Here’s how ‘generosity’ helped Ashton Kutcher bring Metallica to Iowa
Kutcher spoke with the Register about the Native Fund's Metallica concert, which took place at the Iowa Speedway on June 8, 2017.
Ashton Kutcher says he was a country fan growing up, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t know the appropriate time to blast “Enter Sandman.”
"When I was in high school [Metallica] was that music I would get pumped up [with] before a wrestling match,” Kutcher said in a phone interview with the Register Monday. “When you need to get yourself ramped up for something, it’s like ‘go Metallica’ and it’s hard to lose. I think as I got older and kept exposing myself to the music they’re doing I realized just how sophisticated it was.”
Now, years removed from wresting matches in his native eastern Iowa, the famed actor and activist is helping bring one of the world’s biggest metal act to his home state. Metallica is set to perform on June 9 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, the first stadium-sized concert of its kind to enter the venue.
The show comes as fundraising event for the Native Fund, a nonprofit initiative launched by Kutcher and fellow Iowan Dallas Clark. The organization aims to aid Iowans during times of disaster.
Kutcher told the Register he and Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich connected at an event hosted by a mutual friend and began working on executing a Native Fund event not long after. Here’s what the “That ‘70s Show” and “Jobs” star had to say about the band.
Des Moines Register: Let’s start with the most important question [about the upcoming concert]. Are you a Metallica fan?
Ashton Kutcher: Yeah. I am, actually.
Tell me a little bit about your history with the band.
When I was in high school it was that music I would get pumped up [with] before a wrestling match. When you need to get yourself ramped up for something, it’s like 'go Metallica' and it’s hard to lose. I think as I got older and kept exposing myself to the music they’re doing I realized just how sophisticated it was. When I was a kid, it was metal music, which wasn’t necessarily up my alley … [but] the older I got the more I realized that it wasn’t slammin’ guitars and wailin’ on things, makin’ noise. I realized the absolute artistic integrity of what Metallica does and is and it’s pretty astonishing.
… about a year ago I ended up sitting next to Lars at a dinner at this Frank Lloyd Wright house that a friend of ours was hosting a dinner at and I thought he was an amazing person. When this idea came up I reached out to Lars … [and asked] 'would you be willing to do something with us?' and he jumped at it.
What is it like for you when you lift the veil on an artist you appreciate and realize they’re a good human? Is there something to that?
I generally think that most people who reach a certain level of success reach that level of success because of their nature and [the] nature of generosity. There’s a great book by Adam Grant called “Give and Take” where he talks about how there are basically three kinds of people: there are givers, there are counters and there are takers. The person who actually introduced me to the book asked me a question. He said, “Of the givers in the world, the people who are constantly giving … of the takers in the world, the people who are just looking at every opportunity to take … and of the counters in the world, which are people [who] for everything they give they want to make sure they get equal back … who do you think is most successful?' Then I said, 'Well, I would say the givers are probably the most successful.' That was my guess. Then he said, ‘Well, who do you think are the least successful?’ I said ‘Probably the takers; they’re the most selfish. Ultimately, [their] road comes to an end.' And he said, ‘Actually the most successful are the givers but the least successful are also the givers.’ The whole book is about breaking down what makes someone a successful giver and what makes someone an unsuccessful giver … how it relates to this is I feel like most people [who] reach the pinnacle of success at whatever it is they’re doing are generally generous. The people I meet that have that kind of success in their life, the more it substantiates that theory. They're generous people are their core but they’re generous people [who] understand there has to be a focus behind their generosity. And I think Lars is exactly that kind of person.
… For Metallica, this will probably the one concert they do in Iowa for the next three to four years. For [Lars] to turn the one concert he’s going to do in Iowa for the next three or four years into a charity effort … it’s just outstanding. It speaks to who and how he is as a person. We’re really grateful and I hope people can appreciate that. [end].
June 9 marks the second stadium-level concert thrown by The Native Fund in as many years; more than 40,000 flocked to Kinnick Stadium last August to experience Blake Shelton and Thomas Rhett as part of a Native Fund event. Tickets to see Metallica with Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat at the Iowa Speedway cost $59-$303 and are on sale now. More information can be found at thenativefund.org.
Look for a full interview with Kutcher and Clark on the Native Fund at DesMoinesRegister.com in the coming days.