In an interview with SiriusXM, James Hetfield made some intriguing remarks. He discussed a metal icon he has always admired and his friendly competition with fellow band member Lars Ulrich. This interview comes on the heels of Metallica’s new album, ’72 Seasons,’ which has already made waves in the music industry. Tony Iommi, the guitarist for Black Sabbath, was a major influence on Hetfield. He’s the standard by which Hetfield compares himself, as well as the source of his excitement for music. Aside from Iommi, Hetfield has a friendly rivalry with bandmate Ulrich. During the interview, Hetfield defined himself as a ‘wanna-be drummer’ at heart, which immediately provided a hilarious dimension to his connection with Ulrich, who has always wanted to be a singer and guitarist.
Apparently, the two musicians have a strong desire to fill each other’s shoes, which has spurred healthy competition and pushed them to always improve. The following are James Hetfield’s words about Tony Iommi and Lars Ulrich: “It all stems from Tony Iommi.” In other words, I’m still trying to outdo him. I know I’ll never be able to, but I’ll keep trying, guy. So much of it is about him and his influence on me. But I believe that my status as a ‘wanna-be drummer’ has a lot to do with it. I mean, that’s exactly what I do; I play guitar drums. I get to move cool notes around, which Lars [Ulrich] and I share. He aspires to be a vocalist and guitarist, whereas I aspire to be a drummer.
We strive to outdo each other, which is where some of the healthy competition comes from.” Metallica’s ’72 Seasons’ is currently pounding the airways, proving that Hetfield’s burning ambition to reach the heights of his hero Tony is still very much alive. That desire, along with the fun, friendly one-upmanship between Hetfield and Ulrich, has propelled the band to new creative heights, and you can hear it in their current compositions when listening to the new album.