Metallica‘s James Hetfield cited two of his early guitar influences. Loudwire reported during the promotional video for Hetfield’s new Hardwired Master Core strings for Ernie Ball, he explained how both metal and punk icons helped lead the way to his unique style of rhythm guitar.

Hetfield was quoted as saying, “For me it was a little more raw, the stuff that I liked. Discovering bands like AC/DC then Judas Priest and then the whole new wave of British heavy metal came out and that was Iron Maiden, then Motorhead, and Black Sabbath for sure was a Number One influence for me. Seeing that first album cover, and seeing that first Iron Maiden album cover, it drew me right to it. I just got continually heavier and heavier as I was discovering music.”

Hetfield went on to shed light on the mechanics of his guitar playing: “I’m kind of a little bit of a barbarian when I play. I’m always interested in the riff. It was the foundation of the song. Tony Iommi, he’s ruling the song with his riff and everything else joins him. Y’know, Johnny Ramone, lots of down picking lots of y’know, just fast down picking. That helped develop my style. So kind of a combination of punk rock and heavy rock at the time y’know, turned into just the down picking style and with melody along with it.”


James Hetfield checked in on his youngest fan, Luan Figueiró, who was born on May 7th during the band’s concert in Curitiba, Brazil. The baby’s mom, Joice M. Figueiró, filmed the phone call and posted some of the seven-minute conversation online.

  • Metallica North American tour dates (subject to change):
    May 27 – Napa, CA -BottleRock at Napa Valley Expo
    May 29 – Boston, MA – Boston Calling at Harvard Athletic Complex
    July 28 – Chicago, IL – Lollapalooza at Grant Park
    August 11 – Buffalo, NY – Highmark Stadium
    August 14 – Pittsburgh, PA – PNC Park

CHECK IT OUT: Metallica on June 6th, 2006 performing The Ramones’ “Commando” live in Berlin:

CHECK IT OUT: Metallica on March 13th, 2006 performing Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” at Sabbath’s Rock Hall induction:

CHECK IT OUT: James Hetfield checks in on parents of baby born at Metallica concerts: