Exclusive: Original Metallica manager says they considered Lars Ulrich taking over as James Hetfield battled confidence crisis
Original Metallica manager Jon ‘Jonny Z’ Zazula says the band briefly considered making Lars Ulrich the frontman.Download Our App
Zazula managed Metallica for a spell from 1982 and recalls Hetfield’s early nerves over handling lead vocal duties. One proposed suggestion was moving Lars Ulrich from the drum stool to the mic.
Zazula tells Metal Hammer: “Lars and I planned a lot of stuff. However James wasn’t the most confident of singers. I do not think he felt comfortable.
“At one point there was even talk of Lars becoming the frontman. For about 5 seconds.”
Hetfield soon came into his own as the band created their 1983 debut Kill ‘Em All.
Watch Lars Ulrich on Vocals
Metallica frontman Hetfield has praised former bandmate and Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine for his “superb career” in music
Metallica split with guitarist Dave Mustaine in 1983 due to his substance abuse issues – and he was changed by current axeman, Kirk Hammett.
Regardless of their strained relationship, Mustaine has since made amends with the band – and performed alongside Metallica at the San Francisco Fillmore in 2011.
Now James Hetfield calls his former colleague an “old good friend” who went on to carve a successful career within the industry.
He tells Bild: “He is an old good friend of ours for sure and he has done very well for himself in Megadeth. And after him getting kicked out of the band he went on to have an amazing career.
“Dave is a tremendous guitar player, great songwriter and he has done some wonderful stuff in his band.”
Watch the full interview beneath.
Earlier this month Hammett said he understands Mustaine’s long-held grudge about being fired. The Megadeth frontman responded that he “appreciated” his replacement’s regard – and added that Dave has “great respect” for him.
Mustaine has recently been speaking up the chance of returning to stages alongside fellow thrash icons Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax – with Metallica’s Robert Trujillo voiced his own support for the thought.
Read Mustaine’s review of Metallica’s new album Hardwired… To Self Destruct.
Watch: James Hetfield about worst tattoos, Dave Mustaine and Hardwired (photos/full interview)
The Metallica frontman Hetfield has revealed he stopped riding motorcycles last yr in a bid to minimise risks to his health.
James Hetfield isn’t the only member of Metallica to have considered the challenges of continuing to perform at full energy as they approach their mid-50s.
Lars Ulrich recently mentioned Metallica could continue for 100 years if it was just a question of mental skill – however that they knew the time would come to retire for physical reasons.
Requested about his bike assortment, Hetfield tells Jeff Woods Radio: “I offered the one I experience. I’ve bought a couple of customs and issues that have been constructed for me, or I helped construct. I really like that part.
“I had my daily rider and I sold it last yr. I just thought, ‘It is not me, it is the other man. Somethings will happen, and I want to be healthy, have all my stuff work.’
“I want grandkids to show up, I want to have some fun with them.”
James Hetfield takes his role as a father seriously – however he’s made sure his children take his job seriously as well. “I think it is important that they understand what I do,” he says.
“It is not just, ‘Dad sits around on the couch and plays guitar.’ There is hard work that goes into it. It is important that they see that hard work.
“They see me after a show coughing up a lung or one thing, or simply beat. However they see the joy that I get out of it.”
And he reflects that, on balance, he has a better probability of coping with any health points than his bandmates. “Catching on fire, broken arms… I have got job security,” he argues.
“I sing and play. My throat goes out I can at all times play. I break my arm, I get to sing. I’m set!”
Metallica released 10th album Hardwired… To Self-Destruct last month. They appeared on US TV present Jimmy Kimmel Live this week, the place they discussed how their children don’t care too much about their dads’ careers – with Kirk Hammett revealing that his kids thought his instrument was “boring.”
Watch James Hetfield Interview with Jeff Woods. Shot by Matt Barnes:
Hetfield says he will solely ever fall out with Metallica bandmate Lars Ulrich if they stop speaking for any length of time.
However he accepts that’s a part of their relationship – and a part of any relationship that’s driven by creativity.
Metallica proceed to support the release of tenth album Hardwired… To Self-Destruct with a series of media appearances and low-key shows leading up to large-scale gigs subsequent yr.
James Hetfield tells The Strombo Show of his relationship with Ulrich: “We’ve got began fires. We’ve walked through fired. We’ve put fires out.
“We have done lots of growing up together. Love him, hate him, he’s a brother. It evolves.
“If I live in my head I get off song. I begin considering too much – ‘He is trying to manipulate me, he is thinking the same about me.’
“When we don’t communicate, we are creative people. We begin making shit up. We’ve to speak or else things go sideways. We connect and we are real again.”
The frontman acknowledges that he and Lars Ulrich could possibly be described as perfectionists. “Lars and I share that wanting to turn over every stone, wanting to attempt all the things, wanting to discover and do new things with Metallica,” he says.
“It is a work in progress till the end – if there’s an end. All the time trying to get better, at all times wanting to learn something.”
And James Hetfield says the biggest compliment possible is when somebody tells them that their music touched them. “That always feels good, and at all times will,” he reports.
Metallica appear on US TV show Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday (December 14) after which play a club show at Hollywood’s Fonda Theatre the next night. Their WorldWired tour is expected to last at least 2 years.
Hetfield has recalled how watching a documentary film about Amy Winehouse inspired Metallica song Moth Into Flame.
It was one of the first songs to be released from Metallica’s 10th album Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, which arrived last month.
He has previously mentioned how his lyrics cope with the wider concept of habit, and not just to drugs.
Winehouse died after a drinking binge in 2011, at the age of 27, following years of scuffling with psychological sickness and abuse of varied substances.
James Hetfield tells 102.1 The Edge: “Just watching that film was extremely saddening – how Winehouse’s life went from such a lively joyous person, to somebody who was just making an attempt to escape the truth of where she was.
“It actually hit me in the one a part of the movie where she was lost in her mind, it appeared, and Amy Winehouse was just leaving her flat in England.
“The press were just hanging out in front of her place all the time, snapping these photos of her. ‘Hey, Amy, how’s it going?’ Speaking to her like they know her.
“They just don’t discover – they wouldn’t say, ‘You look skinny, you look unhealthy.’ There was a complete misconnection there with reality.”
James Hetfield provides that there is also an affect from the band’s own experiences: “The fame part, and how that may really be a drug for some people. It definitely has been in our career.
“Growing up with it, how do you cope with fame? How does it have an effect on you? At what point do you realise this might not be as healthy as I think it’s for me?”
After dealing with his own addiction points, Hetfield says he has a strong grounding community. “I have got a wife that kicks my ass, initially. Children that tell it like it’s – ‘Dad, you’re being a jerk.’ I like that.
“The guys within the band, too, all of us keep each other in check. Like, ‘Dude, is that limo a little too long?’ Just goofy things like that. We try and keep each other real.”
He lists one other saving grace: “Not surrounding ourselves with yes-men too, which able to really just distort your reality.”
Other people to have affect material on Hardwired… To Self-Destruct include late Motorhead icon Lemmy Kilmister and the Metallica’s late bassist Cliff Burton. Metallica’s WorldWired tour is expected to continue for at the least 2 years, with more dates to be confirmed in due course.
As an environmentalist and surfer, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett is concerned in regards to the impact the policies of President-elect Donald Trump is going to have on the oceans. In a new interview, Kirk Hammett mentioned that he is considering taking a more active function in politics if he is sad with Trump.
Talking to Yahoo! Music, Kirk Hammett took issue with Donald Trump’s long-running denial of climate change. “What does that tell you about the man?” said. “What does that tell you? Any normal, educated person who has a pretty good grip on reality — evenly balanced, could even be a centrist sort of person, not left or not right, any person who I just described — upon hearing something like that would just think, ‘What the f—in’ fairy story did that come out of?’”
The guitarist then outlined a great leader as “somebody with integrity, honesty and altruism, and a general sense of what is right and what’s wrong. We don’t have that in our leadership right now, and that puts me in a state of awareness and attentiveness, and it puts me in a state of wait and see what’s going to happen. But if something happens that I am not okay with, I am going to be super vocal about it for the first time in my life.”
Nonetheless, he made it clear that he won’t use the stage as a platform for his views, and that it is coming from him and not the band. “Metallica appeals to such a wide range of individuals,” he continued. “We have people on the left, people on the right, in droves. Part of the reason why we don’t consider ourselves a politically oriented band is as a result of when you begin speaking about politics you draw a line in the sand, and all of a sudden [there’s] division, and that’s not what we want. We want everybody to be in this together, experiencing the music together. … I — not Metallica, but I — will take it upon myself to get involved, if there’s something I see that’s seriously wrong, and I really feel that it is my job to say something, and to call out individuals who need to be called out.”
And if meaning resorting to social media to attempt to make a change, he says, so be it. “I could pick up my telephone right now and say exactly what I said and provoke a fight with the President [Elect] of america,” he mentioned, “and chances are he is going to fall for the bait. That’s a sad thing, right there.”
Lashing out the action, returning the reaction Weak are ripped and torn away Hypnotizing power, crushing all that cower Battery is here to stay.
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