Classic Rock

James Hetfield Shares Why He’s Not Worried About Smoking Cigars

todayApril 1, 2024

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Metallica’s lead singer, James Hetfield, is as famous for his rugged vocals and heavy guitar riffs as he is for his unabashed love for cigar smoking, even in places he’s forbidden to do so. His love for a good stogie isn’t just a personal vice but one he enjoys in the company of friends, symbolizing a social ritual and a bond of fellowship. His signature line of cigars has only added to the allure that surrounds his identity as not just a rock icon but a cigar aficionado as well.

The Social Connection in Hetfield’s Smoke Sessions

The famed vocalist has never hidden his affinity for cigars, but it’s the social aspect that seems to light up his enthusiasm as much as the smoking does. During a candid conversation on “The Metallica Report,” Hetfield shared, “There’s a lot of people around me that are concerned about that and the health and what not. It has not affected it that I know of.” He’s aware of the health risks, but confident in his choices, he expressed, “I feel that I’m kinda singing the best that I have in a long time and I’m doing my best, and I get to enjoy that as well. So we’ll see.”

It is perhaps the camaraderie that is most enticing for Hetfield when it comes to cigars. The rock legend recounted the gatherings he looks forward to: “We have a cigar fellowship back home and we get together every Thursday and have a puff, and just get real with each other; you know, check in with each other,” Hetfield said. He emphasized the importance of these meetups, stating, “There are a few guys in the area that are not real social and we get together once a week… they’re looking forward to that day of the week, which I enjoy.”

Hetfield’s connection to his friends through cigars extends beyond his presence. “When I’m not there, they’ve got the code to my garage; they can get into the house and they enjoy it while I’m away too… Just to know that people are gathering, getting together at my place when I’m not there is cool. That wouldn’t have happened earlier on, opening up my house to that,” he remarked, painting a picture of trust and ongoing fellowship.

 

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A Rebellious Ritual

The rituals surrounding cigar smoking are meditative to Hetfield. He finds joy in “little trinkets, cutters, lighters, paraphernalia… great gift-giving stuff too.” However, he recognizes that his passion is not universally accepted. With a smile, Hetfield noted the elation of defying the rules, “There’s probably the rebel part of me that enjoys the, ‘Sir, you’re not supposed to smoke here…’ ‘Yeah, I know!’” This rebellious streak aligns well with the rockstar image, where pushing boundaries is a norm. “It’s an expression of freedom for myself. It’s not for everybody, and that’s fine. It’s just a connection I enjoy with some people,” Hetfield shared with a sense of contentment regarding his hobby.

Despite his open defiance for no-smoke zones, Hetfield’s relationship with cigars is more than just an act of rebellion. It’s a gateway to creating memories, maintaining friendships, and enjoying personal freedom — the very embodiment of rock ‘n’ roll’s spirit.

With Metallica’s history as the most successful heavy metal band, marked by their many triumphs and lineup changes, James Hetfield’s identity as a cigar connoisseur might be one of the lesser-discussed facets of his life. Nevertheless, it’s a personal passion that sheds light on the man behind the music.

In a world where the health hazards of smoking are well-known and regulations against it are ever-more stringent, Hetfield’s approach is certainly not one to be widely encouraged. Yet it offers a glimpse into how personal pleasures, when indulged responsibly and among consenting adults, form the smallest rebellions.

Whether Hetfield’s vocal cords can continue to withstand the impact of his tobacco habit remains to be seen. He himself seems pleasantly unworried: “I’m doing my best, and I get to enjoy that as well.” Ultimately, the frontman’s tale is one of balancing life’s guilty pleasures with the demands of a storied career — a narrative as intricate as the smoke rings that likely fill his Thursday evenings.

Metallica’s history is filled with the echoes of their music, but as for Hetfield, the puffs of smoke from his beloved cigars add another layer to the lore of a rock legend who lives life on his own terms, unapologetically and with a fellowship that many can only dream of.

Written by: Best Classic Bands Staff

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