JAMES HETFIELD On Life, Death And METALLICA

Graeme Wood of The Cape Breton Post recently conducted an interview with METALLICA guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

The Cape Breton Post: Are you happy with this new-old direction [on "Death Magnetic"]?

Hetfield: Yes, it feels right. It feels like the right time. I certainly know fans have forever been asking, basically telling us what to do, which for us, it doesn't work. Whether it's my Dad or a fan it never worked. I had to feel it myself, and eventually we go to the point where we were able to embrace the stuff we've done in the past and not keep running from it.

The Cape Breton Post: Talk to me about the new album and you being sober now. You went through alcohol addiction, so did that change your writing in any sense (since) thrash metal is so synonymous with drinking?

Hetfield: The fans will have to say. This new album, I think, is pretty darn good and (I'm) completely clean and sober. There's always people that worry for you, too . . . And then I write the angriest stuff of my life on "St. Anger" and everyone hates it or something. You know, you can't do it for others. You have to be the artist (who's) making the art.

The Cape Breton Post: You figured things out in terms of your private life so does that make you and the band get along more than ever before?

Hetfield: Absolutely. I think the fact is that we can read each other better because we know each other better, and want to know each other better, and we're able to communicate a lot better . . . We've been through some tough times and because (we've) walked through the fire and survived it there's almost a kind of honour that you have with each other — that we've gone through this we don't need to go there it again."

The Cape Breton Post: You've mentioned before it's important to talk about death. Maybe you can elaborate on that.

Hetfield: The band came close to calling it quits. We got to the point where egos, and resentments and things had grown so big and strong that it was almost an impossible hill to climb. So the fact that we got through that and came out with the strongest album I think in a long time is a testament to hard work and to sticking it through because you never know what's going to happen. And for us it was close to death and it's a pretty scary thought. And obviously there's life after METALLICA but is it worth it? So we started talking about that in the metaphor of life and death.

The Cape Breton Post: Are you still political in a sense?

Hetfield: Never was. lyrically I was writing from what I felt . . . A lot of the things that we do are hopefully universal (such as) plugging into emotion — it's human. Songs like "One" and "Disposable Heroes" talk about more of the ugly side of war. And there's more than just those songs. The song "Don't Tread on Me" showed the other side of that. We in the band have pretty diverse political opinions and it's best to leave that at the door. It gets in the way, it's a roadblock. Looking at the bigger picture, we all want to protect our families and there are certain ways we think it should be done. But we all have concerns about the globe and mankind and where it's going and I don't think we're the first people to have concerns about that.

Read the entire interview from The Cape Breton Post.

***Thanks to BLABBERMOUTH.NET users for creating the photo parody below. (Note: The original photo was doctored.)***

Tags:

Posted in: News

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to delete postings that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to block users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. To report any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, please send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details.