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James Hetfield: Metallica Can Still ‘Fall Apart at Any Moment … But We Don’t Want That’

Amy Harris for Loudwire
Amy Harris for Loudwire

Inner turmoil in Metallica seems to be a constant theme for the band, and a new Rolling Stone feature on the band confirms it’s still very much alive. In the magazine’s recent look into the band’s massive Worldwired tour, the band admitted there’s still some tension among the members.

The article paints a picture of James Hetfield getting annoyed with Lars Ulrich over the latter’s inability to pull off the rhythm for their classic track “Wherever I May Roam.” It describes “a hint of agitation in [Hetfield’s] voice” as he asks Lars, “Do you always do that?” Hetfield later clarified, laughing, “What I said was a nice way of saying, ‘What the hell are you doing?'”

Reflecting later on his interaction with Ulrich, Hetfield commented, “The band can still pretty much fall apart at any moment, but we don’t want that. We know too much now. It’s come with time and growing up together, going through tons of shit together and possibly maturing. I know that’s a strange word in this business, but we care too much. We know where all the nuclear buttons are with each other, but we don’t push ’em. We love what we do, and we want to keep it going.”

The Rolling Stone story recounts that after a recent show in Brooklyn, Ulrich immediately went to a party elsewhere in the city, while Hetfield took a trip to New Jersey to let off steam at a firing age. When the band members first see each other each day on tour, it’s 20 minutes before showtime in their “tuning room,” where they quickly go over parts in their songs to get warmed up. When they travel to venues, it’s in separate SUVs, and they keep to themselves unless they’re getting ready for the show, or doing a meet and greet.

It’s interesting to see how the band’s inner-relationships with one another still generate a lot of frenetic energy and excitement. Hardwired…To Self Destruct isn’t just an album name, and seems to signify there’s always the chance the band can go nuclear on each other. But, it doesn’t seem to effect their live show, which is still as killer as ever. Not to mention, the tension allowed for them to release one of their most exciting records of their career, keeping them relevant and landing on No. 1 on the Billboard charts, keeping themselves in the public discourse of metal. Check out the full article at Rolling Stone.

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