If Metallica don’t talk they fall out
James Hetfield explains why it’s essential for he and Lars Ulrich to keep communications open
James Hetfield says he’ll only ever fall out with Metallica bandmate Lars Ulrich if they stop communicating for any length of time.
But he accepts that’s part of their relationship – and part of any relationship that’s driven by creativity.
The band continue to support the release of 10th album Hardwired… To Self-Destruct with a series of media appearances and low-key shows leading up to large-scale gigs next year.
Hetfield tells The Strombo Show of his relationship with Ulrich: “We have started fires. We have walked through fires. We have put fires out.
“We’ve done a lot of growing up together. Love him, hate him, he’s a brother. It evolves.
“If I live in my head I get off track. I start thinking too much – ‘He’s trying to manipulate me, he’s thinking the same about me.’
“When we don’t communicate, we’re creative people. We start making shit up. We have to talk or else things go sideways. We connect and we’re real again.”
The frontman acknowledges that he and Ulrich could be described as perfectionists. “Lars and I share that wanting to turn over every stone, wanting to try everything, wanting to explore and do new things with this band,” he says.
“It’s a work in progress until the end – if there is an end. Always trying to get better, always wanting to learn something.”
And Hetfield says the biggest compliment possible is when someone tells them that their music touched them. “That always feels good, and always will,” he reports.
Metallica appear on US TV show Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday (December 14) and then play a club show at Hollywood’s Fonda Theatre the following night. Their WorldWired tour is expected to last at least two years.
From the archive
Metallica tour dates 2016-17 so far
Dec 15: Hollywood Fonda Theatre, CA
Dec 17: Oakland Fox Theater, CA
Jan 11: Seoul Gocheok Sky Dome, South Korea
Jan 18: Beijing Le Sports Centre, China
Jan 20: Hong Kong AsiaWorld-Expo, China
Jan 22: Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore
Feb 03: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Feb 05: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Feb 07: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Feb 09: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Mar 01: Mexico City Foro Sol, Mexico
Mar 03: Mexico City Foro Sol, Mexico
Mar 25: Sao Paulo Interlagos Racetrack, Brazil
Mar 31-Apr 01: Buenos Aires Hippodrome San Isidro, Argentina
Apr 01-02: Santiago Parque O’Higgins, Chile
May 19-21: Rock On The Range festival, OH