How James Hetfield Gets His Iconic Guitar Tone Which Is Pretty Much The Same In Every Album

Long-term tech of Metallica frontman James Hetfield, Chad Zaemisch opened up about the attitude of Hetfield when it comes to recruiting tech-crew, apparently, Hetfield is quite picky and in control when it comes to choosing his tech guy.

As many of you know, James Hetfield has a guitar tone that is unique to himself with his equipment including guitars and amplifiers in addition to effects and accessories throughout the years. Hetfield went through a bunch of different gears in years from the early days with hot-rodded Marshalls, through the Mesa/Boogie MkII, and more, however, his tone always had a consistent character.

In order to protect and continue his sound, James Hetfield had to work with the best technical crew he can, that is Chad Zaemisch who has been the person who made sure the guitar was properly set up, restrung and in tune, the amplifiers, and effects rig was in order for the past 18 years.

During a recent interview, Chad Zaemisch opened up about the time when he was first interviewed by James Hetfield and apparently Hetfield had a set of rules when it comes to working with new tech. Zaemisch revealed that James was in charge of everything during the interviews in order to be in complete control since the tech crew is the power behind Hetfield’s sound.

In addition to this, James wanted to interview those who were there over a recommendation from other musicians so that he does not have to deal with a bunch of people who he has no idea about. However, having previously worked with guitarist Kirk Hammett’s tech, Zaemisch got the job back in 2003.

Here is what Zaemisch said:

“Yeah, that might have been my first job interview! James wanted to be more in control of the people that surrounded him, so he was interviewing a few techs that day. More often you would get a job through other techs on the tour or a recommendation. James didn’t want to just deal with whoever showed up to fill the spot which actually makes a lot of sense. We just sat down together and had a chat about experience and the philosophy of my work ethic and so forth. I had worked for other artists under their management and with Kirk’s tech Justin Crew, so I wasn’t a complete stranger. They dropped me back at the hotel where I was going to sit until my flight later that day when I received the phone call. That was in 2003.”

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