Eventually, Metallica front man James Hetfield realized he wasn't cut out for living in San Francisco. That's the gist of a conversation Hetfield recently had with Joe Rogan on Rogan's podcast.
According to Hetfield, he moved his family from the Bay Area, where he'd been since the '80s, to Vail Colorado partly because he wanted—perhaps ironically—some damn peace and quiet. "There's a lone-wolf part of me that maybe you can relate to," he said to Rogan, "But I like being by myself. But I also need people to connect with as well."
That's why, Hetfield said, his move was "a great thing." Hetfield said he enjoys nature, plus his wife also had lived in Vail and wanted to experience real snow and a better environment for skiing and other winter activities. Then there was feeling out of place in northern California's liberal bastion full of tech giants:
"I kind of got sick of the Bay Area, the attitudes of the people there, a little bit. They talk about how diverse they are, and things like that, and it's fine if you're diverse like them. But showing up with a deer on the bumper doesn't fly in Marin County. My form of eating organic doesn't vibe with theirs."
Hetfield is also a hunter and a member of the NRA and he felt, for lack of a better word, judged by his neighbors. "I probably made it up in my head a little bit," he admitted to Rogan, "'Cause I'm pretty good at that. I'm pretty creative, and I can start fights with myself in my head all the time. But there was. There was just a… I don't know… I felt that there was an elitist attitude there—that if you weren't their way politically, their way environmentally, all of that, that you were looked down upon."
Hetfield went on to express his enjoyment of the natural style of living in Colorado and made it clear he didn't hate San Francisco, it just wasn't for him anymore. He said he was glad that the city "prides itself, on being progressive, very moving forward: 'Hey, we're creating the future here.' And I love the convenience and stuff of that."
"But," he continued, "part of me that just maybe is like frontier-style. I just love that. I would rather be simple."
Metallica will tour next year for its newest hit album, Hardwired... To Self-Destruct. Hetfield will probably be more ready than ever to get back to the Rocky Mountains once he's done with that.