Last fall, Metallica were scheduled to tour Australia with Slipknot, but the shows were canceled after singer-guitarist James Hetfield re-entered rehab. Fans down under were crushed by the news, but now the country is dealing with a much more devastating situation: the Australian bushfire crisis. At least 25 people and nearly a billion animals have perished since the fires started in September, with many homes and habitats having been destroyed. No end to the catastrophe is in sight since Australia’s summer season is just beginning, with temperatures peaking this month and in February.
Numerous metal musicians have swooped in with help, including Fit For an Autopsy and Ice Nine Kills. Now, Metallica — the biggest metal band of them all — has joined the cause, pledging $750,000 AUD (approximately $516,000) to NSW Rural Fire Service and the Victoria Country Fire Authority to help those affected by the Australian bushfires.
“We are totally overwhelmed by the news of the wildfires sweeping through millions of acres across Australia, with major impact in New South Wales and Victoria,” Metallica commented in a joint statement. “The resulting destruction and devastating effects on all residents, animals, the environment and the incredible land in Australia is truly heartbreaking.
“Please join us and do whatever you can to assist as we, along with our foundation All Within My Hands, are pledging A$750,000 to the NSW Rural Fire Service and to the Country Fire Authority in Victoria to aid in the relief efforts.
“NSW RFS is the world’s largest volunteer firefighting organization and all funds donated during this State of Emergency are directed toward services related to and victims of these particularly destructive Australian bushfires.
“CFA (Country Fire Authority) is a volunteer and community based fire and emergency services organization which helps to protect 3.3 million Victorians, and works together with communities to keep Victorians safe from fire and other emergencies.”