Metallica Postpone Tour As Lead Singer James Hetfield Returns To Rehab

by : Lucy Connolly on : 28 Sep 2019 11:14
Metallica cancel tour while james hetfield goes to rehab Metallica cancel tour while james hetfield goes to rehab PA

Metallica have postponed their upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand so lead singer James Hetfield can return to rehab.


The heavy metal band made the announcement earlier today (September 28), apologising to their ‘fans and friends’ but promising to return to that part of the world as soon as ‘health and schedule’ permit.

The other three members, Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo, and Lars Ulrich, said they needed to prioritise their ‘brother’ James’ health at this time as he deals with his addiction issues.

James Hetfield MetallicaJames Hetfield MetallicaPA

Despite postponing the tour, the other three members of the band pledged to refund all tickets purchased for the WorldWired leg – which was scheduled to begin on October 17 in Perth, Australia, and conclude on November 2 in Auckland, New Zealand.


In a statement posted to Metallica’s website and official Twitter account, the band said they were ‘devastated’ to have to postpone:

We are truly sorry to inform our fans and friends that we must postpone our upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand. As most of you probably know, our brother James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years.

He has now, unfortunately, had to re-enter a treatment program to work on his recovery again. We fully intend to make our way to your part of the world as soon as health and schedule permit. We’ll let you know as soon as we can.

Once again, we are devastated that we have inconvenienced so many of you, especially our most loyal fans who often travel great distances to experience our shows. We appreciate your understanding and support for James and, as always, thank you for being a part of our Metallica family.

Hetfield’s issues with alcoholism have been well documented; as per Rolling Stone, the singer entered a rehab facility after his alcoholism was detailed in the 2004 documentary Some Kind of Monster.

In 2017, the 56-year-old lead singer told The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, via Loudwire, he had remained sober ever since, saying ‘fear was a big motivator’ in keeping him on the right track.

He explained:

Losing my family, that was the thing that scared me so much, that was the bottom I hit, that my family is going to go away because of my behaviours that I brought home from the road.

I got kicked out of my house by my wife, I was living on my own somewhere, I did not want that. Maybe as part of my upbringing, my family kind of disintegrated when I was a kid. Father left, mother passed away, had to live with my brother, and then kind of just, where did my stuff go?

It just kind of floated away, and I do not want that happening. No matter what’s going on, we’re going to talk this stuff out, and make it work.


After Metallica posted the announcement, fans of the band amassed in their thousands to send well wishes, ‘love and rock and roll’ to Hetfield, saying his health is all that matters at this time.

One person exclaimed, ‘what the f*ck,’ before adding: ‘my heart just broke. Best wishes and all my love to the boys, James and his family. F*ck.’

Another told him to ‘stay strong’ before calling the singer ‘very brave’ for confronting his inner demons, saying they were praying for the entire band.

Our thoughts are with James and we hope he makes a full recovery.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Music, Addiction, Drugs, News, rehab, US News


Metallica and 3 others
  1. Metallica


  2. Metallica/Twitter


  3. Rolling Stone

    Metallica Cancel Tour as James Hetfield Returns to Rehab

  4. Loudwire

    James Hetfield on 15 Years Sober: Fear Was A Big Motivator