Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell has put forth a bit of love for Metallica’s leading lad James Hetfield stating that he’s a “great frontman”.

Yesterday saw Metallica frontman James Hetfield celebrate his 57th birthday, and he was soaking in the love from all sorts of fans, including fellow musicians like Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell.

Talking with Metal Hammer, Cantrell noted that there are several things that make “James such a great frontman,” with his “physical presence” being just one of many attributes to his successful career.

“Nobody else commands the same kind of respect and attention without it being self-seeking or egocentric,” he stated. ”

He’s all about the music; all about the fun and the celebration and the connection with the fans. And that, to me, is really inspiring. Especially because he’s done this for so long, and he’s been at the top of his game for so long and he continues to search for a deeper meaning. He took an underground thing and took it worldwide.”

Even after those grand comments, the Alice In Chains guitarist dished out that Metallica was “a huge thing” that influenced both him through the years, and countless others in the world of music.

Diving into a bit of the history, Cantrell notes that “a long time ago” him and Alice In Chains drummer, Sean Kinney, “got together with James Hetfield and Robert Trujillo [Metallica, bass] to do a benefit show in Los Angeles.”

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During that encounter, Hetfield asked Cantrell to sing ‘Them Bones’ and ‘Would?’, which was met with a resounding “right on!”.

“So we did those two songs and then we did Nothing Else Matters. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done in my whole life.

“As a guitarist, I come from the Malcolm Young school of rock, which is about rhythm and songwriting. If you talk to anybody, I’m not really known as a virtuoso soloist. Where it’s at for me is rhythm, tone, feel and arrangement. I think James comes from that school too.”

On a final note about James Hetfield, Cantrell answers one final question:

“Will he go down in history as a rock icon? He already has – he’s the godfather, man.”

Check out Alice In Chains performing with James Hetfield of Metallica:

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