James Hetfield: Why Metallica ‘Sold Out’

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UG News editor since early 2013. King Crimson fan. I handle the news around here.

James Hetfield addressed all the risks Metallica took over the years and sellout accusations that came along, telling Andy Hall (transcribed by UG):

“It’s easy to see now how we made the right choice. Things happen for a reason.

“When you look back and think – even with a song like ‘Fade to Black,’ people were flipping us off. ‘You sold out! You suck!’

“And then the ‘Black Album’ and ‘Nothing Else Matters’ or cutting hair or whatever it may be – playing Lollapalooza [in 1996], I remember that was like, ‘Oh my God! Shock, horror! I’m burning all my Metallica stuff!’ Napster, all this stuff!

“But when you look back, it’s like – you know what? We did it ’cause we felt it was the right thing to do.

“It’s as simple as that – we’re artists and we’re on a journey. If you want to be on a journey with us, please come along.

“Just don’t complain too much, alright? [Laughs]”

Cliff Burton talks Metallica selling out back in the day

Discussing his relationship with Lars, James noted:

“I like to play drums, I’m pretty much playing drums on guitar. Percussiveness has always been my thing.

“Lars is good at writing riffs, I’m good at drum stuff, it’s like we help each other out. I wanna be a drummer, he wants to be a singer, it’s a good combo! [Chuckles]

“We help each other out when we feel a little stale. We’re at a point now where suggestions are taken a bit easier than it used to be. [Laughs]”


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