever else is going on up there. So you really feel you’re part of it. Rather than feeling like you’re looking at Metallica, you’re actually with Metallica.

Trujillo: They experience it like we experience it. There’s a lot of excitement in that but there’s danger, too. That stage is pretty scary.

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