Everyone's a critic, but in the end the opinion that really matters is that of the band themselves. Metallica have done a number of things in the last eight years since Death Magnetic was released, but this fall we're finally getting the Hardwired ... To Self-Destruct album and James Hetfield says in a new interview that he's ready for the reactions, both positive and negative.

Speaking with Jaxon of Philadelphia station 93.3 WMMR, Hetfield was asked about fans who will argue that they had sold out. He responded, "Yeah, you get different versions of it now online, with all the haters and the people that have some bone to pick and they just … whatever, they've got a resentment from ten years ago, and they're bringing it up on this new album; they haven't even heard it. It's, like, 'Alright. This is not a musical critique. This is someone's pissed off and needing to get it out.' So, you know, we don't give a crap. We love what we do, and we're doing it because we love doing it, and we're making music we wanna hear. We're artists, and it's as simple as that. And you can judge it all you want, but we're gonna do what we feel is right for us."

The vocalist says that it's natural that their music would change over the years, adding, "Well, I think we're here to evolve, and we do — we do evolve. But I'll tell you, I'm not one to judge anybody who's an artist and doing what they want. If you make the same album over and over and over, that's what you love doing, that's your safety box, that's awesome, and it's reliable. So there's always something good in whatever's coming out. We're explorers, man — we love to try different stuff and stretch the limits."

Continuing the idea of being explorers, Hetfield added, "We wanna do firsts, and there's quite a few firsts that didn't really pan out, and then there's some that almost killed us [laughs] — you know, certain movies and things — whatever… financially and things like that. But we're up for trying new stuff and making it fun and bringing smiles to the fans out there, and that makes me smile."

As for the new album, which is due in November, Hetfield admitted the band is still tinkering with it. "You can call us perfectionists, if you want, and I will too. But there's always something. You know, 'Ah, this is a little too long-winded. Let's cut this out. Let's make this a little more potent.' You know, dude, we're craftsmen, and we wanna make this as sharp and as potent as possible. So all the way up to the last minute — even running order. So there's always something we're thinking about and trying to make it the best and most potent possible. So it is, by all means, done as far as songs go. So it's just artwork and little things here and there we're still working on."

Metallica's Hardwired ... to Self-Destruct is due Nov. 18 via the band's own Blackened Recordings. Hear more of Hetfield's interview with WMMR's Jaxon, including discussion of a recent kid reaction video, his thoughts on their upcoming touring and more, at this location.

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