James Hetfield: Metallica is my side project


Metallica’s James Hetfield says he has no desire to work on solo material or in a side project as he’s free to do what he wants within the band.

The guitarist and vocalist was speaking ahead of their recent show at Detroit’s Comerica Park – and when asked if he’d ever consider working outside of Metallica, he reports he doesn’t see the point.

Hetfield tells radio station WRIF: “Metallica’s pretty much my side project. I get to do whatever I want in Metallica – there’s not really a need for it.

“I write things that make me feel good and if they end up in Metallica, then that’s even better. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they’re like a Nothing Else Matters kind of thing. But, no, there’s really no need for that. Or time – there’s no time for that either.”

Although Hetfield doesn’t feel the need to work on music outwith the band, he told Metallica fan club mag So What! in 2015 that there are other projects he’s open to.

He said: “Lars and I steer Metallica most of the time and the other two guys are very happy that’s the way it is. We’re all equal – we’re all contributing in our way.

“I think Lars and I are very comfortable being the spearheads of it. And we are in a great spot because everyone knows the band is prioritised above everything – but everyone also feels free to to explore other things.”

He added: “It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to try other things, like voiceover work, a book, photography, art, cars – you name it. I want it to add to me, not subtract from Metallica.”

Metallica are currently on the North American leg of their WorldWired tour in support of their latest album Hardwired… To Self-Destruct. Find a full list of their tour dates below.

Metallica 2017⁄2018 WorldWired tour dates


Jul 19: Montreal Parc Jean-Drapeau, QC
Jul 29: Los Angeles Rose Bowl, CA
Aug 04: Phoenix University of Phoenix Stadium, AZ
Aug 06: San Diego Petco Park, CA
Aug 09: Seattle CenturyLink Field , WA
Aug 14: Vancouver BC Place, BC
Aug 16: Edmonton Commonwealth Stadium, AB
Sep 02: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Sep 04: Amsterdam Ziggo Dome, Netherlands
Sep 06: Amsterdam Ziggo Dome, Netherlands
Sep 08: Paris AccorHotels Arena, France
Sep 10: Paris AccorHotels Arena, France
Sep 12: Lyon Halle Tony Garnier, France
Sep 14: Cologne Lanxess Arena, Germany
Sep 16: Cologne Lanxess Arena, Germany
Oct 22: London O2 Arena, UK
Oct 24: London O2 Arena, UK
Oct 26: Glasgow SSE Hydro, UK
Oct 28: Manchester Arena, UK
Oct 30: Birmingham Genting Arena, UK
Nov 01: Antwerp Sportpaleism Belgium
Nov 03: Antwerp Sportpaleism Belgium


Feb 01: Lisbon MEO Arena, Portugal
Feb 03: Madrid Wizink Center, Spain
Feb 05: Madrid Wizink Center, Spain
Feb 07: Barcelona Palau Sant Jordi, Spain
Feb 10: Turin Pala Alpitour, Italy
Feb 12: Bologna Unipol Arena, Italy
Feb 14: Bologna Unipol Arena, Italy
Feb 16: Mannheim SAP Arena, Germany
Mar 27: Herning Jyske Bank Boxen, Denmark
Mar 29: Hamburg Barclaycard Arena, Germamny
Mar 31: Vienna Wiener Stadthalle, Austria
Apr 02: Prague O2 Arena, Czech Republic
Apr 05: Budapest Sports Arena, Hungary
Arp 07: Stuttgart Schleyerhalle, Germany
Arp 09: Stuttgart Schleyerhalle, Germany
Apr 11: Geneva Palexpo, Switzerland
Apr 26: Munich Olympiahalle, Germany
Apr 28: Krakow Tauron Arena, Poland
Apr 30: Leipzig Arena, Germany
May 02: Oslo Telenor Arena, Norway
May 05: Stockholm Ericsson Globe, Sweden
May 07: Stockholm Ericsson Globe, Sweden
May 09: Helsinki Hartwall Arena, Finland
May 11: Helsinki Hartwall Arena, Finland

1987: How the Garage Days EP pulled Metallica back from the brink

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.