Metallica frontman James Hetfield recently reflected on the band’s early days on SiriusXM’s Mandatory Metallica channel. Apparently, the band really wanted to work with a new singer, Armored Saint singer John Bush, but the musician was dedicated to his own band at the time.
For those of you who may not know, James Hetfield initially refrained from taking the duties of the lead vocalist, although he’s now regarded as one of the greatest metal singers of all time. In the band’s early days, they experimented with a few different vocals and guitar combinations to save Hetfield from doing what he was uncomfortable with.
Some of their options included adding another guitar player and asking other vocalists to join the band to fill the lead singer’s spot. Eventually, Papa Het had to take over the lead vocals and rhythm guitar, which turned out to be the best choice for Metallica’s future.
However, their most desired option as a lead singer at the time was John Bush from Armored Saint. James Hetfield recently looked back on when they were good friends with Bush and were impressed with his vocals.
As it turns out, all the Metallica members desperately wanted to have the Armored Saint singer as their lead vocalist. Unfortunately, their offer was declined since Bush was happy with his work in the band and was dedicated to his band members. As a result, the band had no choice but to respect his decision and move on with Hetfield as their frontman.
In his own words, Hetfield said:
“Obviously John Bush was a singer we got to know really well, and really, really tried to get him into the band as a singer. I didn’t work out. He was dedicated and very in love with what he was doing with his brothers in Armored Saint, and we absolutely respect that”.
You can listen to the podcast below.