Cyrus dropped an official cover of the song back in late June, which sits amongst a full album of other big name, artist-led covers of songs from Metallica’s seminal record, The Black Album. The covers record, titled The Metallica Blacklist, celebrates the album’s 30th anniversary, and officially landed on Friday, 10th September.
A whopping 53 collaborators contributed to The Metallica Blacklist, including Cyrus, Weezer, St. Vincent, Biffy Clyro, Phoebe Bridgers, Mac Demarco and more.
During the live performance on The Stern Show, Cyrus took the lead on vocals, while James Hatfield provided backup vocals.
In the clip posted to Youtube, the band and Cyrus engage in a quick chat with Stern, before jumping on stage.
Hatfield spoke to the track’s writing process, admitting it’s one of the band’s more vulnerable works.
“Late ‘80s, we built this reputation of tough guys, we’re made of stone, and this is one of the most vulnerable [tracks],” Hetfield said.
“The tougher the armour, the bigger the heart you want to show, but you’re afraid to.”
“I was shocked when Bob Rock and Lars [Ulrich] both said, “That is beautiful. That’s an amazing song.” It was a life-changing experience to be okay playing this for them, and them accepting it.”
Cyrus offered an explanation to her own connection to the track, talking about the first time she performed the cover live on stage at Glastonbury in 2019.
“When I did Glastonbury, it was the first time that I went. I didn’t have any of the gags, no gimmicks. I wore pants, and a shirt. It was right before the world knew that I was getting a divorce, but I knew that I was, about 2 weeks before Glastonbury.
“I’d just lost my house in the fires, and this was my first show back. And so ‘Nothing Else Matters,’ to me, was about the music,” she said.
“To hear James say he was afraid of something, and knowing that at that point I was afraid of so much, I was so heartbroken. And my purpose was coming from this performance.”
“I got sober at that time. I really pulled my fucking shit together. And this song was what drove me to that place, because I knew that nothing else mattered. This is my love letter to music.”
Watch the performance below.
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