Let's face it: Metallica's track record with fan relations hasn't always been fantastic  - particularly since the whole 'Napster' fiasco back in 2000 that saw drummer Lars Ulrich hand over 300,000 names of fans that had downloaded their songs from the file-sharing service.

Now, they've found themselves in a bit of hot bother after it was revealed that they sent a 41-page 'cease and desist' letter to Canadian tribute band Sandman, who were ordered to "stop using the name Metallica, or any of Metallica's logos on or to identify or promote live musical performances through [their] Facebook and YouTube pages".

The move drew negative comments from some fans, who admonished the band for preventing Sandman from promoting their music in a positive light.

However, in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Metallica clarified that the letter was the fault of an 'overzealous attorney'.

"We hear that a Canadian Metallica tribute band is a little upset with us and with a little digging, figured out why," they said. "It turns out that a certain letter was delivered to the band Sandman that neither we nor our management were aware of until it surfaced online.

"Lucky for us, the band was kind enough to post it for us to see, and it turns out that we have a very overzealous attorney who sent this letter without our knowledge."

Ulrich allegedly phoned Sandman frontman Joe Di Taranto to apologise and the Metallica urged them to "file the letter in the trash."