With the recent trend of rock and metal logos becoming a fashion accessory widely available through global retailers, James Hetfield was asked by Clash for his thoughts on all the kids out there wearing Metallica t-shirts without knowing any of the band’s music, to which he replied:
“[Laughs] Right. Well, let me tell you that when I designed the logo on a napkin in our little rehearsal room in Norwalk, California, never would I have thought it would be like Maytag or Volvo or something.
“The barbed logo, the name, it’s almost household. Never would I have thought that. But in our silly thinking back then – you know, ‘We’re going to conquer the world and that’s it. We want our logo on everyone’s body at some point – it makes a good tattoo!’ [Laughs]
“I love graphics, graphic designing. If I wasn’t in a band, that’s probably what I would have been doing. I was loving designing t-shirts and logos. My mom was a graphic designer and decorator, so it made sense that I liked the art part as well, so I get to do both in this.
“And merch puts a big smile on my face. When I see some kid out on the street with his parents and he’s got a Metallica shirt on, whether he’s heard of us or not, it’s a statement, you know?
“It is a statement, so I love that.”