James Hetfield Reveals If Metallica Side Projects Still Piss Him Off

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Jason Newsted’s side project led to his 2001 Metallica exit, but James Hetfield doesn’t seem too bothered now with Metallica members having side projects.

Hetfield told So What (via Ultimate-Guitar), “We know where home is. We’ve all done those things, and that fear of ‘We’re not a unit’ is not there anymore. We, at least I, understand that everyone loves being here and this is the prime directive, man. This is it. This is what we get to do.

“The other stuff is also fun. It feeds our soul. It gives us a sense of independence that we crave, but okay, the Metallica mother ship is right here. Go jump on it.”

Kirk Hammett said:

“Yeah, for as much as it might be tantalizing to have solo projects or whatever, for me, Metallica is my musical home and now just where I live musically. That doesn’t mean that I can’t go to the store, or go visit some relatives over here and play some music, but sooner or later you gotta come home.”

Robert Trujillo said:

“I think one of the things that’s exciting about where we’re at, and what we’ve been doing over the last 10 years or so, is some of the challenges that we’ve experienced together. It’s gonna sound crazy, but playing a song like ‘Frayed Ends of Sanity,’ which I always thought was kinda crazy and impossible, but I was so excited to play it because when I first joined the band it was, ‘Man, my goal is to play ‘Frayed Ends of Sanity’ with Metallica!’

“What I want to say is… bands don’t do that. A lot of bands won’t go there. They go the opposite direction. So I think that says something for us about where we’re at and you know, the challenges that we take.

“I mean even making an album with Lou Reed, you know, we take chances and that’s what it’s all about in life, trying something. Whether you succeed or fail, it’s part of the journey and you can always at least look at yourself in the mirror and go, ‘Man, we went for that, we tried to do this.’ You’re always learning, and that’s also what keeps us alive and I think makes us better.”