James Hetfield may be one of the most iconic frontmen in rock, but in Metallica’s early days the band actually tried to recruit a different singer.

“A lot of [Metallica’s] 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,” Hetfield explained during his “Road Dog Brothers” segment on the Mandatory Metallica channel on SiriusXM. “Obviously [Armored Saint’s] John Bush was a singer we got to know really well, and really, really tried to get him into the band as a singer.”

Hetfield went on to reveal that Bush didn’t join Metallica because “he was dedicated and very in love with what he was doing with his brothers in Armored Saint, and we absolutely respect that.”

Both bands toured together in the early ‘80s, with Hetfield noting how much he and the rest of his band admired Armored Saint. “We got to hear them and love them every single night,” the Metallica frontman admitted, adding that his band was successful in stealing one person away from from their tourmates. “We did get a crew member from them. Our buddy Zach Harmon, who was running their whole show, ended up on our tour bus for some reason, somehow. Which was quite awesome.”

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In a separate interview, shared by Blabbermouth, Bush recalled Metallica’s efforts to get him to join their ranks. “Metallica did ask me to join, but I said no for all the right reasons,” the rocker explained. “People must think that's crazy, but you have to remember the scene then. Metallica was nobody. Armored Saint was hot; you have to remember that.”

Bush admitted he had “no real interest” in joining the future metal giants. “It was great to be asked — in fact, a lot of people asked — but Armored Saint was really strong.”

Despite the rejection, Hetfield revealed that Bush and Armored Saint “really have a great place in [Metallica's] heart.”

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