James Hetfield recalls Metallica’s attempt to recruit a different frontman

"It didn't work out"

James Hetfield has recalled how Metallica attempted to recruit a different vocalist as their frontman during the group’s early days.

The singer/guitarist hosted a new segment called ‘Road Dog Brothers’ on SiriusXM‘s Mandatory Metallica station, “about bands we’ve toured with, causing chaos, joy [and] debauchery”.

“A lot of those early memories were celebrated with a band called Armored Saint, who were a fellow LA band back in the early ’80s when [Metallica] was getting started,” Hetfield told listeners.

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“John Bush was a singer we got to know really well, and really, really tried to get him into the band as a singer.”

He went on to say that the attempt ultimately “didn’t work out”, remembering how Bush was “dedicated and very in love with what he was doing with his brothers in Armored Saint” at the time. “And we absolutely respect that,” Hetfield added.

The frontman continued: “But we got to hear them and love them every single night. We did get a crew member from them, our buddy Zach Harmon, who was running their whole show.”

John Bush previously explained that he said no to Metallica’s proposal “for all the right reasons” (via Blabbermouth). “People must think that’s crazy,” he said, “but you have to remember the scene then.

“Metallica was nobody. Armored Saint was hot; you have to remember that. Also, I was very tight with the [Armored Saint] guys, back to elementary school in fact. Armored Saint was getting interest from all kinds of places, and we had a lot of people starting to turn up at shows.”

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You can listen to James Hetfield’s ‘Road Dog Brothers’ broadcast in the video above.

Lars Ulrich recently said that “there’s new music coming” from Metallica, but explained “there’s nothing cohesive” yet in terms of the follow-up to 2016’s ‘Hardwired… To Self-Destruct’.

The band have been working on new material during the coronavirus pandemic, with James Hetfield confirming in May that they wrote 10 songs together over Zoom in quarantine.

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