Interview: Metallica on ‘Metallica Through the Never’ & Beyond
CraeOnline: In the early ‘90s, how did you guys feel when Beavis and Butt-Head chose you to be on one of their shirts, and to watch your videos?
James Hetfield: Honored.
Kirk Hammett: Is it Butt-Head or Beavis that’s wearing it?
Now I can’t remember which one was which!
Kirk Hammett: But it made me feel like those guys were arbiters of good taste.
But in the promotional materials they can’t use the name. It’s Skull and Death Rock.
Kirk Hammett: We gave them permission to do Metallica whenever they needed to and we actually at that point also made shirts that were blue with just the Metallica scrawl. We actually made those shirts and made them available for sale.
I also thought the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games were going to be really good for the music industry, but they haven’t really lasted. Why do you think that faded away?
James Hetfield: I think there’s a fast food culture out there with games. It’s a game. People get sick of games and they move on to the next one. There’s so much technology advancement that the next cool thing is really right around the corner, not a few years away. Maybe it was just done.
I would’ve thought the potential was infinite because there are unlimited songs. You can always add new songs to those games.
James Hetfield: Yeah, good idea but the vehicle maybe ran its course. It’s a game. It’s a push button game.
Robert Trujillo: I would say I felt that the game itself in a way helped propel heavy metal music because a lot of young people were being exposed to bands like Black Sabbath and Judas Priest and Deep Purple. It turned them on to where they want to go buy a guitar or a bass or a drum kit and start playing. It seemed like for a while, you’d go into a music store and they’re selling more DJ gear than they are actually electric guitars. I think that helped change things a little bit.
Kirk Hammett: With Guitar Hero, I think a couple things happened. Anyone who wanted to become a musician actually became a musician and hung up the game. Another thing is I think people just got bored with it. People just got bored of playing the game.
Do you ever play events for your friends, like weddings and stuff, and do full Metallica sets?
James Hetfield: [Laughs] We have no friends.
Kirk Hammett: That’s a great question, man. That is such a great question.
Thank you, Kirk.
Kirk Hammett: That’s something that I wish people would just ask.
Oh really? Because the same friend who asked about “Disposable Heroes” would love you to play his housewarming.
James Hetfield: Well, Kirk will do that. He certainly will. There’s two problems with that. First of all, we have no friends. Second one, everyone’s getting divorced.
Robert Trujillo: There are no weddings to play.