Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich revealed the band had kept their charitable work “under the radar” for years due to “cynicism” surrounding other celebrities’ motivations in the field. The thrash icons began publicizing their food bank activities during tours supporting their 2016 album Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, and last week held their first day of service, during which they asked fans to spend time working at local food banks.

“Being in Metallica, our language and culture have always had a bit of cynicism as part of the main driving force: ask questions, don't trust, don't believe, etc,” Ulrich said in a piece he penned for Rolling Stone. “For many years, we were quite skeptical about certain elements of the charitable path that we saw some of our peers in the entertainment world take. We would at best be doubtful about the grandstanding that others often took in their efforts that ended up primarily looking like they were patting themselves on their backs and trying to steal the spotlight away from their supposed good deeds.

“So for many years, Metallica gave back almost 100 percent under the radar. In cities we would play, we would work closely with food banks and not only make sure that the massive amounts of uneaten meals from the backstage catering and dressing rooms would end up in the hands of the needy, but also support these local charities with donations.”

Discussing the band’s decision to go public and launch their All Within My Hands Foundation, which donates two dollars from every concert ticket sold to local charities, Ulrich said, “Maybe advanced age erodes the cynicism? Maybe the possibilities of reaching people in today's social-media climate seemed too good to suppress? Whatever the reason, there was a natural, effortless transition to not only feeling comfortable with talking about our efforts but being ready to shout them loud and proud from every rooftop and every soapbox possible.”

He added, “A year and a half later, our foundation is now up and running. And even though we're still finding our feet, I'm proud to say that it feels like we're on the path to something that is really making a difference.”

Metallica commence a new North American tour in September.