Miley Cyrus is continuing to embrace her rocker side. The “Plastic Hearts” singer sat down with Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich for the Fall 2021 issue of Interview Magazine to discuss what it’s been like for them to be onstage again after the long COVID-19 pandemic lay-off, hitting up the festival circuit and their fiery collaboration on his band’s “Nothing Else Matters.”
Ulrich and Cyrus kicked things off by describing the wobbly feeling of getting back on festival stages for huge audiences after almost two years of Zoom shows. Cyrus told Ulrich about her triumphant Lollapalooza headlining set earlier this summer, revealing that, “Beforehand, I was torn. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be this bicycle moment, where you pick up right where you left off like nothing ever changed, or if it was going to feel completely new, and I was going to fall back in love and remember why I do this in the first place,” she said.
“In the end, it was somewhere in the middle. On these festival runs, you almost get desensitized to the energy and the impact of that many souls filling up a space.”
Ulrich wondered if Cyrus performed any warm-up shows prior to heading out on the festival circuit, and she revealed that she hadn’t. “It felt like jumping out of an airplane in front of 100,000 people,” she said of revving things up cold. “It brings back that tingle of fear, or maybe anxiety, which I haven’t felt in a while. But it reminded me, again, of how all of that’s erased when you perform. There’s so much less judgment in a live music setting than exists anywhere else at the moment.”
Cyrus played Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” at the Glastonbury Festival in 2019, which became the catalyst for her singing the song with Metallica for their Blacklist collaborations album. The sprawling collection features more than 50 artists celebrating the 1991 mega-platinum album’s 30th anniversary; the now-iconic album has spent 629 weeks on the Billboard 200 to date, and peaked at No. 1 on the chart.
The “Plastic Hearts” singer described the unity in the anniversary record, and how being featured on the album allowed her to keep the special connection she has with the song.
“This eclectic mosaic of a collaboration that we’ve brought to life is reflective of that. It’s like, ‘F— the divide.’ For you to listen to my cover of ‘Nothing Else Matters’ with an open mind is an example of that — you don’t judge who I’ve been, what I’ve done, or how people see me,” Cyrus explained. “By allowing me to cover ‘Nothing Else Matters’ on the record is like you guys validating my relationship to this song. It feels like it was written for me, and it was something that I was able to make my own. And now, my fans have that connection to it as well.”
“It’s amazing to look at this list of 53 artists who have come together and taken the time to record all these songs. There are all these versions of ‘Nothing Else Matters’ by different artists,” Ulrich replied. “To hear the song filtered through everybody’s voices, approaches, and visions is an incredible thing. We know we’ve been around for a while. We can certainly feel it in our bodies, but at the same time, our spirit is young. And our spirit is always about the next album.”