Why James Hetfield Apologized to Kip Winger

via Rock N' Roll True Stories / Youtube

In a surprising turn of events, Metallica frontman James Hetfield has recently reached out to Kip Winger, offering a sincere apology for the controversial ‘Nothing Else Matters’ music video released over three decades ago. The video, directed by Adam Dubin in 1992, featured Metallica performing their iconic power ballad while engaging in lighthearted antics in the studio. However, one particular scene showing Lars Ulrich playfully throwing darts at a cut-out image of Kip Winger caused unintended harm.

The Controversial ‘Nothing Else Matters’ Video

The ‘Nothing Else Matters’ video showcased Metallica’s performance of the emotional ballad, interspersed with humorous moments featuring James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Jason Newsted, and Kirk Hammett. However, it was a scene showing Ulrich playfully targeting a dartboard featuring a cut-out image of Kip Winger that caused discomfort and controversy.

A Sincere Apology

In a gesture of reconciliation, James Hetfield personally contacted Kip Winger about a year and a half ago to express his remorse. Winger shared Hetfield’s message, recalling, “He said: ‘We were dumb kids back then and I’m sorry if we hurt your career.’ He’s texted a couple of times since. In another life, maybe we could have been good friends.”

Differing Perspectives

While James Hetfield has extended his apology, Kip Winger believes that Lars Ulrich would not take the same initiative. Winger expressed his doubts, stating, “I don’t think Lars would ever call me to apologize.” Despite acknowledging that they were young and possibly unaware of the consequences, Winger stands firm in his belief that mocking fellow musicians is not a humorous act.

Regret from Lars Ulrich

In a separate interview on Howard Stern’s radio show, Lars Ulrich expressed his regret regarding the dartboard scene in the ‘Nothing Else Matters’ video. He clarified that the intent was not personal and offered an apology, saying, “To this day, I apologize when it’s brought up in interviews; it was nothing against Kip Winger personally.”

Reconciliation and Moving Forward

While Hetfield’s apology signifies a step toward reconciliation, it remains uncertain whether further amends will be made. Kip Winger remains skeptical about Lars Ulrich’s willingness to reach out, acknowledging the actions as part of their youth but highlighting the importance of respecting fellow musicians.