Metallica's James Hetfield Says he Left Marin Because of Bay Area Attitude

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James Hetfield of Metallica performs the national anthem on the field before the game between the San Francisco Giants and the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park on May 6, 2016 in San Francisco  (Photo: Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

Metallica's James Hetfield announced on a recent podcast that he has moved from his longtime home in Marin County after he "got sick" of the attitude of Bay Area residents.

On an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast released Dec. 16, 53-year-old Hetfield told the host he now lives in Vail, Colorado. Hetfield said he chose Vail because that's where his wife Francesca grew up and when she's there, she "loosens up." But he also admitted that he felt out of place in Marin because of his love for hunting. A member of the National Rifle Association, Hetfield said that when he'd come home after a hunting trip with a kill strapped to his car, he got dirty looks.

"I kind of got sick of the Bay Area, the attitudes of the people there, a little bit. They talk about how diverse they are, and things like that, and it's fine if you're diverse like them," Hetfield said. "But showing up with a deer on the bumper doesn't fly in Marin County. My form of eating organic doesn't vibe with theirs."

Hetfield, who has been criticized for his hobbies and his involvement in a History Channel show about bear hunting, says he enjoys hunting because he wants to be close to the Earth.


He went on to say that he appreciates Bay Area values but he disagrees on the definition of diversity.

"No one's right, no one's wrong. This is my life; I like living it this way. You like living your life that way. I totally get it," Hetfield said. "But we can coexist in this. And let's really be diverse."

Comic by Mark Fiore
Comic by Mark Fiore

To some Marin residents, Hetfield's claims about wanting to be close to nature only apply to himself. In 2008, the singer forced a dispute resulting in Marin County building a $650,000 nature trail around his property, after he insisted on fencing off a popular fire road used by hikers.

"I was mountain biking next to a barbed-wire fence, high on a beautiful Marin hillside, when all of a sudden the old barbed-wire fence stopped and there was a tall, shiny and very unwelcoming gate, complete with closed circuit cameras and multiple 'Keep Out' signs," cartoonist Mark Fiore wrote about his run-in with Hetfield's fence. "It was the kind of thing you might see at a military base or prison."

Hetfield still owns property in Marin County; earlier this year he scaled back plans for a development on his Lucas Valley property to just four homes. Hetfield has dedicated hundreds of acres of the land to the Marin County Open Space District, part of a complex of districts preserving undeveloped areas in the Bay Area.

Watch the full interview on the Joe Rogan Podcast here (WARNING some vulgar language):

Correction: The article originally stated that Hetfiled had donated property to the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. His land was donated to the Marin County Open Space District.