Lars Ulrich took part in an extensive conversation with Miley Cyrus for Interview Magazine, and among the topics broached was Cyrus’ cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters.”
Cyrus covered the ballad with help from Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Trujillo and Chad Smith for The Metallica Blacklist, a collection of covers from a diverse group of artists honoring the 30th anniversary of Metallica’s landmark self-titled 1991 album.
Cyrus famously first covered the song during her 2019 set at Glastonbury. When Ulrich asked why she included that cover in her set, Cyrus gave a lengthy answer that began, “I have two notebooks that I take everywhere I go. One of them is filled with my morals, my values, my purpose, my potential, my capabilities, and my commitments—to others, and to myself. I’m constantly writing things in there. Recently, I wrote down something very wise that I heard, which is related to your question.”
She continued, “It was about how lyrics are one of the most resonant aspects of a song, and of why an audience connects with a song. It has to do with the words, and to challenge that is to say that there’s no difference between lightning and a lightning bug. But there’s a big difference. When I think about the sentiment behind ‘Nothing Else Matters,’ it aligns completely with my morals and my values.”
She added, “When I listened to ‘Nothing Else Matters,’ and I knew that I was confirmed for Glastonbury—I actually have chills talking about this—it was the only song that I could imagine playing.”
Cyrus would then tell Ulrich, “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. Then, 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. That’s what happened when I covered [Dolly Parton’s] ‘Jolene,’ too. That’s another perfect song.”