Metallica Have ‘Really Average Players,’ According to James Hetfield


Metallica promo photos, featuring James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo, dressed in black and gray.

Metallica – Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Ross Halfin

James Hetfield is super humble when talking about the playing ability of Metallica’s members

Talk about being humble. There’s no denying the members of Metallica are all extremely talented. In fact, some may consider them some of the most talented metal players in the world. But, in a new interview with frontman James Hetfield, he doesn’t say the band’s talent is what helped them become great. He gives credit to the chemistry and magic the players have together as a cohesive unit.

“I know individually we’re all really average players, but when you put us together, something happens,” Hetfield said in an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine (as transcribed by Far Out). “Something really happens.”

Hetfield went on to explain that he’s actually not as comfortable performing and making music with musicians outside of Metallica. As he explains it, “Getting up and jamming with people is like a nightmare for me.”

Hetfield was exceptionally reflective in this interview. In the chat, he discussed his early stage fright when Metallica first started playing shows. It’s something that was crippling at first, but he’s obviously way over it ow. “Early shows were really difficult — I was so shy,” he said. “[I] didn’t want to talk. I’d have the other guys in the band introduce the songs. [Now] I feel so comfortable up there, it’s so weird. Sitting down one-on-one with someone is a lot more anxiety ridden than standing up in front of 10,000 people, 20,000 people.”

He added, “As we get older, we would love to continue to play all the places we’ve been before but it’s near impossible to keep up the pace we’ve had, say, in the ’90s. We would go out for months at a time…We are very self-critical and hard on ourselves and have very high standards. So we do take care of all aspects of bringing the best show visually and sonically to the people that enjoy our music and continue to come to see us live.”

Metallica are gearing up to release their 12th studio album, “72 Seasons,” on Friday (April 14). They’ll also embark on a 2023-2024 world tour to promote the release.

Anne Erickson
Posted by Anne Erickson | Metal, Music, Rock News

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