James Hetfield discusses tour and leaving the past behind in new podcasts

Posted by on January 9, 2017

Now that Hardwired…To Self-Destruct is out for roughly two months now, the question remains, when will the tour begin? For a diehard Metallica fan, it’s easy to empty personal bank accounts following them across the country, or sitting on the loser line in hopes to get a ticket. For Metallica, life on the road isn’t the same as it was over thirty years ago.

Recently, The Nerdist with host Chris Hardwick released a new podcast with James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett as guests. Hetfield admitted plans for a tour revealing,

“My body has told me to tell these guys that 50 shows a year is kind of what we can do, so make the best of those. And I think we all kind of agree in that.”

While 50 shows can seem like a lot for a band, Hammett reminded,

“We had crazy tours where we would tour like, 12, 15, 16 weeks in a row, doing five shows a week…”

Hetfield joined in on Hammett’s statement,

“And we came home and we were divorced, girlfriends were gone and we were addicted to a few substances and we were fighting.”

Earlier today, WTF with Marc Maron spoke with Hetfield on his WTF podcast confirming less touring dates as well. Maron asked, “when are you guys going on tour?” James replied: 

“We kind of are already but, it’s slowly happening. I think next year is when we really start touring.”

“Age appropriate touring for us looks like two weeks at a time, two weeks out, two weeks at home. Trying to balance both loves in our lives.” 

Also, Hetfield discussed the love he had for his wife of 19 years and 3 children, Maron asked if he made any amends from his past. 

“I think I’m pretty clean right now, but there’s always something.”

As the conversation continued, The Big Four became a topic and Hetfield explained:

“It really started with the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame induction idea. Getting nostalgic, and thinking, ‘my god, look at all of the people that helped us along the way and look who are still around. Let’s say thank you to them.’ And The Big Four was kind of that thing. We’re all still playing after 32 years, let’s go do a gig together. Why shouldn’t we? Let’s celebrate the fact that we are still alive and playing music that we love. The other thing was, The New Wave of British Heavy Metal. What about The Big Four? No one knows The Big Four. Come on, let’s make it known, let’s make some history here and put a mark there that The Big Four is a force to be reckoned with.”

The topic of The Big Four led to questioning where things are between him and Dave Mustaine. Hetfield replied:

“There’s no reason to not be good. At this point, we’ve all fell off the wagon, we’ve all gone into the ditch, we’ve all gotten back on track, we’ve all learned from our stuff. And at the end of the day, it’s just journey’s. Everyone is doing a different journey. Why would you hold a grudge on someone and vice versa?”

“I’ve seen some kind of light around that. I think The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was part of that realization, you know, when we were up there and seeing, Ozzy is sitting at one table and the rest of Black Sabbath at the other table. They don’t want to jam together, and they are being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We go up and we played a song, we played Black Sabbath songs for them. That was beautiful for us, but it was sad to see that. I’d rather see you guys play. Whatever it is, put it away please. I get it, I get it’s hard to get passed stuff but there’s stuff in my life that I thought I could never get over.”

Hetfield admitted his arguments with drummer Lars Ulrich.

“Fights with lars about shit. You know, we’re brothers. And I’m thinking, ‘this is it, no freaking way I’m doing this. I can’t get passed this, I can never look at him again!’ And then a month later, you’re writing Hardwired together and making the best record of your lives. Dude it works all right, just see passed that shit, go big picture, whatever it is you need to do, you can get passed the most unbelievable places you think you could never get out of.”

Maron had Hetfield open up about discussing the change in Metallica’s musical direction between …And Justice For All and the Black album. Hetfield replied:

“We were driving that ship until ….And Justice For All, we realized, that we need some help. The album doesn’t sound great, songs are good but you know we’re mixing this record as we’re on the Monsters of Rock Tour,  our ears are blown out, we can’t decide what sounds good and doesn’t anymore. So after that, we decided we need some help and that’s when Bob Rock came into the picture.”

It is evident that Metallica has come a long way, grudges are now a part of their past along with playing back to back shows. Hopefully, details about the upcoming tour will soon be revealed. With only 50 shows per year, it seems there will be less surprise intimate venues that we have seen during late 2016.


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Categorised in: News, Touring, Updates