Use your Rocks Off Mag account to vote in our "G.O.A.T. Votes" polls, earn exclusive profile badges and claim your Rocks Off Mag merch!

Or Sign In With

Don't have an account yet? Register here

by continuing you accept our privacy policy

Use your Rocks Off Mag account to vote in our "G.O.A.T. Votes" polls, earn exclusive profile badges and claim your Rocks Off Mag merch!

What Are Some Of Your Favourite Music Moments?
Or Sign In With

by continuing you accept our privacy policy

Forgot Password ?

Don't worry! It happens. Please enter the
adress associated with your account.

Reset Password

Please enter new password.

Thank you for signing up to the Rocks Off.

To complete the sign up process please verify your email address by clicking on the link that has been sent to you previously speficifed email.

Rocks Off Magazine is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Castor Virgil Hetfield: The Journey of James Hetfield’s Son

castor virgil hetfield

All of us are our father’s sons, mine just happens to be very successful in the industry that we’re in.

Castor Virgil Hetfield

The legend of thrash that is James Hetfield isn’t just a father to a genre and hundreds of crushing riffs; he’s also father to three awesome kids! As you might imagine, all three are incredibly artistic, but only one is following in papa Het’s footsteps, and his name is Castor Virgil Hetfield.

Jame’s only son, Castor is a real chip off the old block, but his familial association with one of metal’s greatest frontmen isn’t something he takes advantage of. Rather, he leads a relatively low-key life, carving his own path through the music industry.

And to celebrate his own talents and hard-earned achievements, we’re taking the spotlight from dad, and planting it firmly on son. Here’s everything you need to know about Castor Virgil Hetfield.

The Formative Years of James Hetfield’s Son, Castor

Born in San Francisco, California on May 18, 2000, Castor was James and Francesca Hetfield’s second child. His older sister Cali was born two years earlier, and his younger sibling Marcella was born two years later.

He was raised in the Bay Area up until the age of 15 when his family moved to Vail, Colorado, where his mother grew up.

His father remarked that his feeling judged by his Bay Area neighbors for hunting was a big part of the decision to move.

It’s thought that he attended Saint Marks School in Marin before the move, and Vail Mountain High School after the move, where he didn’t just take an interest in music, but sports too, namely, basketball and volleyball.

Castor Virgil Hetfield

Castor Hetfield’s Musical Pursuits: From Piano to Drums

Okay, so I might have mentioned that Castor is following in his father’s footsteps, but this is a rather loose metaphor, as his musical journey has already diverged significantly from the path his father walks. Castor is a drummer!

That’s right, folks; the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, but it made a much louder bang when it hit the ground, and he’s been making a racket ever since.

Believe it or not, he started out on the piano, for which he took lessons from the age of 9, but shortly thereafter, he gravitated towards the drums.

Castor can play guitar (he started learning at 14), but for whatever reason, he prefers slappin’ the skins, and he’s great at it too!

Joining Bastardane: Castor’s Breakthrough in Music

Ever heard of Bastardane? No sweat if not, as they’re still a pretty underground act, but this is the band Castor plays drums for.

Their debut studio album entitled Is This Rage? was released in 2022, and it’s a pretty impressive first foray into the world of heavy music.

But don’t expect Bastardane to scratch the same sonic itch Metallica does, as there are very few similarities between the two.

In fact, perhaps the only discernible overlap between Castor’s band and his father’s is the vaguely similar typeface of their logos.

As you know, Metallica are a thrash-metal act through and through — James, Lars, and the boys actually kind of invented the genre, along with Slayer, Anthrax, and a few other contemporaries.

Bastardane, on the other hand, is much groovier, although certain songs do have some thrash elements. Check out the intro to their tune “Praise No Bliss”, for instance. 

castor virgil hetfield

Bastardane’s Unique Sound: Where Castor Hetfield Finds His Groove

Bastardane’s sound is similar in ways to Crowbar, Corrosion of Conformity, and Fireball Ministry. Obviously, they’re yet to reach the quality and renown of these three bands, but if they stay the course, they seem destined to dominate this niche of the heavy music landscape.

Would I call Bastardane metal? Maybe. It’s certainly not extreme as many other forms of modern metal, and there’s a prominent hard rock thread woven into their sound and aesthetic, but they absolutely call upon metallic staples in their music too.

I’d say they’re more of a thrash-tinged sludge/hard rock act. Some might even consider them a melodic rock band, as the lead vocals are all pretty clean, and it’s clear that singer Jacobious Lovebane (hell of a name!) works hard taking the sung melodies to interesting places.

RELATED: Who Is The Richest Member Of Metallica?

Exploring Castor’s Role in Bastardane

Castor provides backing vocals for the three-piece, but they’re pretty low in the mix, so it’s hard to tell if he sounds anything like his golden-throated father.

He gets some pretty dope screams in from time to time, though, which is certainly a cut above anything the Metallica frontman has ever done where intensity is concerned.

As the drummer, Castor doesn’t get a lot of say in the melodic direction of Bastardane, which means, unless you’re a drumming savant that can read into his beats, his own musical influences can get a little lost in translation.

Granted, Hetfield Jr. does indeed list Corrosion of Conformity as one of his “big 3” influences, but the other two might surprise you… Opeth and Tool. Yep… he’s a prog-head!

castor virgil hetfield

Castor Hetfield and Bastardane: Avoiding the Metallica Comparison

Castor has every right to inherit elements of the music his father has dedicated his entire life to. It’s like an intangible heirloom, and it’s only natural that it be passed down through generations, but he doesn’t appreciate it when people attempt to compare Bastardane to Metallica.

It’s not that it really gets his goat or anything like that, but he cites it as a mild annoyance, as all three members work hard on being true to themselves, yet their efforts are often eclipsed by his father’s mighty shadow.

Castor’s Perspective on Bastardane vs. Metallica Comparisons

Speaking in an interview on the topic, Castor confided:

It’s not bothersome, but it is a little annoying when people try to compare us because obviously we’re our own people and he’s [James Hetfield] his own person. We’re making our own kind of music.

He continued,

Online, when you search for our band, my dad’s face is all over the internet, and it’s a little strange for me. We are our own people and we want to cut our own path. We’re not trying to ride off of anybody else’s success here.

Final Thoughts

The weight of his last name may be a burden at times, but Castor Virgil Hetfield has done an outstanding job of honoring it whilst also making a name for himself — No nepo babies here, folks!

His band’s name is taken from an interesting molecular compound, but who knows, maybe part of the reason they chose it was as a means of divorcing the influence of the father figure, at least where their music’s concerned.

Neither Castor nor Bastardane wants to take the shortcuts that are clearly available to them, as they want to blaze their own trail, celebrating their individuality, both as people and as musicians. They’re doing things their way, and no one’s going to tell them otherwise!