Metallica lead singer James Hetfield is a totally different person after undergoing alcohol rehabilitation - he's now just a "human being" instead of a "rock god".

The heavy-metal idol underwent therapy in 2001 after bassist Jason Newsted decided to quit the mega-successful band - and, according to drummer LARS ULRICH, the whole group, especially Hetfield, had to reassess their lives.

He explains, "It started the minute Jason walked into a hotel room in San Francisco and told the rest of us he was leaving the band.

"That was the triggering point that led us to spending the next few months taking a long, hard look at who we were as a band, who we were as people, what was the state of Metallica 20 years on.

"When we started that process it stirred some things up inside of him that were even beyond what was going on with Metallica and he had to take it to another level. He had to go away and deal with some of his own stuff.

"He's 180 degrees a different person. The James Hetfield, lead singer/frontman/rock god has gone now. Now he's just James Hetfield, human being.

"When he came back five months later, he was a completely different person. That facade, barking at people and all that kind of s***, that was gone."

11/06/2003 17:25