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Metallica’s James Hetfield Was ‘Livid’ After Grammys 2017, Bandmate Lars Ulrich Says: ‘I Haven’t Seen Him Like That in 20 Years’

Metallica’s high-energy performance with Lady Gaga at the 2017 Grammy Awards on Sunday, February 12, didn’t go exactly as planned. The heavy metal band’s lead singer, James Hetfield, was forced to power through issues with a faulty microphone from the moment the set kicked off — and he was not happy about it.

James Hetfield, Metallica and Lady Gaga
James Hetfield of Metallica and Lady Gaga during the 59th Grammy Awards in 2017 Christopher Polk/Getty Images

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“I haven’t seen him like that in 20 years,” Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich said during an interview on The Late Late Show With James Corden Tuesday, February 14, as seen in the video above. “I mean, he was livid. I mean, he’s aged really well and he’s a pretty chill guy, but the first five or 10 minutes in that dressing room [were] not a lot of fun.”

Lady Gaga and Metallica
Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich, Lady Gaga, Robert Trujillo and James Hetfield of Metallica attend the 59th Grammy Awards in 2017. John Shearer/WireImage

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Despite the technical difficulties, the band and Gaga, 30, delivered an intense performance of “Moth Into Flame,” the second single from Metallica’s 2016 album, Hardwired … to Self-Destruct. “We fought through it and, you know, with the fire and Gaga in my lap for a minute at one point, it was just … keep going, keep going, keep going,” Ulrich, 53, continued. “So we just fought through it, and a lot of people said it at least made for great television.”

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Ulrich also spoke about the performance with Rolling Stone, saying the American Horror Story actress was the “quintessential perfect fifth member of this band.” (Kirk Hammett is the lead guitarist and Robert Trujillo is the bassist.)

“Her voice, her attitude, her outlook on everything is so awesome,” the drummer said. “[The performance] was so effortless and organic and she just has the spirit of hard rock and metal flowing through her veins. It comes really easy for her. There’s nothing contrived; she just has this super warm, easy energy.”

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