During James Hetfield’s “Road Dog Brothers” segment for SiriusXM’s “Mandatory Metallica” channel, the frontman confirmed that Metallica wanted to hire John Bush as their singer in the early days of the band. However, the Armored Saint vocalist ultimately declined the offer.
Hetfield said the following:
“A lot of those early memories were celebrated with a band called Armored Saint, who were a fellow L.A. band back in the early ’80s.
When we were getting started, obviously John Bush was a singer we got to know really well. [We] really, really tried to get him into the band as a singer, it didn’t work out. He was dedicated and very in love with what he was doing with his brothers in Armored Saint. And we absolutely respect that.”
Bush said the following about turning down the offer from Metallica during an interview with National Rock Review:
“What people don’t understand is that even though Metallica was garnering fame and attention, Armored Saint was becoming popular and doing well. For me to leave all the guys I grew up with wasn’t something that sounded appealing to me at the time.
I felt complimented when the band was proposing the ideas to me. But it just wasn’t my destiny to be in Metallica. I would have changed the face of heavy metal, and I don’t need that pressure. James is an incredible vocalist. He really developed through the years, and I can’t imagine anyone else there.”