Metallica's James Hetfield Felt 'So Inadequate' At Rock Hall Induction Jam

Michael Angulia | 03-21-2023

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Metallica Video still of James from Rock Hall Induction Jam
Video still of James from Rock Hall Induction Jam

Metallica frontman James Hetfield takes the cover of Cigar Aficionado's April issue - which hits newsstands today. He discusses his new cigar line, shyness, self-criticism and more ahead of Metallica's newest album launch, 72 Seasons. We were sent some quotes from the feature:

On self-criticism, and performing with his bandmates: "I know individually we're all really average players, but when you put us together something happens. Something really happens....Getting up and jamming with people is like a nightmare for me."

On Metallica's 2009 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, where they were joined on stage by Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, the late Jeff Beck, Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones and Joe Perry of Aerosmith: "I felt so inadequate. And it's a head game for me. I'm a perfectionist. And kind of a people pleaser. Most musicians are insecure."

On his shyness in the early days of Metallica: "Early shows were really difficult-I was so shy. Didn't want to talk. I'd have the other guys in the band introduce the songs."

On being on stage 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."

On Metallica fans: "There are people who have [attended] 200-plus shows. It's a joy to see those familiar faces. It makes us feel at home kind of anywhere, really. They are dedicated-there is a family out there. And it feels good."

On Metallica of the past Versus today, and the band's upcoming tour: "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."

Check out a behind the scenes video of James' sit down with Cigar Aficionado here.

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