James Hetfield: Iron Man
GW Did you find touring sober difficult?
HETFIELD At first it felt great, but scary at the same time. Mostly it was, “What do I do now?” But how many hours have been wasted sitting in a bar somewhere talking to people you’ll never see again? So I went sightseeing, did the stuff you would have done if it was your first tour. The guys were very respectful.
GW At this point, what do you and Lars have in common?
HETFIELD Besides children and family life, we’re very into art even, though it’s completely different kinds of art. I like Kustom Kulture art, religious art, doing stuff for the band. He’s very into abstract art, stuff you have to make your own mind up about.
GW Do you love Lars?
HETFIELD I do. There’s no doubt that we were put together on this journey for a reason. We hooked up and, like my wife and I, opposites do attract, and it’s a never-ending battle. We’ve got this chemistry that works even though resentments get in the way and we can’t see it sometimes. There’s an agitation, a friction, a spark that just happens.
GW Is that something you could have said 10 years ago?
HETFIELD I could still say that back then. It’s a different kind of love. We wouldn’t get our families together and go to Hawaii for a week. But, man, when something happens on the road, someone’s challenging Metallica or our ability, we will cling together like there’s no tomorrow. We will stand, have each other’s back, and fight to the death.
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