The Band Who Inspired James Hetfield For Metallica’s Guitar Harmonies

There are many reasons why Metallica frontman James Hetfield is named among the most influential artists of all time by music critics and fans. His distinctive vocals and impressive stage presence have always left a lasting impression on the audience. Although Hetfield is famous primarily for his playing and vocal skills, he is also an underrated songwriter as he has written some of the band’s biggest hits.

James Hetfield has been the voice and face of Metallica since the very beginning of the band’s musical journey. Some of the things unique about him are his voice’s technical strength and his perfect tuning. However, some listeners consider his guitar playing skills better than his vocal talent. Nonetheless, the guitar is not the only instrument the rock icon can play.

Actually, his first musical instrument was piano rather than guitar, but he proved himself to be one of the greatest rhythm guitarists of the metal world. His intense rhythm chops and his ability to down-pick at incredible speeds are a huge part of what made Metallica one of the most influential bands of all time. Of course, Hetfield also had some early influences that inspired him at the beginning of his music career regarding guitar playing.

James Hetfield Was Heavily Inspired By Thin Lizzy

James Hetfield appeared as a guest on a previous issue of Rolling Stone magazine and revealed his top ten most significant songs of all time by explaining why they were so influential for him. Hetfield revealed that Thin Lizzy is one of the major influences on him, from whom he drew inspiration for Metallica’s guitar harmonies.

Hetfield is publicly known to be a huge Thin Lizzy fan as Metallica often plays their own version of Thin Lizzy’s ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ in their shows. Metallica also included the song in their cover album, ‘Garage Inc.’ Hetfield also became close friends with Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott before he sadly passed away at the age of 36.

The song James Hetfield listed among one of the greatest songs of all time is Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Boys Are Back in Town,’ which was initially released in 1976 as the first single of the band’s ‘Jailbreak’ album. Hetfield praised Phil Lynott’s exceptional songwriting skills and said that his lyrics always came from the bottom of his heart, although they were somewhat simple.

The only thing that inspired James Hetfield about Thin Lizzy was not just limited to Lynott’s impressive song lyrics. Hetfield also revealed that Thin Lizzy was a massive influence on a lot of Metallica’s guitar harmonies. Metallica has always stood out with its excellent guitar parts, which went so well together. It looks like Thin Lizzy gave them a lot of opinions on how to arrange them in such an effective way.

Here is how James Hetfield talked about Thin Lizzy’s influence on him and Metallica:

Phil Lynott was never afraid to write from the heart, even if it was a little corny. Thin Lizzy inspired a lot of Metallica’s guitar harmonies.”

You can listen to James Hetfield’s favorite Thin Lizzy song below.