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James Hetfield Has Done ‘Extremely Shameful, Dark Stuff’

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James Hetfield is still dealing with his past. In a new interview, the Metallica frontman admitted some youthful indiscretions, and said that writing music has helped him come to terms with them.

Speaking to Road Recovery in the above video, Hetfield said, “You wouldn’t really like me if you knew my story, if you knew what horrible things I’ve done. I’m coming to grips with that, ’cause I have groups of people that I’m able to share all my horrible stuff with — shameful, extremely shameful, dark stuff. Some of it is things I’ve taken from my parents and carried it a little further. Other ones, I’ve been able to drops some of that. Other ones I’ve picked up on my own and then created. … Shame’s a big thing for me.”

The video is the third in a series of Hetfield’s chats with Road Recovery, an organization that, according to its website, “is dedicated to helping young people battle addiction and other adversities by harnessing the influence of entertainment industry professionals who have confronted similar crises and now wish to share their experience, knowledge, and resources.” Hetfield believes that having a creative outlet is a better way for younger people to fill a void in their lives than drugs.

“Playing music has saved my life,” he continued. “Every day saves my life. When I’m able to write … write a riff, write some lyrics, stuff like that … it’s the way I connect with the world. And so I think kids that do have the gift of art, writing painting, drawing, designing, metalwork, woodwork … any craft-type stuff … ”

In the other two videos Hetfield made for the organization, he talks about overcoming his fear of responsibility, which has played a role in his own recover from addiction, and how his career has been about his own search for validation.

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