Metallica perform 'Battery' on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
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Taking to the stage – with fellow bandmates Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo – in front of a huge 60, voltaren priceline 000 strong crowd, Hetfield admitted that he was feeling “insecure” about his abilities as a musician. Yet the string of accolades that the band have won over the years would beg to differ. As one of the co-founders of the metal band, Hetfield has witnessed the band win nine Grammy Awards and released 10 studio albums.
Despite achieving this level of fame, at the Brazilian gig, Hetfield said: “I’ve gotta tell you I wasn’t feeling very good before I came out here [sic].
“[I was] feeling a little bit insecure, like I’m an old guy, [I] can’t play anymore – all this b*** that I tell myself in my head.”
Receiving a group hug from all of his bandmates, he continued to add: “So I talked to these guys, and they helped me – as simple as that. They gave me a hug and said, ‘Hey, if you’re struggling on stage, we’ve got your back.’ And I tell you, it means the world to me.
“And seeing you out there, I… I am not alone. I am not alone, and neither are you.”
Following on from the short sentiment, the band performed their 1993 hit song Sad But True.
The recent revelation from Hetfield is not the only time he has spoken out about his concerns on ageing. Shortly after turning 50 the star experienced a sort of mid-life crisis, which he referred to as a “f** freak out”.
Reflecting on the time, he is reported to have said: “Oh, that was f*, I’d tell myself every birthday, ‘I don’t care about birthdays, it’s just a number, who cares, blah blah blah’, but man, at 50 I had a f** freak-out.
“My wife and family said, ‘Oh, another crisis?’ But there was something about [turning 50] that really brought a clearer bifurcation.
“It was like, ‘Am I the family guy, or am I Lemmy Kilmister? Am I gonna go out a rebel, ‘F*** you!’ to the end? Do I do both? Can I?’ It all came flooding in.”
Balancing family life and working in the band has never been easy for Hetfield, even before growing concerns about ageing started to emerge. In the past, the vocalist has publicly battled alcohol addiction, for which he has been to rehab for, numerous times.
In a 2008 interview, Hetfield said that he used alcohol as a form of “escape” from the age of 16 until the height of his fame, after battling between the persona he put on while performing and the real-life person he was off stage.
Speaking about the effects of his addiction he said: “It started off as a cliche. ‘Hey, I feel more alive, I feel looser, I feel more comfortable talking to women. I can get on stage’ and all of this.
“I was already in some sort of a fog and that helped it be more fun. Then the typical story of starting to need it and then it became a constant fog. A lot of things I can’t even remember.
“Blackout drinking was not good. Getting into fights, it created a tail of destruction. It certainly got more and more evident that it was changing me.”
Having first gone to a rehabilitation centre back in 2004, Hetfield relapsed after 15 years of sobriety. Then, again in 2019, he went back to rehab, leading to the band cancelling some of the tour in Australia and New Zealand.
“I had to hit rock bottom,” Hetfield added. “I was pretty stubborn. I had tried to stop for a year and it just wasn’t fun, so I went back to it. I had to have my wife throw me out of the house. It took that shock because I certainly didn’t want to stop drinking, even then. But I knew that I couldn’t live without my family.”
To keep health risks at a minimum, adults in the UK are advised by the NHS not to drink more than 14 units a week. If drinking up to this level, it is advised to spread it across three or more days.
Reasons for this are due to the numerous health risks that large amounts of alcohol can have both physically and mentally on individuals both in the short-term and long-term. In fact, persistent alcohol misuse can increase the risk of serious health conditions including:
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Liver cancer
- Bowel cancer
- Mouth cancer
- Breast cancer
Drinking too much can also weaken the immune system, making it a much easier target for disease. Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis in comparison to individuals who do not drink. Even drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections.
For individuals who have become dependent on alcohol, or are experiencing physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking, counselling and therapy can help. This enables the individual to talk about their experience, reasons for drinking and how they can cope with this.
For confidential help and advice, contact the Drinkline national alcohol helpline on 0300 123 1110.
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