Meaning of “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica

The hit song “Nothing Else Matters” from rock legends Metallica originated from a phone call lead singer James Hetfield had with his girlfriend in 1990. However, since his love for her proved to be a fleeting occurrence, the band decided to dedicate this classic to their devotees. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Metallica's Nothing Else Matters at

In other words, in the eyes of the band, nothing else matters to them but their fans. The ultimate meaning of the track though is taking the initiative to express your feelings, even though doing so makes you vulnerable to heartbreak and other potential risks.

Verse 1

The beginning of this verse is obviously inspired by the aforementioned phone call, as the lyricist is telling the listener they are “close no matter how far” they may actually be from each other. He then indicates that such a connection is the true pinnacle of love. 

He also says that the childlike trust they have in each other is all that’s really important. Afterwards, he lets the listener know that this is the first time in his life he is frankly expressing such intimate feelings yet by doing so believes it will benefit their relationship. Then the singer relays to his intended recipient that their relationship will indeed be a joyous one, so long as the listener is courageous enough to perceive things from a fresh perspective.


The chorus keeps within the theme of ‘nothing else mattering’ as the singer exclaims that he is not preoccupied with the thoughts of the outside world. He refers to the outside world as “they”.

“So close, no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters”

Verse 2

The second verse begins as the first, with the lyricist once again praising the love which is shared between him and the listener. He also reuses the subsequent line “forever trusting who we are”, indicating that despite having such strong, innocent affection they shouldn’t doubt nor fight the feeling.


After all is said and done, this song is primarily about two realities/ideologies. First is the strong bond, which even distance can’t severe, shared between the lyricist and the listener. Second is an encouragement to accept and actually feed this feeling by having faith in the relationship (specifically in the lyricist) and by pretty much ignoring whatever else may be going on in the world, implicitly when it comes to those who may be negatively criticizing their (the lyricist’s and listener’s) feelings.

Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters"

James Hetfield on the Meaning of “Nothing Else Matters”

In a 2008 interview with Mojo magazine, Hetfield shed more light on the meaning of this song. According to him, it’s about being away from home and missing someone back at home.

“So close, no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart”

Lyrically, “Nothing Else Matters” basically talks about being so far away from the people you love yet doing all you can to maintain the strong connection despite this distance. The line “so close, no matter how far” perfectly describes this. It encapsulates the whole idea that no matter the physical distance between you and your loved ones, the close bond between you shall forever remain intact.

The Music Video

As of this writing, the official music video of “Nothing Else Matters”, which is published on YouTube, has over 1.2 billion views. This make it one of the most successful videos on the said platform.

The video, which was directed by Adam Dubin, gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at stuff the members of the band are doing. Throughout the video, we get to see various candid scenes, showing the band members in different settings — on the road, in the studio, and during downtime.

We also get to see the band in the recording studio, working passionately on their craft. This footage is interspersed with scenes showing the band members relaxing, engaging in playful antics, and preparing for performances, highlighting the camaraderie and brotherhood among them.

Lars Ulrich, Metallica’s drummer, is shown laying down drum tracks in the studio, while lead guitarist Kirk Hammett is seen working on his guitar parts.

As the video progresses, we see powerful scenes from Metallica’s live shows, showing the raw energy and passion they bring to the stage, and their beloved fans.

From time to time, we see the members of Metallica in contemplative or introspective moments. This perfectly reflects the introspective nature of the lyrics of “Nothing Else Matters”. To a certain degree, one can safely say it provides a contrast to the intense energy of their performances and the chaos of life on the road.

All in all, we can say the music video provides viewers with some sort of visual diary of Metallica’s life during their time recording the “Black Album” – the album which “Nothing Else Matters” appears on.

Facts about “Nothing Else Matters”

Metallica members James Hetfield alongside Lars Ulrich (drummer) officially penned this song.

Ulrich and Hetfield also co-produced the song with Canadian record producer Bob Rock.

The track was released in 1991. It was the third single from Metallica’s fifth studio album titled Metallica (also called The Black Album). In 2003, Rolling Stone included this album on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It was placed at the number 252 in that list. Said album in fact produced a ton of hits aside “Nothing Else Matters”.

Other hits from the album include “The Unforgiven” and “Enter Sandman“. By 2012, this album had gone on to sell more than sixteen million units. And this figure was for the United States alone.

“Nothing Else Matters” is one of the band’s most successful songs. It has been covered dozens of times by numerous artists since it came out in the early 1990s.

The song’s orchestration was handled by the renowned American composer Michael Kamen.

Metallica’s lead guitarist Kirk Hammett traditionally plays guitar solos on the band’s songs. But on this track, he doesn’t. The guitar solo is played by Hetfield.

Hetfield said the song was inspired by Metallica’s very frequent tours. According to him, the song was written while on tour. Some parts were written right on the tour bus. Other parts were also written in a number of hotel rooms.

The official music video for “Nothing Else Matters” (which can be seen above) was directed by Adam Dubin.

Below is a video of Metallica performing the classic live in 2007. The performance took place at London’s iconic Wembley Stadium during the Live Earth climate concert.

“Metallica” Track Listing

These are the official tracks that appear on Metallica’s “Metallica” album of August, 1991:

Metallica Track Listing

“Metallica” produced a total of 5 singles. The said singles are listed below:

53 Responses

  1. Greg says:

    Jesus is coming.

  2. Timmy says:

    Lord Jesus, please protect President Trump and his administration from the evil people attacking him. May the responsible persons be exposed and held accountable.

  3. DERp says:

    Dear Jesus rid us of this corrupt immoral Trump infection, let us return to some sane and civil society, amen..

  4. Jeff says:

    Huh? WTF happened here in the comment section? WTF do Trump & Jesus have to do with Nothing Else Matters lyrical meaning analysis? LMFAO wow whackadoodle-doo here. Lolololol

  5. Yeet says:

    These Jesus comments are so weird lmao

  6. Anass says:

    Dear Lord,
    please i need an answer to why people here talk about you and Jesus and Trump.
    best regards

    • the redeemed man says:

      Dear Annas, Jesus and God are one. So, when you pray to God, it is by default the same Spirit Christ has. You see, mankind is depraved, and as the years go on, we become worse; we are more self serving, and more God hating. Roughly 2,000 years ago, The Mighty One of Israel displayed His love for humanity, and proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, that He is indeed the One True God.

      When a life is changed by this God, the changed one can no longer keep silent about such issues, and can often seem drunk or crazy to the outside world. Jesus Christ is the Rightful King, and He is returning soon, to retrieve His subjects, who have lived and died in exile here on earth, for the transgression of our deeds. But just as Jesus rise from the dead, so shall all those who have died, to face the judgement. God bless.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Since everyone talks about Jesus… I did not know who Jesus is. I mean, I heard his name and I heard he died for our sins, but I was never thinking about it. I was agnostic… Till year ago. Jesus came to me. Literally.
    His presence is LOVE. I thought I knew what love is. But I did not. He totally and unconditionally loves. And he knew ME. – personally me! my name, my address, all! And I understood that resurrection is not just an Easter story, but a real event, because He stand in front of me. Alive. Jesus is alive! And he knows you and he loves you!
    And I understood, He is embodied God, and I understood, that Bible is from God – that all is true. This and so much I understood. Just as He was there, as I always knew all this. As I always knew there was God, it was the one from Bible, he was here as Jesus. My Spirit knew.
    But I claimed myself to be an agnostic. “maybe there is something, but who knows.. whatever anyone likes is good…”
    But when he stood there, I knew that I have known him. My Spirit knew him. And the judgement that is coming is just. Because no matter if people say with they mouth that there is no God, it is written on their heart.
    When you stand in front of him, you see how prideful you were. And if you met me, you would not say I was prideful. But the fact that my spirit knew him, yet denying him – I understood what pride is and what sin is. This was never before in my vocabulary.

    Well anyway, God is good. And he loves you. If you want to come to him, all you need to do is:
    Repent from your sins and declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, and you will be saved.

    Simple – ask him to come/ reveal himself and He WILL come.
    If you talk to him, it should be from your heart, because you want to know him truly.
    He makes a way where there is no way. He is God of miracles. ALL is possible.

    Check testimonies on youtube. I was healed from things I thought I would never be saved. My mental health was completely restored (heavy depression and anxiety) – it is a miracle! And overall he fils you with his spirit, you are in contact with him daily. And you have the peace that surpasses all understanding.
    Trust in Him and you shall be saved
    God bless you!

  8. Mike says:


    Love that song.

  9. I just wanted lyrics... says:

    Bless Biden?

  10. Jonathan says:

    I found this song a few days ago. I’ve heard it on the radio before, but haven’t taken the time to listen and memorize the lyrics until now.

    I’m feeling torn between two choices in life, one is the simple childlike love this song talks about. The other is a life I’ve built over the course of 30 years.

    I love music like this, it lets me focus on one thing without all the noise from the outside world.

  11. Odin says:

    I find it insane that Jesus came to one individual person out of all the people in the world he came to you. Guess he’s not so busy, still hasn’t been to one of our monthly fishing trips in over 1500 years.

  12. Ruben says:

    Nothing else Matters can also mean following. Your own path your mind your own contentness with yourself and your loved ones .

  13. Barquero says:

    I was definately not expecting all these Jesus comments lol. Oh and Trump was not a bad president by any means but not to be such a fanboy like some of you. And for you people on the left, go get your head dirty with some info because you have been brainwashed if you think Trump was some sort of demon. It is not your fault but the media’s.

  14. John 3:16 says:

    For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

  15. Metalmomma88 says:

    What in the f does this have to do with Metallica? Grow up all of you!! Jeez…

  16. TBART says:

    There is a serious spiritual battle going on, it has been going on forever, and if you really can’t see it or haven’t felt it………well, I once was blind but now I see! Time is short………….Ready yourselves……..Jesus(the Son of God) said,”I am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father(God the Father…our Creator), except through Me”! John 14:6. Jesus simply stated He is the only way to salvation, as He willingly gave His life, His blood out of the Love He had for you, me and all of mankind! God is Love!
    I was as far away from God as anyone could be……..and I know I ain’t the only one…….I went the way of the world and this world sunk it’s teeth deep through my soul. For years nothing filled my soul, my existence. I tried all this world had to offer and yet, nothing. Until one day when I truly had enough of this world and dropped to my knees and cried out to Jesus! I cried out with everything I had and with everything I was……I wanted to feel Him in my heart the way I had seen others carry Him in there hearts! They let that “Light” shine! Peace, joy , love and everything good in such a beautiful way! Rain or shine, calm or storm, it was real! And that’s what I wanted, what I was screaming and crying for on my knees until I felt my raised hand being pulled as I was lifted up to my feet and I felt a sweet breeze pass through my chest, my heart, my body! Since that very moment, I have not been the same! I am a better, stronger, peaceful, loving man of God, who is still a work in progress until my last breath I’m sure! I still make mistakes and I am far from perfect, but I really do see things differently and I carry the Lord Jesus in my heart and have endless gratitude for all He did for me, for us! I know Jesus has my back, always riding shotgun everyday, every second of my life. I do see His works in my life and in this I find the Peace that only comes from Jesus Christ, my Lord, my Savior and my Salvation! Thank You God the Father, the Son of God Jesus, and the Holy Spirit! Amen!
    Now I’ve tried to make a long story short, which isn’t easy. But there IS hope and with all the resources we have at our fingertips, I pray the day will come for you as it did for me! I hear people say, “I don’t know what I would do without the Good Lord Jesus”! When I hear this I just can’t help myself from confirming, “Well I do and I never want to do it again”! Well I love Jesus and will let the Light of Jesus shine for all of my days! The Love of God is like no other and it’s forever in my heart!
    You owe it to yourself to research this with due diligence, pray on it and check out the Bible which is the Word of God! Talk to someone you know and trust that may have a good relationship with God! Reach out to God with everything you are, He will respond…….just make sure to listen……and never ever stop or give up on Him as He will never give up on you! And know things ain’t always easy, but He WILL get you through everything. Trust!
    May God bless and touch each and every one of you and all of your families! And may you in turn continue to bless others. May your days come when you feel your Maker and His Love in your heart in a way that could never be mistaken for anything else! Hope to see you all on the other side! Thoughts, prayers and much love!
    Of All Things, A Real Relationship With God is By Far the Most Important Matter In This World For All of Mankind…..Without This and This Alone, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS! Romans 10:9-10

  17. zon says:

    I think it means to trust and believe in yourself no matter what anyone says or does because deep inside you know yourself better than anyone else does

  18. JadieMuthaFckinBee says:

    I’m not sure what all the biblical talk has to do with the song analysis for “Nothing Else Matters”. But the only reason God, Jesus, or even Trump for that matter should be mentioned in this comment section is if you’re thanking them for bringing you, “Metallica”!

  19. Get Help. says:

    None of this matters.

  20. Gavin's Mum... says:

    We played this song for my son as we turned off his life support and allowed him to slip away as the sun rose in December 2021. Rock On Gavin.

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