They're one of the biggest selling bands of all times, but the latest statistics suggest that Metallica are in financial trouble.
In a new interview with literary website the Weeklings (via Supajam), Metallica biographers Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood have stated:
"Since 2010 it's likely that Metallica have lost more money than they've made."
The pair went on to elaborate that a number of misguided vanity projects have led to the band's current financial crisis:
"By their own admission, the two stagings of the Orion festival were disastrous financially, and the shambles that was the 'Through the Never' movie cost $32 million and will only recoup a fraction of that amount.
"Factor in HQ staff salaries, crew retainers and assorted running costs associated with maintaining an entertainment corporation and you can easily understand why the band - of necessity now rather than by choice - are driven to tour Europe every summer."
In particular, the pair believes that feature film "Through the Never" has contributed to the band's recent money woes:
"'Through the Never' film project was a horrible misjudgment, a misguided attempt to breathe new life into a decade-old idea. As the film spiraled horribly over-budget it's hard not to imagine that at least one band member - and let's be honest, we're talking about James Hetfield here - thinking 'What the f--k have we got ourselves into?' Quite how that 'script' ever got the green light is an unfathomable mystery."
Drummer Lars Ulrich had previously noted that he was unfazed by the financial disappointment of "Through the Never," stating that the band would make their money back in "t-shirt sales seven years down the line."