James Hetfield Inspired To Write New Music By Elton John


Metallica lead singer James Hetfield has said that he has been inspired to write new music by Sir Elton John.

Last month, Metallica performed Elton’s hit medley, ‘Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding’ while the music legend and Bernie Taupin were receiving the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

Hetfield later revealed that the experience has “challenged” him, which has prompted him to write new music.

“miss jamming with you guys”

James Hetfield made these comments while speaking on ‘The Metallica Report’ podcast.

“The time off has been pretty fantastic but, at the same time, I missed playing with the guys. And I let them know, ‘Man, I miss jamming with you guys!”, he revealed. “We’ve done a few things here and there”. 

Paying homage to Elton John, Hetfield added: “The Elton John thing [covering Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding on TV in April] was so fantastic. Had a blast there. Elton, what a beautiful soul”. 

“like breathing”

Elsewhere, James Hetfield also stated that he loves working on new music at his makeshift music studio, saying it is “like breathing” to him.

“[I’ve] been doing some skiing, getting up on the mountain – there’s been tons of snow in Colorado, where we’re at, so a good snow season – and writing loads of music”, the frontman said. “[I’ve been] playing guitar pretty much every day. I have to. It’s like breathing”. 

Hetfield explained that music is “an escape” for him, insisting that he is full of fresh ideas for creating new material.

“I’m so grateful it doesn’t shut off”, he said. “Whether it’s an escape from life or whatever it is, I love my little music room basement. I’ve got a computer, a few guitars and a little rig set up. It is my soul-nourishing place, to go in there and just play and write. Not so much practicing, it’s just writing”. 

“There’s always ideas. I get inspired [by] all kinds of different music, listening to it. Even the Elton John thing, hanging out with Elton and Bernie Taupin challenged me”. 

He also added, “Watching [2019 John biopic] Rocketman and seeing how they wrote – Elton is such a visionary in the way that Bernie sets a set of lyrics, a poem, in front of him and he sees the music just appearing, which is bizarre to me. I’m more of the old Tony Iommi way, where, ‘Here is the riff, and we build around the riff,’ you know?”. 

Earlier this week, Elton John’s co-writer Bernie Taupin stated that the music icon’s “surprise” new album will arrive in the next few weeks. More on that here.