METALLICA guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield recently spoke to Metal Edge magazine about a number of pertinent topics, including the group's upcoming album, "St. Anger", the Summer Sanitarium tour with LIMP BIZKIT and LINKIN PARK, and the band's personal growth in the two years since the departure of bassist Jason Newsted.
The following are some of highlights of James' interview with the magazine as published in its June 2003 issue:
On the upcoming album, "St. Anger":
"There's a lot of passion in this. There's two years of condensed emotion in this. We've gone through a lot of personal changes, struggles, epiphanies, it's deep. It's so deep lyrically and musically… It's so hard to talk about, you really need to hear it. There are parts that sound like us around 'Kill 'Em All', there are parts that sound like '…And Justice For All', there are parts that are us now, like we're turning the roots the roots with our experiences."
On the Summer Sanitarium 2003 tour:
"We wanted to get a lot of people into stadiums, and we couldn't do that on our own. [LIMP BIZKIT and LINKIN PARK] are two other headlining acts that help us do that. There really isn't any other thought process that went into it. It wasn't like, 'We have to span the horizon of heavy music,' or 'We have to prove to these new young kids how it's done…' It's not like that — they're good at that, and that's a style of heavy music. That's intense, that gets people moving. LINKIN PARK do it their own way. I don't hve to be a fan of every band on the bill, I'm interested in people showing up and enjoying music, whoever they are. I'm into bands showing up on this bill who want to play live. There are bands who are kind of ho-hum, 'I don't wanna…' METALLICA don't get it, we don't understand that mentality. We were begging to get on tour. We were begging to play any damn bill there was, we didn't care if it was before NAZARETH or after BLONDIE. We don't care, we're going to go up and do what we do best. Summer Sanitarium is an entity that we can use every summer to go out, and whoever's there at the time, and wants to play and can deliver the goods live, that's who's on the bill.
"I don't want it to be a metal festival, and I don't want it to be a rap festival. I want it to be a heavy music festival, and I think MUDVAYNE and DEFTONES hold their weight in what they're doing and what they're bringing to he table."
On METALLICA's renewed dedication to the band and family:
"There's a new set of priorities, for sure. Family comes first, then METALLICA, because that other way did not work. It certainly did not work for us, and a lot of things suffered. METALLICA works awesomely now, with our priorities in order. It's no reflection on our dedication to METALLICA, there's just more hours in the day that are dedicated to family, and roots, and making sure our children see us. It's pretty important for me to have my children have healthy childhoods. For me, it's a way to live mine again — not to control them, but to do my best job. I get a little disappointed when I hear Jason say that we weren't as dedicated to the band as we were. It's certainly not true. Now, if there's a time on the tour, I don't want to miss my kids' birthdays, and if they can't come out, I'd like that day off to go home. That's certainly not any lack of dedication to METALLICA, that's even more of a dedication, standing up for what I feel as a member of METALLICA, and being heard. I think there's a lot more respect in the band for that, and Jason had a lot to personally deal with. Hopefully, he's doing that, and hopefully we can help him do that."