Why Metallica’s James Hetfield is ‘Afraid’ to Jam With Others
Metallica's James Hetfield has once again said he does not believe he and his bandmates are superb musicians —and this belief has given the frontman a fear of playing with others.
"I know individually we're all really average players, but when you put us together, something happens," he told Cigar Aficionado Magazine in a recent interview. However, Hetfield described jamming one-on-one with other musicians as a "nightmare" for him.
It seems Hetfield has always been a bit self-conscious about Metallica's musicianship. He revealed in a 2016 interview with Spotify's Metal Talks, "We're literally afraid to jam with certain people, 'cause we think we're not worthy enough; we're not great musicians."
He even struggled with stage fright during Metallica's early days as a band. "Early shows were really difficult — I was so shy," he told Cigar Aficionado. "[I] didn't want to talk. I'd have the other guys in the band introduce the songs." Although his stage fright has passed over the last four decades in Metallica, Hetfield's fear of playing with other musicians has lingered. "[Now] I feel so comfortable up there, it's so weird. Sitting down one-on-one with someone is a lot more anxiety ridden than standing up in front of 10,000 people, 20,000 people."
Catch Metallica on the road this year and next to draw your own conclusions about their musicianship during their world tour. For tickets, head here.