Ever since Metallica’s frontman James Hetfield shouted the words “Gimmie fuel, Gimmie fire, Gimme that which I desire” in the song Fuel, it has been known that he quenches his thirst with gasoline. Cars are a passion of his and recently he revealed his philosophy behind them on the band’s Orion Music Festival Youtube channel.
When Hetfield was a kid, he would get a feeling, an urge deep down inside of his stomach. It was a feeling of wanting to build something, create something from with his hands. He found a way to satisfy this urge through his passions of heavy metal and rodding classic Detroit iron.
The Metallica front-man approaches building hot rods the same way he approaches writing music “…It’s the same with music, it’s the same with lyrics…I don’t know what I’m gonna make. Just start. It’s a very freeing feeling. You never know what your gonna end up with.”
Like music, Hetfield views cars as a form of expression, they are a way for him to express his “nitro junkie” personality. Building hot rods allows him to clear his head and relieve the stress of touring. Hot rodding is a gateway that takes him into his own zone, his own world. Perhaps this world is similar to the video for the song I Disappear where Hetfields can been seen flying through the streets of SF in his ’67 Camaro. Or perhaps it’s a world that contains the hot rods that he dreams of building.