James Hetfield Speaks Up on How ’Darkness’ From His Life Inspired New Metallica Album

In a newly released interview to promote the band’s new album, titled “72 Seasons,” Metallica’s frontman James Hetfield revealed some details about the inspiration behind this new collection of songs. Talking about the album’s first single “Lux Æterna,” he said (transcript via Blabbermouth):

“‘Lux Æterna’ is an upbeat, kind of fast and joyous song, I would say — really indicative of New Wave of British [Heavy] Metal stuff, so kind of a harkening-back-to-’80s kind of riff. It’s just fun and makes me move. It was fun making the video, fun recording a song that comes out really easy, that was a real easy song to write and to perform, like I said, very much like the early ’80s for us.”

Metallica: Lux Æterna (Official Music Video)

Further on, James talked about the inspiration for this new album. The very name of the record has its meaning. He said:

“’72 Seasons’ came out of a book I was reading about childhood, basically, and sorting out childhood as an adult. And 72 seasons is basically the first 18 years of your life. How do you evolve and grow and mature and develop your own ideas and identity of self after those first 72 seasons?”

“Some things are more difficult than others — you know, some things you can’t unsee and they’re with you for the rest of your life, and other things you’re able to rewind the tape and make a new tape in your life. So that’s the real interesting part for me, is how you’re able to address those situations as an adult and mature.”

Metallica: Live in Manchester, England - June 18, 2019 (Full Concert)

“There’s been a lot of darkness in my life and in our career and things that have happened with us, but always having a sense of hope, always having the light that is in that darkness… Without darkness, there is no light, and being able to focus a little more on the light in life instead of all of the… How it used to be and how horrible it is…”

“There’s a lot of good things going on in life — focusing on that instead, and it helps to balance out my life. And there’s no one meaning to it — everyone has some sense of hope or light in their life, and, obviously, music is mine. And the song specifically talks about gathering of people at a concert and [being] able to see the joy and the life and the love that comes out of music and the family and the kinship in that, and just a sense of uplifting.”

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In late November this year, Metallica released their new single, an introduction to the new album. The record is planned to come out in April 2023. Some album information was shared but we’re yet to see more singles come out.

Photo: Gage Skidmore (HetfieldComiccon)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.