JAMES HETFIELD

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Contents -

Di­rec­tor Justin Hunt ex­plains why the Me­tal­lica front­man ended up nar­rat­ing new doc­u­men­tary Ad­dicted To Porn: Chas­ing The Card­board But­ter­fly.

WE TALK TO THE MAN WHO EN­LISTED ME­TAL­LICA’S JAMES HETFIELD TO NAR­RATE CON­TRO­VER­SIAL NEW DOC­U­MEN­TARY, AD­DICTED TO PORN

Back in Jan­uary when James Hetfield was an­nounced as the nar­ra­tor of a new doc­u­men­tary about the ef­fects of pornog­ra­phy, the in­ter­net did what it does nat­u­rally, throw­ing its toys out of the pram as the front­man em­barked on an­other ven­ture that wasn’t play­ing Dam­age Inc 50 times in a row. But ac­cord­ing to di­rec­tor Justin Hunt, who’s spent four years mak­ing the alarm­ing doc­u­men­tary Ad­dicted To Porn: Chas­ing The Card­board But­ter­fly, this is a project that the me­tal leg­end has been keen to pur­sue for a long time. WHY DID YOU DE­CIDE TO MAKE A FILM ABOUT PORN AD­DIC­TION?

“I was blown away by the ef­fect it was hav­ing. I’d never con­sid­ered what it was do­ing to in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies, and of course it rip­ples out into so­ci­ety as a whole. We’ve just started to get the spot­light on it be­cause peo­ple are start­ing to re­alise that this is hav­ing more of an im­pact than what peo­ple are do­ing in the pri­vacy of their own home.

IS IT A NEW PHE­NOM­E­NON?

“I don’t know if porn ad­dic­tion is new, or sex ad­dic­tion for that mat­ter, but tech­nol­ogy is in­creas­ing the is­sue ex­po­nen­tially. Be­fore, you had to go to a store or have a buddy with a stash, now the ac­ces­si­bil­ity means it’s so easy to get your hands on. It’s eas­ier for younger and younger kids to be ex­posed to it. We are re­ally start­ing to see that ex­po­sure is chang­ing the land­scape in terms of in­ti­macy and re­la­tion­ships, be­cause we’re putting young kids be­hind the wheel of a Ferrari with their sex­u­al­ity when they’re not pre­pared for it.”

YOU’VE KNOWN JAMES SINCE HE FEA­TURED IN YOUR 2009 FILM, Ab­sent, WHICH FO­CUSED ON THE IS­SUE OF FATHERLESS­NESS IN MOD­ERN FAM­I­LIES. “I in­ter­viewed him about how he turned his fa­ther wounds into mu­sic. See­ing the film af­fected him so much as a fa­ther to his kids, and he be­came a huge pro­po­nent of the movie. He’s such a hum­ble guy and has said a pretty amaz­ing thing about Ab­sent: ‘Justin’s

“JAMES HAS SEEN PEO­PLE DEAL WITH THIS IS­SUE”

done more for me than I could ever com­pre­hend.’ That blows my mind. We be­came friends, and we’ve talked pretty con­sis­tently since. He was very up for nar­rat­ing this right from the be­gin­ning.”

WHY WAS HE SO IN­TER­ESTED IN THIS FILM?

“We’re both fa­thers and hus­bands, and re­alise that we have names and skills that can bring at­ten­tion to the is­sue. He knows the value of his name and be­ing in­volved but I think he be­lieves in me be­cause I fight to do what’s right. I think he finds a cer­tain level of in­tegrity in what I do. I’m sure he’s seen plenty of peo­ple deal with this is­sue – they don’t say ‘sex, drugs and rock’n’roll’ for no rea­son. He just wants to make a dif­fer­ence.”

HOW HAVE ME­TAL­LICA FANS RE­ACTED TO JAMES’S IN­VOLVE­MENT?

“Ini­tially, peo­ple were pretty shitty about it. I don’t mind them at­tack­ing me, I ex­pect that. But they got shitty with him, too, and there’s no real rea­son for that. I think peo­ple want James to be the James they’re used to – this roar­ing lion of me­tal – and it irritates them when they don’t get that. But a ton of peo­ple re­spect James for tak­ing this on and recog­nise it’s a big deal that he’s in­volved in a project like this. It’s a lot more pos­i­tive now. Me­tal fans are pas­sion­ate, but they for­get that he’s a fam­ily man and that he cares about other things as well. I ap­pre­ci­ate him do­ing it as it’s not like he’s sat around twid­dling his thumbs. I re­ally think that in­di­cates how much he be­lieves in what I’m try­ing to do and how im­por­tant he thinks it is.”

ASIDE FROM JAMES’S IN­VOLVE­MENT, IS THIS FILM AND SUB­JECT MAT­TER MORE AP­PLI­CA­BLE FOR METALHEADS?

“It’s ap­pli­ca­ble whether you like me­tal, Mum­ford & Sons or Wil­lie Nel­son. I would clas­sify my­self as a met­al­head but I’m also a hu­man be­ing. Metalheads are peo­ple and this is af­fect­ing every­body. I was asked, ‘Who’s your tar­get au­di­ence?’ and I said, ‘Peo­ple with eyes’ be­cause every­body’s be­ing af­fected by this.”

WHAT MES­SAGE ARE YOU HOP­ING TO CON­VEY WITH THE MOVIE?

“It’s no dif­fer­ent to what James does with his mu­sic. He’s ex­press­ing what’s im­por­tant to him and try­ing to make the world a bit bet­ter for every­body. That’s all we’re try­ing to do. I’m just ex­press­ing what’s im­por­tant to me and try­ing to make the world a lit­tle bit bet­ter for some peo­ple. I’m not mak­ing movies like every­body else just so we can make money, I’m do­ing things that I be­lieve in. Peo­ple can like it or not like it, but I’m keep­ing true to what I’m in­spired by. I def­i­nitely picked that up from lis­ten­ing to Me­tal­lica over the past 30 years!”

AD­DICTED TO PORN: CHAS­ING THE CARD­BOARD BUT­TER­FLY IS OUT NOW VIA ITUNES. SEE WWW.ATPDOC.COM

Hunt Film­maker Justin the is “try­ing to make bet­ter”. world a lit­tle bit

He seems com­fort­able with a mic… Justin Hunt and James Hetfield at a screen­ing of Ab­sent in San Rafael, Cal­i­for­nia, in 2011

Don’t do it! Refuse! Re­sist!

“I think James be­lieves in me be­cause I fight to do what’s right,” says Justin

Some peo­ple who were in­ter viewed, like this Aus­tralian lady, feel our cul­ture has be­come over­sex­u­alised ad­dict, Nate, a re­cov­er­ing doc­u­men­tary opened up for the

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