Metallica's Frontman on Playing Super Bowl Halftime Show: 'That Ship Has Passed' | NBC Chicago
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Metallica's Frontman on Playing Super Bowl Halftime Show: 'That Ship Has Passed'

"We're not a variety show. We're not pop."



    Raphael Dias/Getty Images
    In this file photo, James Hetfiled from Metallica performs at 2015 Rock in Rio on September 19, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    While Metallica has steadily attracted more of a mainstream audience throughout its 35-year career, frontman James Hetfield feels they will never play the Super Bowl, and he doesn't seem to mind.

    "As far as us playing halftime for the Super Bowl, I have a feeling that ship has passed," Hetfield told The Associated Press before a sound check on Friday in San Francisco.

    He added: "We're not a variety show. We're not pop. We're not sparkly, and all that kind of stuff that seems to be what's needed for that."

    While not sparkly, pop, or a variety act, the band is more versed at rocking your socks off, so playing The Night Before concert Saturday at AT&T Park provides a better alternative for their devoted fan base.

    "It's great to be hosting the thing. It would be great if my team was in it," Hetfield said of his team, the Oakland Raiders. "But having the city come alive with any kind of sport is great. The fact that we're here getting to represent Bay area music at The Night Before is pretty exciting."

    Because the band is not currently on tour, Hetfield joked about the set list.

    "All covers, no. All Coldplay, not even that, no. We're going to be doing probably a best of, you know, when you're in a situation like this, you know stadium, catchy, bouncy, and heavy, which we do," Hetfield said.

    Coldplay will play the Super Bowl Halftime Show on Sunday with special guest Beyonce.

    At the sound check for Saturday's concert, the band gave a few devoted members of their fan club a taste of what they can expect, playing classics like "Master of Puppets," and "(Welcome Home) Sanitarium."

    Hetfield also reflected on the recent passing of musicians such as David Bowie, Glenn Frey (of The Eagles) and Maurice White (from Earth, Wind, and Fire).

    "It's always sad when brothers, musical brothers pass on — go on to the next gig or the next journey," he said.

    "They're dying of natural causes. Age, age-related stuff. That's better than hearing about a Kurt Cobain or a Layne Staley, something where they've inflicted that upon themselves."

    But it was the death of Motorhead founder Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, late last year, that seemed to affect Hetfield the most.

    "He single-handedly inspired Metallica to be Metallica. That was a tough one, a real tough one. The fact that he lived the life he wanted to and pretty much died doing what he wanted, that's key," Hetfield said.