Musician Lars Ulrich is delighted to have shed light on the caring side of the hard rock community during Metallica's nationwide charity drive.
The heavy metal group, which also features James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo, launched its first-ever Day of Service on Wednesday (23May18) as part of the band's new All Within My Hands Foundation, a philanthropic organisation dedicated to eradicating hunger.
Lars spent his time packing up food for the needy at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, where he rubbed shoulders with Metallica fans who defied the stereotype of rockers being mean curmudgeons.
"A few days ago, I met (Metallica fan) Robert Alvarez at the Metallica Day of Service event here at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank," Lars wrote in an essay for Rolling Stone about the drive. "He told me about how two of the most important elements of his life collided that day. He's been volunteering there for 13 years to take care of his immediate community and family members and on top of that, has every single Metallica record and calls himself a hardcore fan.
"To me, he exemplifies what this whole effort is about: giving our fans a music-based platform to connect with other members of their local community around volunteer work, giving back and sharing in the good fortune I mentioned earlier... the good fortune and incredible opportunities that most of us in the western world take for granted."
Lars says Metallica's charitable efforts are driven in large part to eradicate the stigma surrounding fans of heavy metal music.
"As someone who has been a loner for most of my life, being in the Metallica family has always given me a sense of belonging and made me feel like I was not alone," he explained. "And as we all know, hard rock can sometimes, in different parts of the world, be looked down upon as a second-class member of the global music community. So we are additionally pleased that we can show everyone that hard-rock and metal fans can be as compassionate and as selfless as any other people in the worldwide charitable family and the bad stigma that sometimes is hung upon them/us as somehow lesser citizens can be readdressed."