JAMES HETFIELD: 'We Didn't Care What METALLICA Meant To Us And Other People'
November 4, 2016
In a brand new interview with Guitar World magazine, METALLICA frontman James Hetfield spoke about the band's song "Moth Into Flame", which describes a Britney Spears-like pop queen that crashes and burns. Asked if he had someone specifically in mind when he was writing the track, James said: "The 'pop queen' in the song is not really female or male. It's about how people think popularity or fame is going to solve their problems. Or whether fame should even be a goal for a musician. For us, fame has sometimes been a burden, like, how do we get rid of this thing? [Laughs] It's a Pandora's box that often makes you wonder, Okay, how do I become un-famous? Some people have felt that urge so strongly they've taken their own lives to escape it."
He continued: "The song was somewhat inspired by the Amy Winehouse documentary, 'Amy'. When I watched it, it really made me sad that a talented person like that fell for the fame part of it. But, to some degree, I see that mentality reflected in everyday life — people obsessively taking selfies and sending them to friends for validation."
Hetfield also talked about how "autobiographical" "Moth Into Flame" is, considering that the members of METALLICA were "pop queens" for a while during the "Black Album" period. "The 'Some Kind Of Monster' film is a prime example of believing that people need you in a certain way, and if you don't deliver, they'll hate you," he said. "I've experienced some aspect of that almost all my life. If you're not aware of it enough, the monster that is fame can swallow you up. During that period, we were being swallowed. We stopped caring about each other. We didn't care what METALLICA meant to us and other people. We could only see the ugly side and we wanted to get away from it. We couldn't see what was beautiful about our lives. Whatever you focus on, you start working toward, and at that point in our lives we were thinking, this is a hell for us. We lost perspective. Eventually we realized it wasn't about the fame and that we needed to care for the band and each other· That was a hard lesson to learn."
"Moth Into Flame" is taken from METALLICA's tenth studio album, "Hardwired...To Self-Destruct", which is scheduled for a November 18 release via Blackened Recordings. The long-awaited follow-up to 2008's "Death Magnetic" consists of two discs, containing a dozen songs and nearly 80 minutes of music.
"Hardwired...To Self-Destruct" was produced by Greg Fidelman with Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich. The band recorded the disc at its own studio.