Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich shared an update on James Hetfield’s progress in his wellness journey after the recent announcement the band was cancelling its Australian tour in order for Hetfield to undergo addiction treatment.
“He’s doing what he needs to; he’s in the process of healing himself,” Ulrich told USA Today. “I feel bad for everybody down in Australia and New Zealand, but we’re excited to get back to full force and come back stronger and healthier than ever.“
He added: “Along the way, there’s obviously an occasional bump in the road. But it’s been an incredible ride, and we’re looking forward to getting back down there, hopefully next year.”
This update comes just two weeks after the band announced that they were canceling their tour Down Under, announcing the of their upcoming Oceanic tour dates after Hetfield has re-entered a treatment program.
“Our brother James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years,” the band tweeted. “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,” Metallica continued. “We are devastated that we have inconvenienced so many of you.”
The band thanked their fans for continuing to support Hetfield: “We appreciate your understanding and support for James and thank you for being a part of our Metallica family.”
Metallica also promised to give full refunds for all ticket purchasers in the affected cities. Hetfield was previously admitted to rehab in July 2001 for alcohol and other addictions.