James Hetfield detailed the kind of nightmares he had before Metallica headed out on tour.

The frontman said dealing with bad dreams was just part of his working life, and he’d learned to live with it over the years.

In a recent interview with The Metallica Report, Hetfield confirmed he’d gone through the same routine before the band began their current European tour.

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“[T]he normal thing happens, where I start to doubt myself,” he explained. “I start to feel insecure – ‘Well, we’re old; we can’t do this; blah, blah, blah.’ All that bullshit everyone tells themselves before they go into something they care about.”

The standard experience, he continued, included “having the nightmares [where] I’m the only one who cares about what we’re doing here. … I show up at the gig, everyone’s goofing off. Where’s my stuff? Where’s the set list?

“The guitar neck is made of rubber and there’s only two strings on it – where’s my roadie? And the guitar cord won’t let me get to the microphone. Silly stuff like that.”

He reflected: “That has to happen, and I don’t freak out over it… You have anxiety build up, and don’t let it get the best of you because you have that balance of anxiety and faith. And as soon as you get up there, it’s all gonna be good.”

Hetfield cited another example, of setting foot on the band’s latest stage set, which he’d helped design. “Between that time and then actually seeing it built, where it’s kind of too late, [I’m thinking] ‘Oh, shit – this thing is so big.’

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“The anxiety level was off the charts… Like, how are we going to cover this stage? And, of course, my ego is saying, ‘Well, the other guys don’t have to sing; they don’t have to run over there, they don’t have to do all this. Ah, no one knows the woes I have and all the worries!’

“But as soon as I share them with the other guys, they’re like, ‘Yeah, but I got this, and I got that.’ It’s like, ‘Oh, okay. I want mine back!’”

But – for now at least – Hetfield had consigned those thoughts to the past. “Now, it’s just fun,” he said. “We’ve broken that stage in; it’s well-trodden on and it’s worked fantastically. And so we just get to step back into it, and do what we do best.”

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Gallery Credit: Ed Rivadavia

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