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updated: 7/19/2013 3:40 PM

Much-anticipated Metallica Day begins at Comic-Con

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Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- It's Metallica Day at Comic-Con and the wide world of geeks is opening its arms to the band.

The four members of the California-based heavy metal band are on site Friday at the San Diego Convention Center to promote their new concert film-plus "Metallica Through The Never" and share footage with fans. Though Metallica's followers might come from another cultural subgroup, drummer Lars Ulrich said he could identify with the tens of thousands of fans roaming the halls.

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"I've never been great with definitions because I think that the whole world should never be limited to that type of specificities," Ulrich said in an interview at the nearby Hilton Bayfront. "When I was growing up, my experiences and my memories from my childhood were that I was a loner. Now, if you're going to get really into it, loner and geek, what are they cousins? They can't be that far apart from each other."

The "Metallica Through The Never" panel will be held in the massive Hall H, which holds about 7,000 people. The band will debut footage with director Nimrod Antal before playing a private concert later in the night at an undisclosed location.

"Never" is not your average concert film. A narrative follows actor Dane DeHaan, who plays a roadie sent on a mission during one of the band's shows. DeHaan's story is intercut with footage of the band playing a live show on a specially designed stage.

Bassist Robert Trujillo says the band spent nearly two crucible-like weeks in Mexico City rehearsing in front of a live audience before shooting began in Vancouver, British Columbia.

"We just take these things and run with it," he said. "It's a very edge-of-your-seat existence. When I first joined the band our first gig was San Quentin State Prison. And here we've got 20,000 Mexicans screaming against a chain-link fence, so by the time we got to Vancouver, we were like, 'We got this.' So the whole thing over the course of the year has just been a wild ride. It's really excited to see it get to where it is now. It's almost weird. Wow we're here."

After more than 30 years and more than 100 million albums sold, Ulrich said the film has been a way for the band to stay fresh.

"I think increasingly what makes our band work, we have to go do all these crazy projects, these sort of edgy, left-field projects because it's what keeps us alive," Ulrich said. "Making records is great and we love it and we appreciate the fact that we can make records ... but there's also a familiarity to it. And you have a dynamic in the band of four personalities and they're really curious and into different things and just kind of ready for whatever."

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