In the month of May for the last two years, Metallica has encouraged fans to volunteer at food banks and give back to their communities for their “Day of Service,” organized through their charitable organization All Within My Hands. Since the coronavirus pandemic has created even more need in the world, this year the band has decided to host the All Within My Hands Month of Giving.
“Inspired by today’s #GivingTuesdayNow, a new global date of giving in response to the global need caused by COVID-19, we’re going to spotlight four organizations we’re supporting throughout this crisis,” drummer Lars Ulrich said in a video statement. “Each week this month, we will share with you what these organizations do and show you how you can chip in to help. We’ll be contributing proceeds from special weekly featured merchandise in the Metallica store and continuing to donate funds raised during the #MetallicaMondays streaming concerts.”
The first charity the band is spotlighting is Feeding America, which partners with food banks around the United States. They’ll also be supporting Crew Nation, Live Nation’s initiative to provide relief to touring and venue crews; the United States Bartenders Guild Foundation, which benefits bar workers and people in the service industries; and Direct Relief, which aims to support medical professionals and first responders across the U.S.
“We know times are tough for so many right now, and we truly appreciate the phenomenal support you’ve given us, our All Within My Hands, and these other worthy organizations,” Ulrich said. “If you would like more information and/or contribute, all the details are on AllWithinMyHands.org right now.”
In 2018, when Metallica launched their first Day of Service, Ulrich wrote an op-ed for Rolling Stone in which he detailed why he felt it was important for his fans to give back to their communities. “We are spreading the word amongst our fans, encouraging them to roll their sleeves up in their local communities and help out,” he wrote. “Do what you can to get your hands dirty, as dirty as possible! In Metallica’s lingo, we are proud of how the words ‘we,’ ‘us,’ and ‘family’ are the verbal cornerstones that not only keep us connected but feeling like we are part of something greater than ourselves and moving forward in tandem.”
Later that year, Metallica recorded a live acoustic album at a benefit concert they hosted in San Francisco to raise money for relief following that year’s spate of California forest fires. The set list contained songs that translated easily to acoustic instruments (“Unforgiven,” “Nothing Else Matters”), a few retrofitted deep cuts (“Disposable Heroes”), and covers of Blue Öyster Cult and Nazareth songs.
More recently, Metallica made a socially distanced video of an acoustic version of their … And Justice for All track “Blackened.” In an interview with Rolling Stone last week, Ulrich said the group has been considering its options of how to make music at a time when they can’t perform live. “We’re trying to figure out how we can come back and play and under what circumstances we’ll be facing,” he said. “And if we’re going to be sitting here for a while, we’re figuring out how to connect musically and start firing up the creative process again under these new realities.”