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Metallica's James Hetfield Assumed Roles By Default


William Lee | 02-06-2020

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Metallica

Metallica frontman James Hetfield explained in his first post rehab interview how he assumed his dual roles as guitarist and singer in the band back when they started.

Hetfield sat down with Petersen Automotive Museum executive director Terry L. Karges last week for the launch of the "Reclaimed Rust: The James Hetfield Collection", and he reflected on the early days of the band.

He said, "In the '80s, in L.A., guitar players, everyone was trying to be Eddie Van Halen, and there was millions of guitar players. Every band was looking for a singer: 'Singer needed.' 'Singer wanted.' So I sold my guitar, sold my amp and bought a P.A. and a mic, and I wanted to be a singer. That was the next goal.

"And then when I met Lars again, I told him, 'Oh, I'm not playing guitar anymore. I'm just singing.' He was, like, 'Well, we'll look for a guitar player.' And then no one could play the guitar like we needed, " so they continued with James playing guitar.

They ran into the same problem finding a singer with the sound they wanted. "'Okay, I'll sing until we find a singer.' It just became out of necessity. There was a need.

"It was challenging for me to do, but I pushed through it, and I got a lot of support. And a lot of people said, 'This is cool. You don't need a frontman running around. Why don't you do that?' And then it kind of stuck. So, people around me gave me the confidence to grow in that." Watch the full interview here.


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