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James Hetfield Calls Chris Cornell’s Death a ‘Sad Story’

The death of Soundgarden‘s Chris Cornell has brought out the reflective side of James Hetfield. In a new interview, the Metallica frontman spoke about how, during dark times, it’s important to reach out to those who care about you.

While speaking to Boston’s WAAF, he was asked to share how he was dealing with Cornell’s death. “Well, it does make you hug those around you, for sure — bandmates, family that’s out here, family at home,” he began in the video above. “It makes you realize that, you know, there is a darkness that anyone and everyone can find and feel that they’re trapped in. And when you’re there — and at least I know the depth of my darkness at times — it is difficult when you’re in that space to even fathom that there’s someone there that can help you or has been through that before. Sometimes you’re at such a loss. I … obviously can’t explain what he was going through, but we all have our darknesses. And check in with each other — check in with each other. Let each other know how you’re doing.”

Cornell hanged himself last week following a Soundgarden concert in Detroit. His widow, Vicky, has questioned the role that Ativan, a prescription drug Cornell was taking to combat anxiety, may have played in his decision to take his own life. The couple had spoken to each other shortly before Cornell died, and he told her that he “may have taken an extra Ativan or two.” Suicidal thoughts can be a side effect of Ativan.

During Metallica’s concert in Foxborough, Mass. this past Friday, Robert Trujillo played the melody of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” during his bass solo, and Hetfield said, “We forgive you, Chris,” after performing “The Unforgiven.” For the frontman, Cornell’s death has gotten him to think about the many rockers who have passed away in recent years.

“Yes, it’s a sad story, and there’s a lot of sad stories recently, especially in the grunge world, losing a lot of people,” he added. “And for us, Lemmy and all of the things that have been happening in the last couple of years, it just makes us feel even more grateful to be out here doing what we’re doing.”

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