Indie News

JAMES HETFIELD Had Terrible Anxiety Leading Up To METALLICA’s Current Tour


Metallica‘s James Hetfield might shred like the legend he is onstage, but that doesn’t mean he’s not as human as the rest of us. For millions of fans, Metallica‘s live shows are synonymous with raw energy and flawless execution. However, in a recent interview with The Metallica Report, Hetfield revealed he wrestles with self-doubt and even has recurring nightmares and stage fright in the lead-up to tours, including the band’s current one.

“I start to doubt myself,” Hetfield confessed. “We’re old, we can’t do this. — all that bullshit everyone tells themselves before they go into something they care about.” He even described experiencing dreams of showing up to a deserted venue with a malfunctioning guitar – the stuff of any musician’s worst fears.

“So, having the nightmares about how I’m the only one who cares about what we’re doing here. ‘Where is everybody?’ I show up at the gig, everyone’s goofing off, or there’s 200 people backstage and thinking, ‘Where’s my stuff? Where’s the setlist? What songs are we doing?’ And then, typical things like the guitar neck is made of rubber, and there are only two strings on it. And, ‘Where’s my roadie?’, and the guitar cord won’t let me get to the microphone. Silly stuff like that. That has to happen, and I don’t freak out over it. All you do is you practice, and then you build that comes back pretty quickly.”

However, Hetfield has learned to manage these anxieties. “It’s part of the cycle; it just is,” he explained. “You have anxiety build up, and don’t let it get the best of ya because you have that balance of anxiety and faith. And as soon as you get up there, it’s all gonna be good.”

Metallica‘s M72 World Tour recently kicked off in Germany, after a break. While Hetfield feels confident this time around, he recalled the initial fear of tackling the massive custom-designed stage they built for the tour – which ironically he helped design.

“The anxiety level was off the charts at the beginning of the ‘M72 Tour’. Like, how are we going to cover this stage? And, of course, my ego saying, ‘Well, the other guys don’t have to sing. They don’t have to run over there, they don’t have to do all this. Ah, no one knows the woes I have and all the worries…'”

“But as soon as I share them with the other guys, they’re like, ‘Yeah, but I got this, and I got that.’ It’s like, ‘Oh, okay. I want mine back [laughs].’ So, it’s a known. We know what we’re up against. And we know what shape we need to be in. And now, it’s just fun. We’ve broken that stage in, it’s well-trodden on, and it’s worked fantastically. And so, we just get to step back into it, and do what we do best.”

Want More Metal? Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter

Enter your information below to get a daily update with all of our headlines and receive The Orchard Metal newsletter.

Comments Off on JAMES HETFIELD Had Terrible Anxiety Leading Up To METALLICA’s Current Tour