JAMES HETFIELD Says CLIFF BURTON Is Still With METALLICA 'In Spirit'

JAMES HETFIELD Says CLIFF BURTON Is Still With METALLICA 'In Spirit'

METALLICA will reissue its first two albums, 1983's "Kill 'Em All" and 1984's "Ride The Lightning", on April 15. Both albums have been remastered for the most advanced sound quality and will be available in three formats — CD, vinyl, and deluxe box set. Both deluxe box sets include original source material from the band's personal collection with many never-before- heard-or-seen recordings, along with a book including rare photos and essays from those who were there.

METALLICA frontman James Hetfield sat down for an interview published on the band's official web site and discussed a variety of topics, including how he felt seeing some of that old material again.

"I'm not the guy that will like hang onto something like it's dear to my heart, like, 'Oh my God, if I ever lost this, I would die,'" he said. "I got a bunch of stuff in storage, you know? And the thing with me is, like when I grew up, I kinda got moved around so it became a case of, 'Where did my stuff go?' I moved in with my brother, then I moved in with Ron [McGovney, former METALLICA bassist], and then this and that and my stuff just kinda… It's like, 'I don't need that, I don't want that,' and so stuff did get left behind. And I kind of just have been like that. I would quickly shred something that Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer] would probably cut his finger off to get, you know? So the fact that in my storage space there was some stuff… Look, it's one of those things. Back in the day, it was, 'Here's a box. Just throw it all in that.' And you close the box, and you throw it in storage. So there was some pretty cool stuff, pictures that people have given me over the years, that I'd thrown in my suitcase or bag or something, and not thought too much about later."

Asked if he was surprised when he was digging through the archives just to see some of the stuff that he unearthed, Hetfield said: "Oh, it's so cool. It's so cool. And it's amazing how a piece of paper, celluloid, something even like a ticket stub, a pass, it brings back a memory. It brings back just this nostalgic feeling, like, 'Oh my God, I really miss that time.' You know, 'Gosh, it was so simple and easy and la la la, and look how complicated it is now.' What it does for me is it makes me relax more now and not worry so much."

He continued: "I had some pictures of like trips that Lars and I have taken together. Not so much touring, but, you know, oh, God, we went up to Seattle with METAL CHURCH and just hung out, you know, with Skitchy [Rich 'Bang That Head That Does Not Bang' Burch, an early friend of the guys]. There's pictures of me at a beach in Holland, Lars and I hanging out and it was a case of 'I don't remember that and there's these other people around. Who are these people? I don't even know, where are they now?'… And the obvious stuff too... things with Cliff [Burton, late METALLICA bassist]... like, 'Oh my God, that gig, that stage, we have the amps underneath the thing,' and just lots of cool memories, you know? And it just, it makes me grateful that somehow that picture came back into my life. Because I do miss those times. I miss Cliff a lot. I think about him quite often. But it also makes me realize that you know, he's here in spirit. He's not here physically, but there are people that are here physically, and let's have some good times now."

Asked if he thinks it's fair to say that he is possibly now relaxing into, and allowing himself, to finally grieve openly for Burton after maybe having locked it away for 20 or 25 years, Hetfield said: "Oh, there's no doubt about it. No doubt. We drank a lot. And then when Cliff passed away, it was doubled, you know? Took twice as much to stuff it down. And [I] never, ever really grieved. Obviously, we've talked about this, where we just went back out, started touring again, and that was supposedly the remedy to shake it off and to get back on the horse, all the clichés. But you know, when I was in rehab in 2001, they said, 'You gotta hang out a couple more weeks because of the grieving. There's your mom and Cliff, the two people that you have never been able to grieve around. You gotta do some work on it.' So we did. And I think just by [opening up to the] memories, just by thinking about him, feeling his presence, that's how grieving is happening for me over a longer period of time."

He continued: "I miss him more as a person than as a musician, and that's different for me. You know, back in the day, he and I were pretty alike as far as things that we liked and things that we liked to do. I think I learned a lot from him, and I learned a lot after he passed. You know, 'What would Cliff do?' But I think I'm able to be more myself, and he taught me that, you know? He helped teach me that it's okay to be different and to stand up for what you believe in. You don't have to have all the ammo in the world to fight the war, just be you. That's enough."

The deluxe numbered box set of "Kill 'Em All" includes four vinyl records, five CDs, one DVD, a deluxe book including rare photos and a patch while the deluxe numbered box set of "Ride The Lightning" includes four vinyl records, six CDs, one DVD, a deluxe book including more of those unseen photos, a mini-book of lyrics handwritten by James Hetfield and a set of three posters. The deluxe box sets are limited-edition collectors' items.

Fans can pre-order both deluxe box sets at the Met Store now and all six new items will, of course, also be available at your local record store on Friday, April 15, just in time for Record Store Day.

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. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).