“This album isn’t
in your face, it’s through your face.”
——James Hetfield


Veteran Rockers Are Born Again Hard

The patient is making a full recovery. For Elektra Entertainment rock icons Metallica, making St. Anger, their first studio album since '97’s ReLoad (and 10th overall) was heavy metal therapy. The group’s '99 disc, S&M, recorded live with a symphony orchestra, has sold 2.5 million OTC in the U.S.

After the exit of Jason Newsted, the band’s bassist for 14 years, in January 2001, and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield’s six-month alcohol rehab later that same year, the group was rejuvenated, and with the help of producer Bob Rock, worked quickly to complete the new album. They’re now ready for a spate of nonstop activity—as is their label. With newest member Robert Trujillo, who has played bass for Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves and Ozzy Osbourne, in tow, the band is set to hit the road to support the June 10 release of the new album.

“This album isn’t in your face, it’s through your face,” Hetfield told the L.A. Times. “When you get four guys going in the same direction, things go fast. And the music shows that.”

Elektra Entertainment Group Chairman/CEO Sylvia Rhone launched into a ten-minute drum solo before adding: "The members of Metallica, individually and collectively, rank with the best musicians in the business. After 11 albums and 20 years, the anticipation for their new studio album has exceeded all our expectations. Whether you’re talking catalog sales, radio, video or simply word of mouth, the demand has been unprecedented. It’s been a textbook marketing plan, and even better, with all of the exposure, we’ve been able to secure the songs from online piracy...knock on wood. The fan who buys the new Metallica record will own one of the best albums they’ve made in their 20-year history."

Exec. VP/GM Greg Thompson got all aggro, banged his head and gushed that the label will ship “well over” a million units: “This release is a true event, and shows a tremendous amount of evolution and drama. Those lucky enough to have heard it are blown away. It adds up to an exciting time for the quintessential rock band in the world to return to the marketplace with an epic record…I mean an Elektra record.”

First single “St. Anger” #1 Most Added PoMo/Active after going to radio Tuesday (5/27).

Month-long “Maytallica” promotions at 150 U.S. radio stations.

Video directed by Molloy Brothers and shot at San Quentin State Prison, debuted Tuesday (5/27) on MTV2, where it was played every hour on the hour. Big 10 rotation on MTV.

Band performed four “dress-rehearsal” dates for fan club members at S.F.’s Fillmore, will play three shows in one day in Paris day after release (6/11).

Hosted debut of MTV2’s Headbangers Ball.

mtvICON tribute with Avril Lavigne, Korn, Sum 41, Staind, Limp Bizkit and Snoop Dogg aired earlier this month.

Covers of Rolling Stone, Revolver; features in L.A. Times, USA Today, EW.

Summer Sanitarium tour with Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Deftones launches 7/4 in Detroit, MI.

Album includes bonus live DVD of band performing the entire record.

Online “treasure hunt” starts 6/6 on 11 unrelated sites around the world, with clues on Metallica.com.

Cable TV ad campaign on MTV2, MTV, others.

In-store retail visibility, with 6/10 declared “St. Anger’s Day.”

Elektra VP Marketing Dana Brandwein said the band’s fan base was targeted first, but the label intends to expand the campaign from there: “While Metallica fans are the most important thing to the band, they’re just as committed to making new ones.”

Added Thompson: “Every testosterone-charged male and a lot of women will be in record stores celebrating St. Anger’s Day with 74 minutes of new songs and a live DVD that will rock their balls off. Did I really say that?”