On August 4, 2008, in an MTV interview, the song lyrics were said to have been made to tackle the subject of forgiveness and resentment. The band's drummer Lars Ulrich claimed that the lyrics were inspired by a father-son relationship. The content of the video itself is of a different theme or setting that what the lyrics themselves were written about, a second interpretation. The video is said to be in a war background in comparison to the "One" video, but will not make any modern day references as in the war in Iraq and the Middle East (although the video depicts images of Middle East war in present day, making that affirmation false). Frontman James Hetfield spoke on the lyrics of the song and also the radical difference of the song lyrics and vision intended to the music video.
“That's the beauty, I think, of writing vague but powerful lyrics — that someone like a movie director can interpret it in his own way and obviously, someone creative is able to take the metaphors and apply them to whatever he needs in his own life," the frontman explained. "The main [theme of the video] is the human element of forgiveness and someone doing you wrong, you feeling resentment and you being able to see through that in the next situation that might be similar and not take your rage or resentment out on the next person and basically keep spreading the disease of that through life...The one thing that I wasn't keen on here was Metallica plugging into a modern war or a current event [that] might be construed as some sort of political statement on our part... There are so many celebrities that soapbox their opinions, and people believe it's more valid because they're popular. For us, people are people — you should all have your own opinion. We are hopefully putting the human element in what is an unfortunate part of life. There are people over there dealing with situations like this, and we're showing the human part of being there”
Lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and Ulrich also commented by stating ultimately, the concept of the video deals with humanity and the relationships between human beings and how your basic sense of humanity can override any sort of politicized situation
Our interpretation of this video:
We agree with the double song interpretation and that the different theme of video reveals another interesting meaning of the lyrics. About the video, our interpretation also focuses on slightly different aspects:
Death can lurk everywhere in a war zone, so there is too much stress, distrust and insecurity in every single moment, that even the most simple human contact and help/favour, lasting only few minutes in normal conditions, like a battery charge of a car, becomes a whole complicated and frustrating process under state of alert and ready to fire.
But we don’t like Metallica’s effort to disregard politics from their work. The new album is a beautiful flashback of their past but only musically, not so in lyrics. Their strong anti-war, anti-authoritarian lyrics that contribute a lot to shape our thoughts during our puberty are quite diminished nowadays with an obvious similar effort to this direction by band members as we see in their statements.
Post your interpretation of the video, or your thoughts of the new album