Metallica’s James Hetfield Has Written ‘Tons of Material’ in 2020
The members of Metallica are making sure their 2020 doesn't go to waste as touring opportunities remain off the table. Offering an update from his home in Colorado, frontman James Hetfield detailed how he's kept busy, building a strong, local community of friends while working on what he called "tons of material."
"For me, and I don't want sound ungrateful because I know there's a lot of people out there that are struggling because of this COVID… Where I live, it's all service industry. And, obviously, the music industry, it's tough — it's taken a big hit. For us, we're road dogs — we've been out on the road forever — so you're either on the road or you're writing," said Hetfield (transcription via Blabbermouth) in a SiriusXM "Town Hall," which was held over Zoom video conferencing on Thursday (Aug. 27).
While a large amount of downtime may be new for many people around the globe, it's a pretty standard affair for musicians, who work in cycles. "So the obvious thing is, 'Well, we're not on the road. Start writing,'" the Metallica vocalist/guitarist continued.
"So, [I've written] tons of material," Hetfield confirmed, adding, "And I'm sure there's lots of musicians out there that are just, like, 'Okay, what can I do? I'm gonna write and just get into that,' which I love doing."
While focusing on what will likely evolve into new songs for Metallica's follow-up to 2016's Hardwired... To Self-Destruct, the rocker has also taken time to build stronger friendships in his local community while spending plenty of time doing outdoor activities.
"We're pretty fortunate here up in the mountains that COVID hasn't really locked us down as much as some other places. And I feel for the people that live in the big cities. But out here, you can still get out, bike ride, raft, fishing, shooting, hunting — whatever it is," said Papa Het.
He later elaborated on his strengthened sense of community in Colorado.
"I've got lots of friends here that I couldn't have before, so [I've been] hosting barbecues and having people over and building a community with friends that I wasn't really able to do before," expressed Hetfield, "Cause, 'Oh, I can't do that, 'cause we've gotta go next week. We've gotta rehearse. We've gotta do that.' So, [I've] actually [been] taking time to build true friendships." Clarifying his words, the Metallica frontman went on, "Not that I don't have them, but locally, it's been a huge thing for me."
Another source of joy? That would be the garage as Hetfield is a noted car enthusiast — he even release a coffee table book, Reclaimed Rust: The Four-Wheeled Creations of James Hetfield, earlier this summer.
"I love getting in the garage and just tinkering, doing some more welding. I welded a couple of things for the All Within My Hands foundation… I've made some bird feeders. I'm right now staring out the window at about 50 different birds that come up here and eat," he revealed, noting the entertainment the birds bring when he mentioned, "That's kind of my new TV right here."
Summing up his time at home this year, Hetfield stressed, "So, [I'm] just enjoying nature a lot more and enjoying my life the way it is now."
Although they've been kept off the road since March, Metallica have hardly slowed down. In May, they joined the parade and recorded a quarantine song (a new version of "Blackened") with each member tracking their parts at home, later stitched together in a four-panel video.
The group just dropped the S&M2 live album and video and tonight (Aug. 28) hundreds of drive-in locations in America and Canada will host a pre-recorded live Metallica performance, which was done specifically for these special shows.
Oh, and a scientist named a new species of venomous snake after James Hetfield recently, too.
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