James Hetfield Is Not Like What People Expected, Metallica Producer Explains

According to Metallica producer Greg Fidelman, James Hetfield is different from how people see him from the outside, as he shared in The Metallica Report podcast.

In his career, Fidelman worked with names like Metallica, Johnny Cash, Slipknot, U2, and many more. When the host asked if he thinks Hetfield has a similar energy to Cash, the producer replied:

“I would agree, definitely. James is also obviously a lot younger than Johnny was when I met him, but James isn’t the middle-finger guy [people see from the outside]. I don’t know that James; I know *of* that James, but by the time I’m working with him, he’s already trying to not be something other than just a guy. I think he wouldn’t really like [it], but he’s more than that.”

Fidelman Talks About Hetfield’s Personality

Fidelman continued to talk about his thoughts on the Metallica frontman:

“When James comes in, there’s a presence, but James has also become grateful and tries to be very kind. James still has much more of a mercurial kind of personality, where the moods are clear, and you know when they’re this, that, and the other. All good things, but that’s a different thing. James can be much harder to sort of dig into — he’s very easy to work with, for me, anyway — but just to understand what’s happening on the inside. There, sometimes it’s a little complicated.”

How Was It To Work With James?

The producer worked with Metallica on their latest record, ’72 Seasons.’ In a chat with Dave Friedman and Marc Huzansky on their Tone-Talk podcast, he shared how it was to work with Hetfield, saying:

“With a player like James, when you get someone who is that in-tune with what they’re doing and what they’re trying to sound like… he’s pretty particular. If it gets mushy at all, he’s out… I often want to put more gain [on] than he likes. Same thing with Kirk. They both [say], ‘It’s getting a little too dirty’… so it’s always a back and forth.”

Besides ’72 Seasons,’ Fidelman collaborated with Metallica on the band’s 2008 album ‘Death Magnetic,’ the Lou Reed collaboration ‘Lulu,’ ‘Hardwired… to Self-Destruct’ and the live album ‘S&M2.’

You can watch the rest of his interview below.