The following is the exact transcript of the MTV week in rock for the weekend of 10/24.

KURT: Metallica was a busy little band this week, making an unplugged appearance at Neil Young's annual "Bridge School" benefit near San Francisco last weekend, along with Smashing Pumpkins, Marilyn Manson,= and Alanis Morissette, then repairing to L.A. to shoot a video, which is where Chris Connelly caught up with them.

CHRIS CONNELLY: Metallica's "Load" sold 7 million copies worldwide. Their subsequent tour made some $34 million. So for "Reload", it's no surprise that Metallica would go back to the same eclectified metal that was such a hit last time out. What's different this time? Well, on this video set, there's a lot of drug use. Fortunately, that drug is Dramamine, because right now the four members of the band are trapped inside a two story spinning box.

KIRK HAMMETT, Guitar: What it is that we are sitting on this sled and the room is revolving around us, and it gives the illusion that we are spinning like this (circles his hand), defying gravity. No one's spewed yet, but we still have a couple of hours to go. So we'll see what happens.

CONNELLY: What happens on "Reload"? Band members say its 13 songs continue Metallica's foray into the leaner, more varied sonic attack that hasn't always met with unanimous approval.

JAMES HETFIELD, Vocals, Guitar: There's a little more opinionated responses on these last couple of records, I think. It's not like, it's okay. It's either I hate it or I love it, which is how I think it should be. We're not meant to be background music while you're driving. There's plenty of people interviewing me saying, "You're not as angry as you used to be, blah, blah, blah. What are you going to do? Now that you're happy, you can't write lyrics," or crap like that. You know, there's still ugliness down under.

CONNELLY: Certainly, all is not well in the world of "The Memory Remains," a typically meaty Metallica track with guest vocals from the legendary Marianne Faithfull and a "Sunset Boulevard"-ish lyric...

CONNELLY: While their record company would have preferred a title without "Reload"'s more-of-the-same spirit, band members aren't shy about linking the two CDs together, since "Reload"'s tracks were largely recorded at the same time "Load"'s were.

LARS ULRICH, Drums: People ask me, "How does it tie in?" It is part two of "Load." It's nothing more, nothing less. It's not the scraps, or it's not all the b material. It is the other thirteen songs. "Load" was supposed to be a double album. And it still is. The two records just came out a year apart. What we wanted to do was try to put out records more often and tour more scattered, and by breaking this into smaller bits, that becomes an option.

CONNELLY: The band has been trying to prime the pump for "Reload"'s November release with a free concert. After attempts to stage it in Boston and Chicago fell through, Metallica issued an appeal to its fans to offer a suitable site, via an 800 number and an email address. The results?

ULRICH: 35,000 calls and 5800 emails in four days.

CONNELLY: Not bad.

ULRICH: No, yeah. At this rate, we might get a record contract one day.

HETFIELD: I think there's a few people who want us to play in their town. You know, a lot of backyards waiting for us, I think. "I'll invite my friends over for a barbecue."

CONNELLY: That same friendly feeling was in evidence as Metallica played its first ever acoustic show last weekend in Mountain View California, at Neil Young's "11th Annual Acoustic Benefit for the Bridge School," which Young's wife, Pegi, runs for severely handicapped children. Metallica, with Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains, covered Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone."

HETFIELD: I wouldn't mind integrating some of that stuff into our show. Acoustic sets, they can become pretty boring and Metallica needs to get up and move around. You can only sit on a stool for so long, you know.

CONNELLY: Alanis Morissette was also there, covering the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood" and doing three new songs, and the Smashing Pumpkins were joined by surprise guest Marilyn Manson.

KURT: (Watching tape of the Smashing Pumpkins' and Marilyn Manson's performance) No! They're wearing fur. One last Smashing Pumpkins note: the band made what it called a "contribution" this week to the widow of Pumpkins tour keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin, who died of a heroin overdose last year while on the road with the group. Laura Melvoin had criticized the band for failing to keep her late husband off drugs while on the tour, but as a Pumpkins publicist tersely noted, she never filed litigation over his death.

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