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Metallica’s James Hetfield on Chris Cornell’s Death: It Makes You Hug Those Around You

Kevin RC Wilson, Loudwire
Kevin RC Wilson, Loudwire

The death of Chris Cornell has left an overwhelming void in the rock community and with each passing day, the far-reaching impact of the icon has become increasingly clear. Artists from around the world, big and small, have reflected on this painful loss and now Metallica‘s James Hetfield has offered his thoughts.

The frontman was a guest on WAAF in Massachusetts (video below) while Metallica hit the Northeast for the first portion of their North American leg of the ‘WorldWired’ tour in support of last year’s standout effort Hardwired… To-Self Destruct. Speaking about Cornell’s passing, Hetfield began, “Well, it does make you hug those around you, for sure — bandmates, family that’s out here, family at home. It makes you realize that, you know, there is a darkness that anyone and everyone can find and feel that they’re trapped in.”

Hetfield, who has battled darkness of his own, entering rehab for alcohol abuse in 2002, continued, “And when you’re there — and at least I know the depth of my darkness at times — it is difficult when you’re in that space to even fathom that there’s someone there that can help you or has been through that before. Sometimes you’re at such a loss. I can’t… obviously can’t explain what he was going through, but we all have our darknesses. He then implored listeners, “And check in with each other — check in with each other. Let each other know how you’re doing.”

Calling the loss of Cornell “a sad story,” the Metallica frontman noted, “There’s a lot of sad stories recently, especially in the grunge world, losing a lot of people.” Adding in the personal effect Lemmy’s death had on the band, Hetfield realized, “It just makes us feel even more grateful to be out here doing what we’re doing.”

During Metallica’s Massachusetts performance at Gillette Stadium, Robert Trujillo saluted Cornell, playing a bit of Soundgarden‘s “Black Hole Sun” during his bass solo. To see the remainder of Metallica’s North American tour dates, head to our 2017 Guide to Rock + Metal Tours.

James Hetfield on WAAF

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