Metallica’s James Hetfield says an addiction to fame “is a real thing”

”Being up onstage is a fantasy world, everyone is out there sprinkling you with wonderful dust.”

Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield

Image: Kevin Mazur / Getty

When you purchase through affiliate links on Guitar.com, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more.

Metallica’s James Hetfield has opened up on feeling an addiction to fame, revealing how he copes with adjusting to normality on his days off touring.

Being one of the biggest metal bands of our time has got to be pretty overwhelming at times, especially when you’re at a level in your career that enables you to headline Download Festival for a two-night stint with no song repeats, and have your song featured in a Netflix hit series.

Frontman and guitarist Hetfield has opened up on how he struggles adjusting to the stark contrast between being on stage and being at home, noting he feels an “addiction to fame”.

In an interview with The New Yorker following yesterday’s (28 November) news on the band’s brand new single, upcoming album and 2023/24 world tour, Hetfield said, “Being up onstage is a fantasy world, 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?’”

He continued, “Not so wonderful now, sitting here alone with two cats, taking the garbage out.” He explained how on his days off his body is tired yet his mind continues whirring, adding, “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?’”

The 59-year-old rocker concluded by admitting, “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.”

You can check out the new single from Metallica below:

Find out more on the band’s album 72 Seasons, and their upcoming M72 world tour at metallica.com.


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

© 2024 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.