James Hetfield on Who Metallica Originally Wanted to Front the Band
James Hetfield fronting Metallica is integral to the band’s legendary sound, but he wasn’t the singer Metallica originally wanted for the band.
Hetfield recalled recently how in Metallica’s formative years they were close to the band Armored Saint, and that Metallica tried to poach singer John Bush to be their singer.
Papa Het said, “When we were getting started, obviously John Bush was a singer we got to know really well. [We] really, really tried to get him into the band as a singer, it didn’t work out. He was dedicated and very in love with what he was doing with his brothers in Armored Saint. And we absolutely respect that, but we got to hear them and love them every single night.”
Hetfield added, “We did get a crew member from them, our buddy Zach Harmon, who was running their whole show. [He] ended up on our tour bus for some reason somehow, which was quite awesome. I’ll tell you, the Armored Saint guys were always there to have some fun. They were up for anything all the time. You know, we would make fun of them a little bit because of their outfits and they had to have little wardrobe malfunctions on stages. Actually, Zach — the guy we lifted from them — was one of the guys that would come out onto the stage and fight John Bush — the singer — in an actual Armored Saint dual, I guess you’d say. Basically, two guys in armor and swords going at it. So, a little bit of medieval trickery for the crowd, but a lot of fun.”