It can be hard to manage day-to-day stressors while in recovery, and even harder when these stressors are compounded by fame, public pressure, and life on tour. That’s why this past weekend, in an effort to support James Hetfield’s decision to re-enter a treatment program, Metallica announced that they would be postponing the tour they had scheduled in New Zealand and Australia. The renowned vocalist and guitarist has long struggled with addiction and alcoholism, and his battle with addiction was covered in the 2004 documentary, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster.
While the band insists that the tour, which was scheduled to commence in Perth, Australia on October 17th and culminate in a final concert in Auckland, New Zealand on the 2nd of November, has only been postponed and has not been canceled, they have honored all refund requests from fans. In an official statement, Metallica confirmed that “James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years,” and that they postponed the tour so that he can take the time to go to rehab and begin to “work on his recovery again.” They also apologized for any inconveniences that the rescheduling might have caused, and look forward to performing at the planned tour locations “as soon as health and schedule permit.”
Although the band may not know how long it will take for Hetfield to complete his treatment program and take the right steps back on the track to recovery, the 2020 tour dates still reflect a benefit concert scheduled in March and the South American leg of the tour scheduled for April. Members Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo wish nothing but hope and healing for their “brother” James, and are devastated that they were unable to deliver to fans waiting for their appearances in Oceania. While the future of the Australian leg of the tour may be undecided, the band members are grateful for those that are a part of their “Metallica family” and “appreciate [the] understanding and support for James.”
Face the Music Foundation wishes James Hetfield well as he concentrates on his treatment and recovery, and remind anyone else struggling to get help.