Metallica’s James Hetfield Calls the Load Albums a “Compromise” That “Didn’t Pan out as Good as I Was Hoping”
A lot of Metallica fans don’t hold the band’s 1996 and ’97 releases, Load and Re-Load, in very high regard. You can bitch about their haircuts or the fact that they briefly became ‘Alternica’ for those albums, but the truth is, the songs just aren’t all that great, and time hasn’t done them a lot of favors. Of course, there are those that would disagree…
…but it hasn’t exactly been a secret that James Hetfield does not disagree. Just last year, the guitarist/vocalist asserted that had Cliff Burton still been alive when those albums were made, “I would have had an ally that was very against it all – the reinvention or the U2 version of Metallica.”
Now, in a new interview with Clash, Hetfield has reiterated the assertion that when it came to make the Load, he was ostensibly outvoted by the other members of Metallica:
“[A]s far as doing something that doesn’t feel right, I’m sure there’s been a few times that it’s happened — the ‘Load’ and ‘Reload’ era, for me, was one of those; the way that was looking, I wasn’t 100 percent on with it, but I would say that that was a compromise. I said, ‘I’m going with Lars’s and Kirk’s [Hammett, guitar] vision on this. You guys are extremely passionate about this, so I’ll jump on board, because if the four of us are into it, it’s going to be better.’ So I did my best with it, and it didn’t pan out as good as I was hoping, but, again, there’s no regrets, because at the time it felt like the right thing to do.”
That is one of the most eloquent denials of culpability that I’ve ever heard. I don’t even mean that as a diss. Can you imagine how Dave Mustaine would have attempted to explain the same basic idea? “My manager and Marty Friedman said were gonna do this so we did it but I told them it was a bad idea and ultimately had no say whatsoever.” Hetfield has found a much classier middle-ground between being honest and being an asshole.
Agree? Disagree? Speak up in the comments section below. And remember, if you happen to love the Loads, you can always show the world how much you care by buying these insanely ugly hoodies, sweatpants, and caps.