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James Hetfield: Metallica Stray From Polarizing Topics of Religion + Politics, Aim to Connect With People Instead

Spencer Kaufman, Loudwire
Spencer Kaufman, Loudwire

It’s been eight years since thrash heroes Metallica last released a new record. That’s all about to change on Nov. 18 when the band drops Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, which will inevitably see fans and critics put each nuance of the record under a microscope for further dissection. The title alone has brought up a myriad of ideas and the lyrics will be no exception when all 80 minutes of the record are finally heard. As for the themes? James Hetfield has detailed why you won’t find anything about religion or politics like so many other rockers have been voicing recently.

“It’s dealing with fame — and for everyone that’s their goal: ‘I want to be famous,'” exclaimed Hetfield when discussing the album’s lyrics with BBC. “And there’s also the topic of, ‘Man, are we really doing this right?’ In the timeline of history, man has been around for a nanosecond and [I’m asking]: ‘Are we done now? Have we had our time?’

The frontman went on to note tensions along certain thematical lines in today’s society, continuing, “There’s a lot of polarization going on in the [United] States, and I see it other places as well. But it just seems like you have to get more extreme to balance out the other extreme. We’ve got to find some balance in the middle here somewhere. We stay away from politics from religion. That just seems to polarize people even more. We all have our own beliefs but, at the end of the day, we’re trying to connect with people and it seems like political views don’t do that as much as music does.”

It’s been an incredibly fruitful week for Metallica, who not only released the second Hardwired… To Self-Destruct track, “Moth Into Flame,” but performed in the scenic Central Park in New York City at the Global Citizen Festival, following it up with an in-studio set on The Howard Stern Show as well as a relatively intimate show at NYC’s Webster Hall, playing for roughly 1,500 lucky fans. The band will also appear on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon later today (Sept. 29).

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