Metallica postponed its upcoming tour in Australia and New Zealand to allow James Hetfield to return to rehab, the Heavy Metal legends announced on Friday.
"As most of you probably know, our brother James has been battling addiction to and for many years. Now, unfortunately, he had to re-enter a treatment program to work on his recovery again, "said Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo in a statement on the Metallica website.
"We fully intend to make our way in 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 are embarrassed by so many of you, especially our most loyal fans, who often travel long distances to live our shows. We appreciate your understanding and support for James, and as always, thank you for being part of our Metallica family. "
Although the tour was delayed, Metallica has promised to refund all tickets purchased for WorldWired's leg, which are scheduled to begin on October 1
During the press, Metallica's March 28 statement in San Francisco is still scheduled to be held, as is a tour in South America for April 2020.
Hetfield's problems with addiction and alcoholism are detailed described in the 2004 documentary Some Types of Monster ; after the release of this movie, the singer entered a rehab center and since 2017 he has told Joe Rogan the experience of remaining sober for 15 years (via Loudwire).
"Fear was a big motivator in this for me," Hetfield said during his recovery. "The loss of my family was what scared me so much that it was the bottom I hit that my family would be gone because of my behavior that I brought home from the road. I was driven out of my house by my wife, lived alone somewhere, did not want this. Maybe as part of my upbringing, my family fell apart when I was a child. My father left, my mother passed away, I had to live with my brother and then just where did my things go? oh it kinda goes away and I don't want it to happen. No matter what happens, we will say these things and make it work. "