In a recent Interview with Polar Music Prize, METALLICA frontman James Hetfield was asked where the anger in his lyrics and music comes from, Hetfield said:
“I think the anger comes from family of origin, a feeling of not being heard, a feeling of manipulation, probably still a teenager in here somewhere that’s still sorting out some past issues — you know, parents, upbringing, things like that. So there is that, but I think a lot of it is a defense mechanism — it is. Even when my kids scare me, or someone tickles me, I get angry. That’s my first reaction to most things, so it’s my default — I don’t know why, I don’t know why. Some people laugh ’cause they’re nervous; it’s just a thing. But I’ve learned to tap in to that.
“There’s a big therapy in playing music and in writing music, and knowing that other people out there feel like me is very comforting,” he continued. “And the connection with the crowd is extremely important — they are the ‘fifth member,’ as we call them. And I enjoy watching them release their whatever it is as well. I get to see that; that is part of the joy I get. They get to see us live, yeah — I get to see them transform and join together and become a family. It’s beautiful.”