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(Credit: Florian Reischauer)

Music

Metallica's James Hetfield admits that he is "struggling on stage"

@SamWKemp

Metallica frontman James Hetfield gave a moving address during the band’s recent show in Brazil. After admitting insecurities about his abilities as an older performer, he was comforted by his bandmates, who gave him a group hug onstage.

The frontman, currently 58, was about to launch into a rendition of Metallica’s ‘Sad but True’ when he paused and told the audience: “I’ve gotta tell you, I wasn’t feeling very good before I came out here. Feeling a little bit insecure, like I’m an old guy, can’t play anymore — all this bullshit that I tell myself in my head. So I talked to these guys, and they helped me — as simple as that. They gave me a hug and said, ‘Hey, if you’re struggling on stage, we’ve got your back.’ And I tell you, it means the world to me.”

Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo then walked over to Hetfield and embraced him, leaving the singer teary-eyed: “And seeing you out there, I am not alone. I am not alone. And neither are you,” he concluded.

The Metallica frontman has battled addiction throughout his career, entering and exiting rehab multiple times, most recently in 2019. In 2021, he told Zane Lowe: “The word ‘unravelling’ is a great word, like unlearning, unlearning all of what happened before. That was a part of me, for sure, but it dominated all of me. And the parts that weren’t happy about me — there’s a huge codependence and insecurity, a lot of that — that… Gosh, I can’t… I’m no good without these guys. Who am I? Off tour, it’s, like, ‘Who am I?'”

Metallica’s tour in South America has been nothing if not dramatic. Previously, a woman gave birth during the band’s show in Curitiba, Brazil. She later recieved a check-in phone call from Hetfield, who congratulated her on the birth.

Metallica will return to the US on May 27th for a performance at BottleRock Napa festival. The group will then head over to Boston Calling on May 29th before leaving for Europe in June.