James Hetfield Admits Having Doubts About Himself: ‘We’re Old, We Can’t Do This’

During a recent appearance on ‘The Metallica Report,’ frontman James Hetfield discussed whether he feels his confidence in his lyric-writing abilities has grown over the past couple of decades. Talking about getting ready for the tour, Hetfield said he has been doubting himself due to old age:

“Obviously, before heading out on tour, sitting there, trying to remember the myriad of pretty awesome songs we have, and then just trusting that once we get together, it’s, like, ‘Oh, yeah.’ It’s muscle memory. But, yeah, over the last month, I will say that the normal thing happens where I start to doubt myself. I start to feel insecure that, ‘Whoa, we’re old. We can’t do this,’ and blah, blah, blah, all that bullshit that everyone tells themselves before they go into something that they care about and is important.”

But, he also revealed what he did in his free times, and it appears that he is working on new stuff:

“[I’ve been] Writing lots of music, playing guitar pretty much every day. I have to. It’s like breathing.”

Hetfield’s Insecurity About Live Performances

Hetfield’s vulnerability about his age once almost affected his live performance. During a show in Brazil back in 2022, Hetfield opened up about his insecurities. He talked about aging and his worries about not being able to perform as well as he used to.

The 58-year-old frontman got emotional and received a group hug from his bandmates. After playing ‘One,’ Hetfield admitted to the crowd that he ‘wasn’t feeling very good’ before the show because he felt ‘insecure’:

“I’ve gotta tell you I wasn’t feeling very good before I came out here. [I was] feeling a little bit insecure, like I’m an old guy, can’t play anymore — all this bullshit that I tell myself in my head. So I talked to these guys [his bandmates,] and they helped me — as simple as that. They gave me a hug and said, ‘Hey, if you’re struggling onstage, we’ve got your back.’ And I tell you, it means the world to me.”

You can listen to the new episode here.