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.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.