Metallica frontman James Hetfield has been open and brutally honest when speaking with the Metallica Fan Club magazine So What! on a variety of topics. After recently discussing some of the band’s biggest failures and the loss of millions of dollars as a result, he has now offered his thoughts on side projects other members have pursued and the restraint he feels as a founder of the band from going after other creative endeavors.
When asked if side projects from bassist Robert Trujillo and guitarist Kirk Hammett have opened the door for him to do something outside of Metallica as well, Hetfield revealed his conflicting thoughts on the idea. Candidly speaking, he said, “That’s a great question, because, for me, it’s always been if anyone does something else, it waters down the potency of Metallica. That’s always been the thought around it. But I guess if they do it, it’s okay, but if I do it, it’s not, because I’m the frontman, or Lars [Ulrich] is the drummer. We’re the founders. We can’t do that kind of stuff.”
Continuing, he stated, “I think it’s always been like that, and I still feel that a little bit. And I think Metallica, for Lars and myself— I’ll speak mainly for me, but I know he feels the same way — Metallica is our side project too. It’s our main project, it’s our side project, it’s our 24/7 project.” Admitting he feels an itch to work on more than Metallica, he went on, “It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to try other things, like voiceover work, a book, photography, art, cars… you name it. I want it to add to me, not subtract from Metallica.”