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Volbeat Frontman: Metallica’s James Hetfield Is ‘a True Gentleman’

When Volbeat lead singer Michael Poulsen received a phone call from the assistant of Metallica’s James Hetfield during the summer, he admitted he was skeptical. “The caller said, ‘I’m James Hetfield’s assistant,’” Poulsen told Noisecreep. “I said, ‘Yeah, I’m f—ing Santa Claus. What do you want?’”

But when he came to the conclusion this call was real, he was thrilled. “The assistant said, ‘No, James really wants to hook up with you. Do you want to do something?’” Poulsen recalled via telephone from his Copenhagen, Denmark home. “The first thing we did was we went out eating. I took James to an old-school, typical Danish place where you eat Danish food. Then we to a blues club.

“One or two days later, I got a call again from James’ assistant that James really wanted to hook up again. ‘Maybe we could go and eat something.’ I said, ‘No. Why don’t you come over to my house and my wife can cook you some dinner.’ I called up my wife at work. I said, ‘You have to get home and do some cooking.’ She said, ‘Shut up I’m home when I’m home.’ I said, ‘Yeah but James Hetfield will be here in two hours.’ We had a good time, eating, relaxing, playing some acoustic guitar, listening to music. We had so many good conversations about different stuff — not only about music. That’s the most easy part to talk about. There was a lot of different angles to talk about with James.”

A few days later, Poulsen received yet another phone call — this time asking him if his band could open for Metallica with Lamb of God on their North American tour that kicks off Oct. 26 in Toronto. In between Metallica gigs, the rockabilly-infused metal band will headline shows.

“He’s a true gentleman,” Poulsen said of Hetfield. “He’s really got good karma and energy. I have so much respect for that guy. He’s been a big inspiration for many years. Those months [of the tour], we were actually supposed to be in the rehearsal room doing new songs for the next album. We just postponed that. Of course you can’t say no to Metallica. That’s a dream come true.”

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