James Hetfield: singing Unforgiven III on S&M2 was huge for me

(Image credit: Ross Halfin)

Metallica's James Hetfield has described how difficult it was for him to sing Unforgiven III without the band in their new live orchestral album S&M2.

Talking with SiriusXM’s Jose Mangin on the Liquid Metal show, Hetfield revealed how the rest of the band supported him as he sang the song without their help, backed instead by the San Fransisco Symphony Orchestra. 

"I wanted it to be as different as possible," says Hetfield. "I was super nervous getting up there and singing that song with just the orchestra, and I'm grateful that the other three guys were able  to go out there and support me, lay down their instruments and just enjoy the moment.

"That was huge. That was huge for me. So thank you guys."

Elsewhere in the interview, the band explain why they decided to take part in the Encore Drive-In Nights series of live shows, reveal which songs were hardest to record on S&M2, and discuss the safety precautions they took prior to performing together again. Watch the videosbelow.

In the new issue of Metal Hammer, we sit down with the biggest band in metal for a world exclusive new interview.

The Band talk candidly about the emotional impact of James Hetfield returning to rehab, and what it was like having to put their plans on hold as everything ground to a halt. Plus, they give us the lowdown on their immense (and slightly hectic) S&M2 celebrations and tell us what they’ve been up to in 2020  - including some tasty hints about the next album.

Buy the new  issue of Metal Hammer

Metallica on the cover of Metal Hammer

(Image credit: Future)
Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 37 years in music industry, online for 24. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.