Metallica have vast archive at their disposal, says Hetfield

James Hetfield
(Image credit: Getty)

Metallica frontman James Hetfield says the band have recorded almost all of their previous gigs – meaning the potential for future releases on their Blackened Recordings is near limitless.

The thrash icons issue their Bataclan tribute Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite, Metallica! on Record Store Day (April 16) via Blackened Recordings. It’s a live recording of the group’s 2003 show at the venue, and Hetfield says there is an almost endless supply of unique live and studio recordings in the Metallica vaults.

In an exclusive interview for members of Metallica’s website, Hetfield says: “There’s such a freedom, having your own record company and being able to do cool stuff like this. And we’ve got so much stuff recorded, pretty much every show we’ve ever done since we knew you could record has been recorded.

“Once we started with ProTools, or computer stuff started being involved, then it was way easier. Even the rehearsals, the jam room stuff, all that’s recorded.”

All proceeds from the Bataclan release will be donated to the Give For France fund, raising money for victims of last year’s terror attacks at the Paris venue during an Eagles Of Death Metal show.

Hetfield adds that seeing the footage of the destruction brought back a flood of memories.

He says: “It all come flooding back, but you know, my first reaction was, why there? And then, who was playing? I learned it was the Eagles Of Death Metal. And I also learned that Deftones were playing there the next night.

“So they were there that afternoon, just to check out the Eagles Of Death Metal, and about half an hour before the incident happened, they decided to leave. Thank God they did. Just the insanity of that. From the amazing memories that we have of that place to this. Quite amazing.

“I remember standing in that stairway, being just so hot. And you don’t want to go outside because it was even hotter outside, so leaning up against the wall because the actual wall was at least cooler, just trying to get all my skin onto the wall to cool down.

“Obviously it is not suffering compared to what’s happened there recently, there’s been some really insane suffering and insanity that’s happened in there recently, but to actually have played a gig in a place that this has happened – it’s surreal.

“It’s extremely surreal. And seeing the footage of the alleyway, the one where that stairwell goes down to. Brutal.”

Metallica are working on their 10th album.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.