What James Hetfield Hates About Metallica

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Metallica’s never-ending reign on metal music began when drummer Lars Ulrich decided to place an advertisement in a local newspaper named The Recycler. The musician was looking for other metalheads interested in Tygers of Pan Tang, Iron Maiden, and Diamond Head. James Hetfield reached out to Ulrich, and they founded Metallica five months after their meeting in 1981.

After their formation, Metallica underwent several lineup changes because of various problems and tragedies; Dave Mustaine’s struggle with addiction, Cliff Burton’s early death, and their disputes with Jason Newsted are probably the most known incidents. However, no matter what happened, Ulrich and Hetfield remained together. They learned a lot about themselves, and one of them occurred thanks to two records.

What Was Special About Metallica’s ‘Load’ and ‘Reload’?

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Metallica dropped its sixth studio album ‘Load’ on June 4, 1996. Its hard rock, alternative rock, Southern rock, blues rock, and country rock influences surprised the fans that had gotten used to their usual heavy and distorted sounds. Therefore, for some, ‘Load’ became their least favorite record of Metallica. The band members’ response to this criticism was to remind everyone of their aim, which was to explore different things.

Its follow-up work ‘Reload’ was their last studio album to feature the ‘…And Justice for All’ lineup before Newsted’s departure. The record sold three million copies, which is considered low considering the band’s other best-selling works. Besides the fans that met another side of Metallica with ‘Load’ and ‘Reload,’ the frontman James Hetfield realized something about the band while working on these two records.

The Characteristic Of Metallica That James Hetfield Didn’t Like

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During his interview with Guitar World, the reporter wanted to know what Metallica frontman James Hetfield learned from ‘The Black Album.’ He answered the question, saying that the band members focused on adding muscle to their sound, which became increasingly well-crafted in time. Hetfield went on to say that he discovered something about the band during the creation process of ‘Load’ and ‘Reload.’

According to the Metallica singer, writing too many songs for these two records caused them to lose focus, which got watery and diluted. Hetfield revealed that they have always been good at turning okay songs into hits, but this ultimately became the quality he hated in the creation process of Metallica since not all average songs are worth being on the record. He stressed that the real question was whether they had enough discipline to dismiss a song that wasn’t as good as the others.

In Hetfield’s words, he said:

“On ‘The Black Album,’ we learned how to add muscle to our sound. On ‘Load’ and ‘Reload,’ I learned that when you write too many songs, your focus gets watery and diluted. I hate that part of us. We know how to take an okay song and make it good. But the question lately has been, ‘Do we have the discipline to dismiss an average song and say it’s not on the record? Do we know when something is not good enough?'”

You can check out the two albums below.