James Hetfield recently dropped some interesting revelations in a chat with SiriusXM. He talked about a metal icon he’s always looked up to and the friendly rivalry between him and fellow band member Lars Ulrich. This interview came in hot on the heels of Metallica‘s new album ’72 Seasons,’ which has already created ripples in the music scene.
The Black Sabbath guitarist, Tony Iommi, has been a significant influence on Hetfield. He’s the end goal Hetfield measures himself against and the inspiration behind the enthusiasm with which he approaches his music. Besides Iommi, Hetfield also has a friendly rivalry with his bandmate Ulrich.
During the interview, Hetfield described himself as a ‘wanna-be drummer’ at heart, which immediately added a fun dimension to his relationship with Ulrich, who has dreamed of being a singer and a guitarist. Apparently, the two musicians share a deep desire to step into each other’s shoes which has sparked healthy competition, pushing them to continually up their game.
James Hetfield’s words about Tony Iommi and Lars Ulrich read:
“All of it stems from Tony Iommi. I mean, I’m still trying to outdo him. I know I never will, but I will continue to try, man. So a lot of it is about him and his inspiration with me. But I would say that my being a ‘wanna-be drummer’ has a lot to do with it. I mean, that’s really what I do; I play the drums on the guitar. I get to move cool notes around, you know, and Lars [Ulrich] and I share that. He wants to be a singer and a guitar player, and I want to be a drummer. We try to continue to impress each other, and that’s where some of that healthy competition comes from.”
With Metallica’s ’72 Seasons’ now rocking the airwaves, it’s clear to see that Hetfield’s burning desire to reach the heights of his hero Tony is very much alive. That drive, mixed with the fun, friendly one-upmanship between Hetfield and Ulrich, has taken the band to new places creatively, and you can feel that fresh vibe in their latest tracks when you’re jamming out to the new album.