The legendary metallers explain why they had to cancel dates in South America...

METALLICA are ready to get back on the road after cancelling a string of shows in October for the first time in their 22-year history.

The band were forced to pull out of the South American dates – due to start at Buenos Aires’ River Plate Stadium (October 25) – citing physical injury and mental exhaustion.

However, the metal giants have announced that they are now prepared to continue with their touring commitments which will see them visit Europe, New Zealand and Australia, before embarking on a six month jaunt across North America, with dates yet to be announced.

Singer James Hetfield told MTV: “We had to regroup. It was more than us being burnt out physically. [We had to get back in shape] mentally and regroup a lot of our crew. It started to feel a little shaky, so we wanted to get strong.”

He added: “We’ve always been a live band, and we have to get out there and play, play, play. It’s kind of tough now because this was a time when we wanted to lie back a little bit and enjoy our families, so we can’t change that. We can do our best, and that’s all we can do.”

Metallica also plan to release the third single from their latest album ‘St Anger’ in the new year. ‘The Unnamed Feeling’ will be out on January 12, accompanied by a video starring Terminator 2 star Edward Furlong and pro surfer Rob Machado.

Speaking to MTV News about the video, Hetfield said: “It’s about anxiety and all of the feelings you want to hide. We’re still messing with the editing.”