James Hetfield Won’t Share His Opinion of Donald Trump
Lars Ulrich hasn’t been too vocal about the reign of Fuhrer Trump, but it’s clear where his opinions lie based on a few things he’s said of late. Meanwhile his bandmate Kirk Hammett has gone much farther, calling Trump’s regime “white supremacy” in disguise.
One Metallica member that hasn’t spoken up about politics lately? Robert Trujillo.
KIDDING! No one cares what he thinks.
James Hetfield! In an interview back in December, Ulrich revealed that he and Hetfield never, ever talk politics, implying that the two don’t share a similar worldview but stopping short of saying so explicitly or blowing up Papa Het’s spot. It’s also been rumored in the past that Hetfield leans conservative — the documentary about bear hunting he narrated, in particular, fueled that speculation — although he’s stuck by the band’s longtime policy of keeping politics and music separate.
And the ironclad wall that is Hetfield’s guarded stance on politics remains strong today: in a recent interview with the Chilean newspaper La Tercera, he offered the following when asked about Trump’s first two months in the White House:
“Everyone has an opinion about Donald Trump, I think. My opinion stays with me. I’m a singer and guitar player in a rock band. I hate politics. I don’t wanna talk about politics. It’s not important to me. What’s important to me is connecting people with music. Politics, religion… things that sep… they separate people. They make people… I love talking about it and my thoughts, but I think it gets in the way of people getting to understand all of you.
“I have no idea. I could probably sit down and like everyone on the planet, if you get to talk with them and understand them.
“But, yeah, politics, we try to stay away from that ’cause it polarizes people. If I sit here and say that I hate Trump or I love Trump, someone will think, ‘Oh, I don’t like his music anymore.’ It’s silly. So I like to keep it about music.”
Asked if he thinks America under Donald Trump is a “new America,” Hetfield responded:
“It’s always a new America when someone comes in. But it’s about balance. You have far left, far right, and it goes back and forth to keep it balanced. In the middle is the best, we know that. In the middle… accepting everything, understanding everything. But it’s not like that. People aren’t like that. Humans aren’t like that.”
It’d be easy to read into Hetfield’s statement — together with Lars’s quote about how the two never talk politics, and the past rumors of Hetfield’s conservative leanings — and conjecture that James doesn’t want to reveal his appreciation for our orange-haired Cheetoh of a President.
But I’ve got to give Hetfield credit here: nothing he says comes off that way, not even a little. He hasn’t given any indications as to what he truly thinks. And he is completely correct: if he reveals he leans one way or the other is absolutely WILL color fans’ perceptions of Metallica’s music, moreso than Ulrich or Hammett — he’s the frontman.
So we’ll just need to go on wondering until which time he slips up. Which will probably be never, with that ironclad wall and all.