METALLICA's James Hetfield Asked His Opinion On Donald Trump; He'd Rather Not Say
A few months ago, Metallica declared they are not a political band. Drummer Lars Ulrich said he realizes the band's fans stand on either side of the political spectrum and they do not want to alienate their fans. And yet, both Lars and guitarist Kirk Hammett have made their feelings on Trump very clear recently.
Kirk Hammett went off on a tweet-storm shortly after Trump was inaugurated comparing Trump's "America First" speech to 1940s Germany, lashing out at Trump's anti-climate change stance and closing the tweetstorm by writing wrote "defend Democracy from those who want to crush it!"
Meanwhile, Lars Ulrich was asked during the band's Mexico City shows about Trump's proposed border wall and Lars was clearly against it saying ""I don't think the world needs any walls. I think we need to bring people together." and previously joked that he would move to Denmark if Trump was elected.
One person who clearly hadn't made his feelings felt on the matter was frontman James Hetfield. Hetfield was interviewed by Chilean newspaper La Tercera and asked about his feelings on Trump and Hetfield chose not to offer his opinion.
"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," he continued. "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."
Hetfield added: "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."
The interviewer then followed up to ask if he thinks that America under Trump is a "new America" and 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's easy to see how James' personal viewpoints can lean conservative. He was brought up in a strict Christian scientist household, which he did rebel against, to be fair. Hetfield is an avid hunter, a member of the National Rifle Assosiation, and even narrated a History Channel series about it, which led to some protests. In a recent interview when discussing moving from the Bay Area, a traditionally progressive city, to Colorado, he said the reason was elitist attitudes:
"I kind of got sick of the Bay Area, the attitudes of the people there, a little bit. They talk about how diverse they are, and things like that, and it's fine if you're diverse like them. But showing up with a deer on the bumper doesn't fly in Marin County. My form of eating organic doesn't vibe with theirs."
So there certainly might be certain issues where he agrees with Trump, and there certainly can be issues where he disagrees.
One thing I do very much agree with him on is people are very quick to label somebody after they offer an opinion, rather than talk it through and really understand the issue. Ultimately, what I'm saying here is: James' answer is the best answer for any musician who is not looking to take a political stance.