It’s always startling when any celebrity admits their dependence upon fame and appreciation from others. Honestly, it’s a slippery slope when walked because one day no matter who you are or how talented you think you may be one day your sun will set and you will fade into obscurity. It appears that Metallica’s James Hetfield recently opened up about his addition to… fame… fame… and is now attempting to solicit sympathy for when his day finally comes to an end.
According to Ultimate Guitar, Metallica caught the world with its pants down by announcing their eleventh studio album, titled “72 Seasons“.
The name doesn’t seem to be coincidental, as the announcement also sees Papa Het musing on the importance of our first 18 years of life (that 72 seasons add up to), and how what we become up to that point follows us through the rest of our lives, one way or the other. If any of you were able to catch and understand what was said drop a comment below. The comment to me is utter nonsense and is completely unsubstantiated hocus pocus. Get real.
James Hetfield was 18 years old when he co-founded Metallica with Lars Ulrich, embarking on a ride he’d has never gotten off of. While Metallica’s rise to fame happened after the first 72 seasons of James’s life, being the face and voice of the world’s biggest metal band also undeniably left a deep mark on him.
“Being up onstage is a fantasy world,” says James Hetfield in a new interview with The New Yorker about what a lifetime of fame does to you:
“Everyone is out there sprinkling you with wonderful dust. You start to believe it, and then you get home and you go, ‘Where’s my dust?’ Not so wonderful now, sitting here alone with two cats, taking the garbage out.” As such, the quiet of days between adrenaline rushes delivered by playing to stadiums packed with enraptured fans can be a real challenge for the frontman while he’s on the road. He goes on:
“My body is tired, but my mind is still going. What do I do with that? I just ask people in the crew, or friends, or my assistant, ‘Hey, can you just sit down and watch TV with me?’
“I believe the addiction to fame is a real thing. I’ve got my little recovery posse on the road to help me out. We’ll say a prayer before going onstage: ‘James, you’re a human being. You’re going to die. You’re here doing service. You’re doing the best you can.’ That is helpful for me.”
“There are many names for it. I call it getting in the zone. You’re not feeling shameful about past stuff, you’re not future-tripping in fear about what’s coming up next. You’re right there, and you’re doing exactly what you need to do.”
Efforts to self-medicate in absence of those moments of clarity opened the doors for James’s infamous battle of attrition with alcohol; a battle in which he most recently triumphed after going into rehab at the tail end of 2019. He went on:
“I think everyone searches for that sense of presence. I searched for it in the wrong medicines for a long time. I just wanted to turn my head off. That worked until it didn’t work. Finding a new god that isn’t alcohol . . . yeah, that’s what I’m still workin’ on.”
“Toxic masculinity has fueled this band. I’m still sitting around saying, ‘O.K., I’m gonna write a really, really tough, kick-ass riff.’ Just look at my rhetoric there: tough, kick-ass riff. It’s an aggression that everyone feels, but it was ratcheted up in us—this weird masculine macho bullshit thing.”
There you have it. Fame. Stay away from it. It’ll destroy you in the end.