Metallica's James Hetfield Relapses and Enters Rehab, Band Postpones Tour: 'We Are Truly Sorry'
"James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years," the band wrote on Twitter
Metallica has announced their tour of Australia and New Zealand has been postponed as frontman James Hetfield seeks treatment following his relapse.
On Friday, the group shared the news on Twitter, writing, “We are truly sorry to inform our fans and friends that we must postpone our upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand.”
The tweet was signed “A note from Lars [Ulrich], Kirk [Hammett] and Robert [Trujillo].”
Metallica shared that “James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years.”
“He has now, unfortunately, had to re-enter a treatment program to work on his recover again,” the band continued.
The band assured fans that as soon as Hetfield’s health is back on track, they “fully intend to make our way to your part of the world.”
“Once again, we are devastated that we have inconvenienced so many of you, especially our most loyal fans who travel great distances to experience our shows.”
“We appreciate your understanding and support for James & thank you for being a part of our Metallica family.”
Fans will be “fully refunded” for their tickets, the group added.
The tour was scheduled to kick off on Oct. 17 in Perth, Australia at Optus Stadium.
Over the years, Hetfield, 56, has been candid about his struggle with alcoholism.
His alcohol abuse forced him to leave the band in 2001 while he worked to get sober in rehab.
Hetfield opened up about his journey during an interview on The Joe Rogan Experience, explaining that “Fear was a big motivator in that for me” when it came to getting clean.
“Losing my family, that was the thing that scared me so much, that was the bottom I hit, that my family is going to go away because of my behaviors that I brought home from the road. I got kicked out of my house by my wife, I was living on my own somewhere, I did not want that.”
“What worked for me was seven weeks someplace, like basically tearing you down to bones, ripping your life apart, anything you thought about yourself or what it was, anything you thought you had, your family, your career, anything, gone.”
“Strip you down to just, you’re born. Here’s how you were when you were born, you were okay, you were a good person, let’s get back to that again, then they slowly rebuild you,” Hetfield said.
Hetfield is married to his wife Francesca Hetfield since 1997. The couple share three children — daughters Cali Tee, 21, Marcella Francesca, 17, and son Castor Virgil, 19.
A representative for Hetfield did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.