James Hetfield wants someone to invent a “straw on the microphone” so he can sip water while playing live

The Metallica frontman believes that hydration is the key to knocking out his best riffs.

James Hetfield performing live

Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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You can give him fuel, you can give him fire… but it seems the thing that James Hetfield desires most of all is a good sip of water.

Speaking to the Metallica Report, the Metallica frontman has reflected on how the band could improve their live performance going forward – and a fundamental factor he would like to change would be popping a straw on his microphone while playing. Given his constant riffing throughout a set, there’s rarely an opportunity to hydrate mid-riff.

“Being able to maybe sip some water while I’m playing, you know, some kind of straw on the microphone…. That could be cool,” he enthuses.

Hetfield’s constant playing also leads to other problems. As his hands are always occupied, there’s rarely an opportunity to grab the mic and move from behind his stand. For this reason, he also suggests multiple mic stands dotted around the stage would also be a beneficial addition to a Metallica live show.

“I’m not holding the mic, I’m not able to go anywhere. So there [could be] mic stations everywhere,” he reflects.

Of course there could be chaos; “our monitor guy [would have to] chase me around for all the mics, he can’t have them all open because it sounds insane, especially in an indoor stadium.”

To avoid the chaos of constantly turning mics on and off, Hetfield also presents another innovative proposition; “If you’re wearing something and you’re within two feet of the microphone, turn it on, something like that. So it would make [the monitor’s job] a little easier and mine as well.”

While we’re no closer to Metallica’s multi-mic madness, or a stand equipped with a bendy straw, Hetfield is optimistic about the future. “I guess the New Year is kind of a cleansing, and I’ve got a new goal… I’m really just continuing to try and improve myself, get better, have a better attitude about life, about other people’s lives, and just try to bring as much joy to people as possible,” he asserts.

The M72 World Tour will kick off again in May in Germany, and will continue until the end of September 2025.


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