James Hetfield-1569657371968
FILE PHOTO: James Hetfield of Metallica performs on the Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset, during the Glastonbury Festival June 28, 2014. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton/File Photo Image Credit: REUTERS

Metallica says its frontman James Hetfield has entered rehab, and the band is cancelling its upcoming tour in Australia and New Zealand.

Three of the heavy metal band’s members posted a statement on Twitter on Friday announcing the decision and apologising to fans. The statement by drummer Lars Ulrich, guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Rob Trujillo says anyone who purchased tickets for the remaining show dates will receive automatic refunds.

The band had been scheduled to play five Australian cities from October 17-29, followed by four shows in New Zealand.

The statement says Hetfield has struggled with addiction for years and has re-entered a treatment programme. The statement didn’t elaborate, but the band’s members said they appreciate fans’ understanding and support of the 56-year-old Metallica co-founder.