James Hetfield says that the technical issues METALLICA faced during its performance with Lady Gaga at this year's Grammy Awards "ended up being a blessing" because it made the duet seem "more like a real collaboration."
METALLICA's appearance with Gaga at the 59th annual event in Los Angeles on February 12 turned into something of a disaster when the Grammy sound crew did not turn Hetfield's mic on, forcing him to share the mic with Gaga after the first verse and chorus.
As a further humiliation, presenter Laverne Cox did not even introduce METALLICA by name. At the end of the song, a visibly angry Hetfield hurled his guitar at a road crew member while kicking over his mic stand.
Asked by the New York Post if he thinks the microphone malfunction made the Grammy performance even more exciting, Hetfield said: "I felt embarrassed. I haven't been that angry in a long time. When something out of my control goes wrong, I still get wound up. I'm sure it taps into other stuff from my past, but I felt helpless. I agree, it ended up being a blessing because I ended up singing in a microphone with Lady Gaga — maybe even more than she wanted. It felt more like a real collaboration because of that."
Hetfield told the Chilean newspaper La Tercera that he wasn't interested in collaborating with Lady Gaga again or another pop artist in some capacity. But, he said, "Even just talking with her, being around her, her energy was very, very exciting. She has lots of ideas, and she likes to push the boundaries like we do. So it was a good fit."
Shortly after this year's Grammy Awards, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone that Gaga was the "quintessential perfect fifth member of this band," saying, "Her voice, her attitude, her outlook on everything is so awesome. [The performance] was so effortless and organic and she just has the spirit of hard rock and metal flowing through her veins. It comes really easy for her. There's nothing contrived; she just has this super warm, easy energy."
METALLICA was up for a Grammy this year for "Best Rock Song" for the track "Hardwired" from its new album, "Hardwired... To Self-Destruct", but lost to the late David Bowie's "Blackstar".