AUSTIN, Texas — To hear him tell it, [artist id="995"]Metallica's James Hetfield[/artist] wasn't even aware that his band was eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It took Black Sabbath for him to realize it.
"I never thought much about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame until we were approached to induct Black Sabbath in 2006, and then they asked us to play, which was like, 'OK ... we will!' " Hetfield laughed, talking to MTV News shortly before taking the stage for a "secret" SXSW Metallica set. "So we were there, and then they were saying, 'You know, you guys are up for this in a few years.' And I went, 'Wow, really?' And I started doing the math ... 'OK, 25 years after our first record ... yeah, it's now.' And my first thought was 'Man, it's gone by very quickly.' "
And so, when the
And to that end, Hetfield's got an entire list of hard-rock acts that he believes should be joining Metallica in the Hall — and he's not afraid to ruffle a few feathers to help their cause.
"Motörhead for sure, Deep Purple, Rush, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and even stuff before that ... Steppenwolf. It's crazy that Ted Nugent is not there; that dude is about as rock and roll as it gets. Alice Cooper, Kiss ... that's a pretty good list," he said. "These are bands that represent history and mean a lot to so many people. I think that alone means they should be in there too."
So, when Metallica take the stage on April 4 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, can fans expect to see some sparks? Will he carry the mantle for those not yet enshrined? Well, to be honest, Hetfield's not sure what he'll say. But he does know how he wants the ceremony to go down.
"It's one of those things where it's like, 'Metallica, it's all about you and blah, blah, blah,' and we appreciate it, but we want to highlight and celebrate everyone who's helped with that. It's a big family reunion," he said, cracking a smile. "There's not a lot of bands that have showed up there that are still a band, still making records and still having people come to the shows, and we're kind of drama-free, hopefully. And the more people you invite, the bigger, cooler party it is. It's going to be a celebration."
MTV News is Live & Mobile at the South by Southwest festival this week, with blogs, articles plus live and on-demand video of all the bands, gigs and BBQ!