Musicians are just people like the rest of us, and plenty of them battle mental health and substance abuse problems. Metallica’s James Hetfield, who’s publicly acknowledged his struggles with alcohol multiple times, once offered support to The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins, who was dealing with some demons of his own.
In a new video on Hawkins’ Justin Hawkins Ride Again YouTube channel, the singer analyzed a 2021 performance that Metallica played with Miley Cyrus. He explained his love for Metallica as a band, but also recalled a more personal account he had with some of the members.
“I actually did a bit of touring with Metallica. We played with them in Ireland and we played with them in Australia. James Hetfield could recognize in me that I might have been struggling a little bit with certain behaviors,” the vocalist said while making a drinking gesture with his hands. “He was really kind, he took me to the side and gave me his number and was like, ‘If you ever need to talk to anybody…’ Really supportive, an excellent person.”
“And Lars Ulrich was an excellent person, but in the other way,” he continued. “He was somebody that encouraged me to party and he partied with me. So happy days one and all.”
Hawkins then went on to praise Cyrus’ vocal performance of “Nothing Else Matters,” which is portrayed in the video. In fact, he declared that people should “pull your heads out from up your asses and have a listen to that with an open mind, because it’s awesome.
Watch his full segment below.
The Darkness singer touched a bit more on his own substance abuse during an interview with The Guardian, where he cited the mid-2000s as being the most personally challenging for him.
“At that point, everything I did was determined by drug addiction. It was really damaging; we would have achieved much more if I’d been able to keep it together. I can remember doing interviews and just about holding on to being conscious,” he detailed.
“I was white knuckling it and it affected all my relationships – the most important one being the one with my brother. When I went into recovery, I had to leave the whole infrastructure around The Darkness, the lifestyle and people – everything was a trigger. My heart would have exploded if I didn’t,” he explained.
James Hetfield Once Offered The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins Support for Alcohol Issues
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