James Hetfield is the rhythm guitarist and vocalist from the band Metallica. Hetfield was born on August 3, 1963, in Downey, Los Angeles County, California. Hetfield was 9 years old when he took his first piano lessons, before taking on his brother David's drums and finally picking up a guitar in his pre-teens. Inspired by bands such as Black Sabbath, The Beatles, Venom, Led Zeppelin and Thin Lizzy, Hetfield formed his first band, Obsession, in his early teens. He started the band (Metallica) in 1981 with Lars Ulrich (Drummer).