Metallica's James Hetfield has partnered with Ernie Ball, the world's leading manufacturer of guitar strings and accessories, to bring Hetfield's first-ever signature string series: Papa Het's Hardwired Master Core guitar strings.
In a promotional clip for the new strings, a riffing Hetfield jokes, "It's only taken forty years for me to get my own strings, you know?!" Even still, the clearly stoked Metallica guitarist marvels particularly about the 50-gauge heavy core wire that the strings are made from.
“I’m a bit of a barbarian when I play,” says a laughing Hetfield, while showing off the crunching tone and durability of the Hardwired Master Core strings. The strings are available here.
Perhaps we’ll get to hear these new strings in action sooner than expected, as last week, Kirk Hammett may have inadvertently tipped fans off to some new Metallica music potentially in the works. Of course, that’s purely speculative, but Hammett did note that regular Metallica producer Greg Fidelman was unable to mix Hammett’s new solo EP Portals because he was tied up with other Metallica projects—which frankly could mean anything, the most likely of which being reissues of Load and Reload.
Though, if Metallica were to follow the same release schedule as previous reissues—commemorating the 30th anniversary of each—the earliest we could see a Load reissue is 2026 (it was originally released in 1996; Reload was released the following year). That said, the scope of Metallica’s reissues—especially the work put into the 180-gram vinyl packages—have been massive. Given supply chain issues that have kept vinyl manufacturers backed up for months, Fidelman could be working against the clock, for all we know.
Again, that's all very, very speculative. But either way, it ain’t no drag, because Papa Het’s got a brand-new bag—of strings, that is.