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Metallica’s James Hetfield ‘Skeptical’ of Getting COVID Vaccine

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Metallica singer and guitarist James Hetfield has voiced hesitation about the COVID-19 vaccine. But while the musician didn’t say outright that he won’t get one, he did admit to some skepticism regarding the available vaccines designed to help bring the coronavirus pandemic to an end.

The Metallica member, also a gun and hunting enthusiast, tackled the issue during a conversation on The Fierce Life podcast, a show produced by gun manufacturer Fierce Firearms that focuses on hunting, shooting and all of the gear that goes along with it. When asked when fans could expect Metallica’s return to the live stage, the rocker got real about not knowing the answer, which led to the talk of vaccines and his feelings on the idea of a vaccine passport.

“I have no clue,” Hetfield responded on a timetable for Metallica’s concert comeback. “It’s not up to me. It really is up to the safety of everyone — not just the fans, but the crew and us. I’m not sure what that means in the future as far as vaccines.” [via Blabbermouth]

He continued, “I’m a little skeptical of getting the vaccine, but it seems to be rolling out and people are getting it and I’ve got lots of friends that have done it — I’m not totally sure about it. But I hope it doesn’t come to a point where you have to have that COVID stamp in your passport or something to go everywhere. But if it comes down to that, then I’ll make a decision then. We got vaccinated to go to Africa, so it’s not like I’ve never been vaccinated before. But as a kid, I never got vaccinations ’cause of our religion [Christian Science]. So that was the only time I got one — when we were going on safari in Africa.”

Either way, being unable to traverse the globe on tour for a year and a half has only given Metallica more time to write. In 2020, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich revealed that the band was deep into “some pretty serious writing,” which Hetfield’s confirmed is for a new album.

While still isolated from each other, Metallica began “experimenting with writing on [the video conferencing app] Zoom,” Hetfield explained. “Lars and I would get together, or [guitarist] Kirk [Hammett] and Lars, and we would get little bits of time here and there writing. It was difficult because of the delay in the sound, so we couldn’t actually play together, but we would play to a click track and watch. … We got about, I don’t know, over 10 songs going that way. And then we finally got together. There’s only so much you can do on Zoom.”

According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Metallica’s most recent studio album, Hardwired… to Self-Destruct, came out in 2016. They followed it with a live acoustic album and their second collab with the San Francisco Symphony, S&M2.

Metallica’s James Hetfield Appears on The Fierce Life podcast – March 19, 2021

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