Back in June 2015, pop singer Justin Bieber was savaged by some in the rock community for sharing a photo of himself wearing a Metallica T-shirt.
Despite Bieber being targeted with a cavalcade of negative comments, several months later James Hetfield revealed his "Top Ten Things Of 2015" via a handwritten list on the band’s website – duly alongside ‘Meeting Robert Plant’ and ‘Watching My Children’ grow was ‘Justin Bieber Wearing a Metallica T-shirt.’
Now, in a fresh interview with the New York Post, Papa Het has leapt to the defence of celebrities wearing Metallica merch saying “Everyone is welcome here.”
“I remember when that whole Justin Bieber wearing a Metallica T-shirt went viral, I thought ‘So what?’,” James said. “This is America, you can wear whatever the f*** you want. If he doesn’t know the history of the band or whatever, it’s fine. I wear lots of stuff and I have no idea of the history, I just like the logo.
“People try to shock me sometimes and they’ll say, ‘My grandma headbangs to your music — and she’s 120!,’ or ‘I named my baby after you.’ I’m like, ‘OK, cool.’ I’m not surprised that anyone likes Metallica. Everyone is welcome here. From cradle to grave, we’ve got you covered!”
© PA Images
Elsewhere in the interview, James said the microphone malfunction during Metallica’s performance with Lady Gaga at the Grammys infuriated him.
He said: “I felt embarrassed — I haven’t been that angry in a long time. When something out of my control goes wrong, I still get wound up. I’m sure it taps into other stuff from my past, but I felt helpless.
“I agree, it ended up being a blessing because I ended up singing in a microphone with Lady Gaga — maybe even more than she wanted. It felt more like a real collaboration because of that.”
Metallica are currently performing the North American leg of their Worldwired Tour before they hit the UK this autumn to play the following shows:
London O2 Arena – Sun 22nd
London O2 Arena – Tue 24th
Glasgow SSE Hydro – Thu 26th
Manchester Arena – Sat 28th
Birmingham Genting Arena – Mon 30th
Head to Planet Rock Tickets to check ticket availability.