James Hetfield has admitted that Metallica’s doubt about their own playing abilities left them worried about performing Enter Sandman on toy instruments last month.
The frontman played a plastic clarinet, drummer Lars Ulrich used mini percussion, guitarist Kirk Hammett had a melodica or blow-organ and bassist Robert Trujillo had a toy guitar.
Hetfield tells Spotify: “We’re literally afraid to jam with certain people, because we think we’re not worthy enough. We’re not great musicians.
“Even with those little flutes and stuff I was worried. Kirk was practicing the song on this little recording thing. It’s like, ‘Dude, stop practicing it – just go have fun. Go screw it up!’”
He adds: “You’ve got to laugh at yourselves. You’ve got to not take yourself so seriously all the time. The Jimmy Fallon thing showed up in our lap, they said, ‘You want to do this?’ We had a blast.
“Stuff like that is just fun. It lightens your heart and it humbles you as well.”
Comparing the TV appearance to the pressure the band feel on stage, Hetfield reflects: “It’s fun to give each other permission to screw up. You’re not under a microscope.
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“Sometimes we’re really tight, sometimes we’re really not. Before going onstage, we always remind each other, ‘Hey, mistakes are supposed to happen up here – it makes this gig unique.
“‘Don’t be so hard on yourself. If you’re feeling down, look at the other guys, and we’ll carry you through.’
“There’s a freedom to fuck up in Metallica.”
Hardwired… To Self-Destruct is the thrash icons’ sixth chart-topping album in a row. The band continue to add dates to their upcoming WorldWired tour.
Metallica tour dates 2016-17 so far
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