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Metallica’s James Hetfield Promises the Anger is Still There

James Hetfield
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

The four members of Metallica realize a world of fans and haters will be watching closely when they release their next studio album. In a way they’re going back to basics, letting old music influence their new music. For his part, singer James Hetfield says that despite rehab and an artistic venture with Lou Reed, there is still plenty for him to be ticked off about.

During an interview with Rolling Stone, Hetfield says he’ll have no trouble writing lyrics every bit as angry as those fans grew up listening to. “Ask my wife why I get pissed off and want to smash the car into pieces,” he says in the recent issue. “It’s still there. I wish it wasn’t. But why run from it?”

Hetfield says he’s been collecting riffs like spare change, so there will be no shortage of material when the band finally sits down to start writing. That seems like a distant thought amidst their new 3D movie and rehearsal for the Orion Music + More Festival in Atlantic City, N.J. next month.

Drummer Lars Ulrich says revisiting the Black Album is fueling his creativity. The band plans to play the entire album, backwards, during its set at the Orion Fest. “I’ve been sitting with these songs for a month now, listening to them while I’m driving, immersing myself before we play them: ‘Why did we go one key up there? Why did we repeat that thing four times instead of two?’” he explains.

“I couldn’t help thinking, ‘Why was it put together like that? Maybe we can slightly borrow that?’ If you can’t rip yourself off, what’s the point?”

The four interviews (including full page spreads with Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo) are part of ‘The Big Issue.’ One thing all four make clear is that they’re nowhere near the end, even though it’s been almost 30 years since ‘Kill ‘Em All’ was released in 1983.

“Why would you stop?” Hetfield asks. “There are so many cool things still. I don’t want to say no to something and then think later on, ‘What an a—-le. You missed out on something that is not coming again.’”

 

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