It’s not every day that you get to talk with James Hetfield of the mighty Metallica! He and Jaxon discussed everything from touring to pop music to space travel. You can scroll down to hear the full conversation, but here’s 6 Things We Learned:
1. He loved the Kids React To Metallica video.
James commented: “I love the honesty of children. That purity is so inspiring!”
2. If he could give advice to his younger self, he’d tell him to enjoy the ride.
The new book Back to the Front: A Fully Authorized Visual History of the Master of Puppets Album and Tour gave the band a chance to reflect on that era of their career, 30 years down the line. It includes a ton of stories and interviews, plus photos that even Metallica had never seen before.
When asked what advice would James Hetfield of 2016 would give to James Hetfield of 1986, he replied: “Don’t think too much. Just do it. Stop thinking and enjoy it – enjoy life.”
3. The first single from the new album was actually the last song that was written.
James described “Hardwired” as a summation of what the rest of the record will sound like. He also said that even though “Hardwired” is short (clocking in at just three minutes) there are several long songs on this release – so long, in fact, that they had to make it into a double album!
Hardwired… To Self-Destruct drops on November 18th.
4. Metallica pay no mind to the haters.
When asked how he responds to people who call them “sell-outs”, James said: “We don’t give a crap. We love what we do.”
He said it’s important for artists to evolve, but “if you make the same album over and over, and that’s what you love doing, that’s awesome. We’re explorers though – we love to stretch the limits.”
5. They own their own record press so that they can create and release vinyl LPs themselves – and they now have full control of their music.
Hardwired… To Self-Destruct is the first album released on their own label, Blackened Records. Plus, a few years ago, Metallica was able to regain ownership of their masters. So what does that mean for us? Well… it could lead to some very unique releases down the road!
6. He has no idea if Metallica will ever retire.
James cited Lemmy of Motorhead as an example of a rocker ’til death. That’s admirable, but he’s not sure if that’s in the cards for Metallica.
Right now though, he’s ready for just about anything: “There’s always an adventure that shows up for us. Whatever it is, we’re up for it.”
Listen to the full interview: