Hetfield: Music saved my life

Metallica mainman James Hetfield says music saved his life, and that writing and playing is helping him come to terms with his “dark” and “shameful” past.

Earlier this month he revealed he struggled with being “King Shit” on stage then being a husband and a dad at home, and earlier spoke about his fear of responsibility.

In a follow-up clip he tells Road Recovery: “You wouldn’t really like me if you knew my story – if you knew what horrible things I’ve done.

“I’m coming to grips with that, because I have groups of people that I’m able to share all my horrible stuff with — shameful, extremely shameful, dark stuff.

“Some of it is things I’ve taken from my parents and carried a little further. Other ones I’ve been able to drop, others I’ve picked up on my own. Shame’s a big thing for me.”

He adds: “Playing music has saved my life – every day saves my life. When I’m able to write a riff, write some lyrics, stuff like that, it’s the way I connect with the world.”

Metallica will headline this year’s Reading and Leeds festivals and are the cover stars of the current edition of Metal Hammer which is on sale now (opens in new tab).

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.