The iconic frontman and co-founder of Metallica, James Hetfield has talked about their latest project ‘S&M2‘ and explained the anxiety he felt when recording with the San Francisco Symphony some of their hardest-to-play songs.
During a recent conversation the band members made with SiriusXM‘s Jose Mangin, they have opened up about their successful musical project ‘S&M2’, which was one of the biggest news of this year.
The brand new album was recorded and filmed at the Chase Center in San Francisco on September 6 and September 8, 2019, with Edwin Outwater and Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the symphony orchestra. The concert was released in theaters on October 9, 2019, and the live album came out on August 28, 2020.
Hetfield has expressed his feelings about the process of making and producing a distinct work with a symphony. When asked whether he ever got the feeling that this is not going to work, James said that it was more the opposite for him.
Hetfield admitted that he wanted to record as many songs as possible and they wanted to be adventurous as the band. Yet, he also mentioned that he was super-nervous getting up there singing some songs, such as ‘Master of Puppets‘ and ‘Unforgiven III,’ with just the orchestra. Stated that his bandmates supported him a lot during these times, James said they all enjoyed the moment in the end.
Here is what James Hetfield said when asked if he thought things didn’t work out while working with the symphony:
“I don’t think so. It was more the opposite, like, ‘How many songs ‘can’ we do?’ Because – there was such enthusiasm about the collaboration.
And the fact that we had done it before, got all the cobwebs and scariness out of us – so when we were thinking of putting songs in there, obviously a few albums later we had a lot more material, and it was more difficult to choose what songs not to do.
And we know we wanted to be as adventurous as possible, so there’s songs that we love playing that sometimes I don’t even think people like.
But something like ‘Master of Puppets,’ you got this symphony trying to play the riff of ‘Master of Puppets,’ and I’m thinking, ‘How’s this gonna work? Do they even like this? Do they even understand this?'”
“But a song like that translated pretty well, and then there was more obvious stuff that just had to happen, like ‘Unforgiven III.’ ‘Unforgiven,’ it made sense, and I wanted it to be as different as possible.
I was super-nervous getting up there singing that song with just the orchestra, and I’m grateful that the other three guys were able to go out there and support me, and lay down their instrument and just enjoy the moment.
That was huge. It was huge for me, so thank you, guys. And also ‘All Within My Hands,’ acoustically, it just… I don’t know, it was one of those songs that’s not represented on an album, it’s different.
It’s a new way of doing a song; I think those were probably the most fun for me, but there were so many great moments.”
You can check out the rest of the interview below.