METALLICA's JAMES HETFIELD Explains Where 'Anger' In His Music Comes From

February 14, 2018

Polar Music Prize recently conducted an interview with METALLICA frontman James Hetfield. You can now watch the chat at this location.

Asked where the anger in his lyrics and music comes from, Hetfield said: "I think the anger comes from family of origin, a feeling of not being heard, a feeling of manipulation, probably still a teenager in here somewhere that's still sorting out some past issues — you know, parents, upbringing, things like that. So there is that, but I think a lot of it is a defense mechanism — it is. Even when my kids scare me, or someone tickles me, I get angry. That's my first reaction to most things, so it's my default — I don't know why, I don't know why. Some people laugh 'cause they're nervous; it's just a thing. But I've learned to tap in to that.

"There's a big therapy in playing music and in writing music, and knowing that other people out there feel like me is very comforting," he continued. "And the connection with the crowd is extremely important — they are the 'fifth member,' as we call them. And I enjoy watching them release their whatever it is as well. I get to see that; that is part of the joy I get. They get to see us live, yeah — I get to see them transform and join together and become a family. It's beautiful."

As previously reported, METALLICA will be honored with the prestigious Polar Music Prize in June.

The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by Stig "Stikkan" Anderson, the manager and music publisher of ABBA. A well-known lyricist, he also was the co-writer on many of their early hits. The prize was first presented in 1992.

The Polar Music Prize honors two laureates every year to "celebrate music in all its various forms" and "to break down musical boundaries by bringing together people from all the different worlds of music." It awards each laureate one million kronor (approximately $125,000) at a gala in Stockholm.

Ulrich and Trujillo will accept METALLICA's prize from His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden on June 14 at the Grand Hôtel.

METALLICA will donate the prize money to its All Within My Hands Foundation, which is dedicated to assisting and enriching the lives of the members of the communities by supporting workforce education, the fight against hunger, and other critical local services.

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