When we think about Nothing Else Matters by Metallica we remember a rock ballad, ideal for the most romantic moments. Certainly the song entered the history of music but while composing the song the members of Metallica did not spend happy moments in love! The video of the song is very simple, yet it hides many interesting details: let’s discover them together.
A stormy loving period for Metallica
Singer James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich wrote the song. Hetfield at the time was engaged to a girl named Kristen Martinez. The other band members were married.
Lars Ulrich had been married since 1988 to Debbie Jones. The two divorced in 1990.
Bassist Jason Curtis Newsted was married to Judy Talbert until divorce in 1990.
Guitarist Kirk Lee Hammett was married to Rebecca. Their separation always took place in 1990.
But what was happening? Why all these divorces at the same time? In those months Metallica were recording their fifth album entitled “Metallica”, which produced hits like “Enter Sandman” and “The Unforgiven”, as well as “Nothing Else Matters”. The album achieved the best results in terms of sales. The band worked on it meticulously, coming to perform the remix three times. Metallica members spent more time at One on One Studios in Los Angeles than with their wives … hence divorce decisions!
But back to James Hetfield and his girlfriend. One day, while they were on the phone, he tried to reassure her and while holding the phone with one hand, with the other he began to strum on the guitar, giving birth to the first notes of Nothing Else Matters…
The song did not bring luck to the couple, as they also separeted in 1990 and he married in 1997 with Francesca Tomasi. In short, while Metallica composed Nothing Else Matters and their entire fifth album, their love life was about to crumble…
Starting with the separation from Kristen, Metallica dedicate the song to the fans.
The video Nothing Else Matters by Metallica
The seven labors of Hercules of the band during the recordings of the fifth album were immortalized in two documentaries. They are almost modern reality shows, containing interviews, photos, exclusive live performances, studio recordings: “A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica” and “Classic Albums”.
For the video of Nothing Else Matters the director used extracts from these documentaries.
Metallica’s music video for Nothing Else Matters, directed by Adam Dubin and edited by Sean Fullan, was released in 1992. As we said before, you can see a series of shots taken during the studio’s recording of the song and scenes from the video album in DVD “A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica”.
Here are some details of the video that you may have missed!
In some scenes you see posters of girls without clothes, which are currently blacked out. Metallica needed a bit of cheer, as they had been forced into recording studios for months! One of the posters is even attached to Kirk Hammett’s microphone stand.
You can also see Kirk Hammett eating ice cream and throwing a little on the camera with a spoon.
Musicians wear different clothes, because the scenes concern different moments. What is striking is one of James Hetfield’s shirts with the inscription “Nosferatu”.
Spectacular is the basket that the bass player Jason Curtis Newsted makes by pulling the ball behind him, while running with the bass strap over his shoulder.
You can see a flag of “The Culpeper Minute Men” with the slogan “Liberty or Death – Don’t Tred on Me” with a coiled snake. What were Culpeper Minute Men? They were a military group from 1775 in Virginia, expert in being ready… in a minute!
Towards the end of the video we also see the original sheet where the musicians were writing the song in pen.
The controversy raised by the video
To this video could not miss the controversy, not for the photos of the naked women, but for a scene, where Lars Ulrich removes the darts from a poster, after having thrown them. On that poster hanging on the wall is the face of Kip Winger, leader of the Winger band. Obviously the Winger band did not appreciate this.
The Winger was a heavy metal band from New York, which retraced the Dream Theater style. Their leader was precisely Kip Winger, bassist of Alice Cooper. They were a bit like the rivals of Metallica and ACDC.
Surely those who do not know them can remember them by listening to the song “Easy Come Easy Go“.