Hetfield called the situation a "sad story" while speaking to Boston-area radio station WAAF, speaking as someone who himself has experience severe personal lows.
"It makes you realize that, you know, there is a darkness that anyone and everyone can find and feel that they're trapped in. And when you're there — and at least I know the depth of my darkness at times — it is difficult when you're in that space to even fathom that there's someone there that can help you or has been through that before. Sometimes you're at such a loss."
Hetfield added that there has been a lot to be sad about recently, referencing the 2015 death of Motörhead's Lemmy Kilmister.
At Metallica's concert in Foxboro, MA, on May 19, Hetfield dedicated "The Unforgiven" to Cornell.
Cornell allegedly committed suicide last Thursday in a Detroit hotel after Soundgarden performed the previous evening.
His funeral is scheduled for Friday in Los Angeles.
Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett credited Soundgarden with inspiring the main riff to the band's biggest hit song, "Enter Sandman." Hammett said he wrote the part late one night after listening to Soundgarden's Louder Than Love album.
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