Even though Metallica frontman James Hetfield frowned upon ex-bassist Jason Newsted indulging in various musical projects outside of the band, Papa Het himself is no stranger to lending his unmistakable roar to myriad releases over the years. Here’s 10 of the best…
10. Cali Hetfield – Crazy For You (2015)
Papa Het collaborating with his 16-year-old daughter on an Adele cover is sweetly heartwarming. This footage shows our Jaymz coming full circle, from the pimply shrieking teen of No Life ‘Til Leather to the proud dad of his own singing teen (albeit one with better skin) – but Metal Militia this ain’t.
9. Jim Martin – Disco Dust/Barsoap Hair (1997)
For his lo-fi solo debut, the former Faith No More guitarist (and old schoolfriend of Cliff Burton) pulled in some favours from his Metallichums, writing the song Fatso’s World with Jason Newsted and inveigling our man Hetfield along for some edge-of-hearing backing vocals on two tracks. Amusingly, the Hetmeister’s contribution to these quirky album highlights largely consists of the sounds “Yeeah-yeeaahh” and “Yo-ooh-whooaa!”
8. Primus – Eclectic Electric (1999)
Hetfield’s six-string contribution to this brooding Floydian jam – alongside Faith No More’s Jim Martin – isn’t immediately evident, at least until the jagged rhythm stabs around the seven minute mark. But the collaboration cemented a longstanding friendship between the two Californian bands; Kirk Hammett went to school with Les Claypool, and the Primus bassist tried out for Metallica following the death of Cliff Burton.
7. Danzig – Possession (1988)
“I’m pretty sure he just sang the Possession parts!” recalls Glenn Danzig of this Het-indebted debut cut, and again that tell-tale growl is in subtle evidence on this irresistible chorus. For contractual reasons Jaymz wasn’t credited on the sleeve, with the result that many fans spent many years thinking “whoa, Glenn sounds just like Hetfield there!”
6. James Hetfield – Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out of Hand
Papa Het’s dad Virgil was always a big fan – and latterly a friend – of The Dukes Of Hazzard balladeer Waylon Jennings. So naturally, James seized the chance to rock up this 1978 hit single on a tribute album to the recently deceased country legend in 2003. Hetfield also played all the instruments, including some shit-hot drumming that evokes the apocryphal John Lennon quote about Ringo, suggesting that Lars isn’t even the best drummer in Metallica.
5. Gov’t Mule – Drivin’ Rain (2002)
Once again alongside his old jamming pal Les Claypool on bass, Hetfield dominates the vocals on this song by the Allman Brothers-affiliated jam…
Read More: The 10 best James Hetfield guest appearances