Speaking with Revolver Magazine a few years back, Hetfield summarized his affinity for the grunge/metal legends:
“I wasn’t really close with Layne [Staley], but I remember going to see Alice In Chains many times. I remember when we were down in L.A. [in 1991, making ‘The Black Album’], I left the studio early to see them play… I was driving like a madman in this rented van, going on the median and scaring the shit out of my friend — ‘We gotta get there!’ And we get there, and they’d just got off.
I was like, ‘Aw, man!’I hung with them a little bit, always just loved their music, and I’d say that Jerry [Cantrell] and I share some life experiences, like getting a second chance at life and realizing how cool things can be.
So we’ve got kind of a kinship that way. And seeing them play — I just love hearing those songs. Those songs are awesome and should be heard, you know? They were so unique, so ahead of their time.”
Given their relationship, it isn’t surprising that James and Metallica have either covered or collaborated with Alice In Chains multiple times.
Back in 2006, James decided to lend his vocal and guitar talents live to Alice In Chains at the Rock am Ring festival which was a big deal at the time, since Hetfield rarely collabs with other bands live or on record:
Fast forward to 2020, and the entirety of Metallica performed a rare stripped-back cover of Alice In Chains’ iconic ‘Would?’ as part of a fundraiser for The Museum of Pop Culture.
Vulnerable, honest, and a brief glimpse into what happens when the biggest metal band in the world doesn’t have the amps cranked to 11. Did they nail it or flub it? Watch for yourself below and decide.