Metallica's James Hetfield: "...I have not prioritized my health in the past year"

Rock News 25/02/2020

Metallica's frontman James Hetfield has issued an apology to the "Metallica Family", as he's cancelled two festival tour dates to focus on his mental health.

The band was scheduled to play at Sonic Temple and Louder Than Life festivals this weekend, but this morning Hetfield shared a post over social media explaining that the dates conflict with his recovery.

In the post, he says:

"Dear Metallica Family,

"It pains me to write this, but I have to let all of you know that I cannot make it to Sonic Temple in Columbus and Louder Than Life in Louisville this year. As part of my continuing effort to get and stay healthy, I have critical recovery events on those weekends that cannot be moved. I apologize to all of our fans who have bought tickets for these festivals. We are working with the festival promoters to provide for refunds or exchanges.

My intent with this statement is saying “I apologize” to each one of you. The reality is that I have not prioritized my health in the past year of touring and I now know that my mental health comes first. That might sound like a no-brainer for most of you but I didn’t want to let the Metallica team/family down and, I alone completely compromised myself.

Looking on the brighter side, my therapy is going well. It was absolutely necessary for me to look after my mental, physical, and spiritual health.

I want to stress that the band will play all other announced 2020 shows.

I am looking forward to getting back to playing and seeing all our great South American fans in April. And, of course, playing the Epicenter in Charlotte, Welcome To Rockville, in Daytona and Aftershock Festival in Sacramento. We will still play two unique sets at each of these festivals.

Beyond 2020, I am optimistic about the blessings I have been given and what the future brings. I appreciate all the great prayers and support from everyone since I went into rehab last September. Like the moth into the flame, being human in this career has its huge challenges and can be difficult. Your understanding helps the healing.

- James"

Since this has been posted, the facebook status has been flooded with supportive messages from fans encouraging him to look after himself. Good on him for putting himself and his health first.