February 25, 2015

Metallica frontman James Hetfield has opened up in a recent video about his past, saying fans would not like him if they knew all of his dark secrets.


Hetfield said, “You wouldn’t really like me if you knew my story, if you knew what horrible things I’ve done. I’m coming to grips with that, ’cause I have groups of people that I’m able to share all my horrible stuff with — shameful, extremely shameful, dark stuff. Some of it is things I’ve taken from my parents and carried it a little further. Other ones, I’ve been able to drop some of that. Other ones I’ve picked up on my own and then created — shame’s a big thing for me.”

Hetfield added, “Playing music has saved my life. Every day saves my life. When I’m able to write . . . write a riff, write some lyrics, stuff like that . . . it’s the way I connect with the world. And so I think kids that do have the gift of art, writing painting, drawing, designing, metalwork, woodwork . . . any craft-type stuff . . . caring for that . . . caring for that.”

Empowering children has been a part of Hetfield’s message for years. In other footage, he talks about overcoming his fear of responsibility, his recovery from drug addiction and what it means to be a role model.

The videos were produced by Road Recovery, an organization founded to help young people battle adversity and addiction.

Hetfield got clean in 2002 and returned to Metallica to record the St. Anger album and make the documentary Some Kind of Monster, which depicted his struggles and the band’s near-breakup.