SVT conducted an interview with METALLICA members James Hetfield (guitar, vocals) and Robert Trujillo (bass) prior to today’s (Sunday, July 3) “Big Four” concert (also featuring MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX) at Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden. A few excerpts follow below.
On wearing the t-shirt of the mysterious Swedish buzz band GHOST during the interview:
Hetfield: “I’m in their fan club. [Laughs] I had no idea what they looked like until I saw the video. I heard the music first and I thought it was very great — very unique, very melodic and a breath of fresh air for metal. It reminded me a bit of ’70s kind of rock that I liked as well. So yeah, I love the band.”
On what kind of memories the “Big Four” concerts with MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX bring back:
Hetfield: “Mostly good memories. [Laughs] And we choose to live in those memories as well. I think the [Rock And Roll] Hall Of Fame induction had a lot to do with a little bit of, actually, turning around and embracing the past — not being so afraid of it anymore or running from it. It was more of a celebration of where we are and the gift that we have now. So along in that vibe with paying back for all the good things that have happened to us, and also just maybe helping some others along as well, you know?! Metal has gone through difficult times. We’ve seemed to stay pretty strong with the help of our fans, and obviously, the music has a lot to do with it as well, the honesty. But it just felt like a nostalgic time and a good time to bring everyone together. Everyone has matured to a point where we can all get along fine and enjoy the ‘oneness’ of the ‘Big Four’ and not so much fighting. There’s a good competition — like sports, you know?!”
Trujillo: “It almost seems like a volcano of positive energy, where you have all these bands and all of a sudden it just gets to a certain point where it has to happen. And here we are.”
Hetfield: “As far as us getting along, it’s really great. Being able to see each other in a different way. A lot of the stuff that we’ve, I guess, grown to hear about each other is through the press and through other people, and now you can actually look each other in the face and say, ‘How are you doing?’ ‘You look great’ or ‘Oh, you have neck problems, too? Oh, me too!’ It’s like all these things we have in common that we’re able to talk about openly now. Like, ‘My kids drive me crazy.’ Or just normal, kind of, dad things — just life stories as well. But getting everyone together and moving in the same direction instead of against each other is so amazing. And it makes you play even better. I mean, we’ve been hearing for years that we should play with SLAYER, we should play with MEGADETH, we should play with ANTHRAX. And finally, it seems like now’s the time. And boy, the level of playing has… We thought we were pretty good. It makes you step up. Every band is on their ‘A+’ game, so the fans are getting to see the results of a lot of competition, and it’s all for the good.”