Metallica

  • 09 June 2004

Band form

1981

Metallica (formed 1981) Metallica is a Los Angeles-based heavy metal band. The band is one of the most successful heavy rock bands of all time and rose to fame with the release of 1986's Master of Puppets.

Formation: In 1981, Lars Ulrich placed an advert in The Recycler, an LA newspaper, looking for musicians to join him on drums, and citing Tygers of Pan Am, Iron Maiden and Diamond Head as influences. James Hetfield and Hugh Tanner, two guitarists, responded to the ad. A second ad found Dave Mustaine, on lead guitar, who was recruited on account of his extensive and expensive range of guitars and equipment. With Hetfield on bass on vocals, the band recorded 'Hit the Lights' for the Metal Massacre I compilation.

The band's first live show was in March 1982, at Radio City, in California. Ron McGovney had been recruited to play bass by this point. Later that year, they watched a band called Trauma at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go and recruited one of their members. Cliff Burton accepted and replaced McGovney. His first appearance on record with Metallica was the Megaforce demo.

The band's debut album was made possible by promoter Johnny Zazula, who borrowed money to set up his own label, Megaforce Recordings. Mustaine was forced out of the band for drug misuse and Kirk Hamnett was swiftly brought in to replace him.

1983 Onwards, Career Highlights: Metallica's debut album, Metal Up Your Ass was released in 1983, produced by Paul Curcio. The album was eventually renamed as Kill 'Em All, after distributors reacted against the original title. The album peaked at 120 on the US album charts and helped to build a fan base on the underground metal circuit in the US. In 1984, Metallica supported Venom on their Seven Dates of Hell tour.

Metallica's second studio album was released in 1984. Ride the Lightening included songs such as 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' and 'Creeping Death'.

In late 1984, an Elektra Records A&R representative attended a Metallica gig and the label eventually signed them. Metallica went on tour with Tank, playing to average crowds of 1300, their largest tour yet. They also played huge shows with W.A.S.P. and Armored Saint, as well as the Monsters of Rock festival at Donington Park, UK.

One of the band's most iconic albums, Master of Puppets, was released in 1986. The album reached number 29 in the US and was certified gold later that year. In 2003, the album was certified six times platinum. During their tour supporting Ozzy Osbourne, Hetfield broke his wrist whilst skateboarding. He continued on vocals, but guitar technician John Marshall had to play rhythm guitar for the band.

In September 1986, whilst on tour in Sweden, the driver of the tour bus lost control of the vehicle. Cliff Burton was pinned under the bus and eventually died. The remaining members of the band finally decided to continue with the band, after receiving Burton's family's blessings to do so. His replacement was Jason Newsted, formerly of the band Flotsam and Jetsam. In 1987, they released the video Cliff 'Em All, documenting the three years that Burton was in the band.

1988 saw the band release .And Justice For All. The album was a huge commercial success and earned the band a Grammy nomination. Metallica made their first promotional video for the song 'One' and was shown on MTV, becoming viewers' first exposure to Metallica.

In 1990, Bob Rock (formerly responsible for albums by Bon Jovi, Motley Crüe and the Cult) entered the studio with Metallica to record Metallica, alternatively known as 'The Black Album'. The album cost over $1 million to make, as it was remixed three times before release. On its release in 1991, it reached the top of the American album chart. The supporting stadium tour, which they co-headlined with Guns N' Roses, saw Hetfield suffer burns to his arms, face, hands and legs, when a pyrotechnic stunt went wrong

In 1995, whilst on a break from recording, the band played three huge outdoor shows, including a headliner at Donington Park, with Slayer, Skid Row and Therapy?

Their sixth studio album, released the next year, was Load. In support of the album, they headlined that year's Lollapalooza tour. With enough material from the recording session to release another album, Metallica then released ReLoad. They appeared on Saturday Night Live, performing 'The Memory Remains' with Marianne Faithfull.

In 2000, Metallica took legal action against the peer-to-peer file sharing website, Napster. With Dr. Dre joining Metallica in the fight against Napster, over 230,000 of its users were eventually banned. Napster eventually filed for bankruptcy in 2002.

In 2001, Newsted left Metallica, following a dispute with Hetfield over Newsted wanting to promote his side-project, Echobrain. Over the next two years, filmmakers recorded footage that would become the documentary Some Kind Of Monster. In the documentary, the band hired a therapist to help them to overcome their problems. Robert Trujillo, ex-member of Suicidal Tendencies, became Newsted's replacement.

St. Anger, released in 2003, was another number one for Metallica. The title track earned the band a Grammy Award. With Ulrich rushed to hospital during the Download Festival in 2004, he was replaced by Slayer's Dave Lombardo, Slipknot's Joey Jordison and their drum tech, Flemming Larsen. In 2005, the band opened for The Rolling Stones for two shows.

Metallica's next studio album, Death Magnetic, was slated for release in September 2008, this time with Rick Rubin on production duties. Their first performances of songs from the album were at the 2008 Leeds Festival.

Metallica Extend Their WorldWired Dates Into Summer 2019

By Holly Mosley in Music / Festivals on 24 September 2018

Metallica

They'll be back in Europe by the time the weather warms up again.

Metallica are truly spoiling their fans having announced yet another series of stadium and arena dates set for next Spring, as they look forward to entering a fourth year of their WorldWired Tour. It will also mark their first shows in Europe in almost a year.

Image caption Metallica Live in London

The metal band will hit Europe and the UK for at least 25 more live dates over next year's Spring and Summer seasons, beginning in Portugal on May 1st 2019 and wrapping in Germany on August 25th. They'll also play Manchester's Etihad Stadium and London's Twickenham Stadium on June 18th and 20th respectively.

Continue reading: Metallica Extend Their WorldWired Dates Into Summer 2019

Music News Round-Up: New Tenacious D, Thom Yorke Listening Parties And Bands F.C. Launch

By Ed Biggs in Music / Festivals on 09 September 2018

Tenacious D Thom Yorke Fleetwood Mac Metallica

All the latest music news rounded up.

Tenacious D ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM + ANIMATED SERIES

Comedy music duo Tenacious D have announced their grand return to music after six years away. Comprising comedian Jack Black and bandmate Kyle Gass, Tenacious D’s new album will be titled Post-Apocalypto.

Produced by John Spiker, the record will also feature Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl on drums. It’s available on November 2nd via streaming, CD and translucent green vinyl.

Continue reading: Music News Round-Up: New Tenacious D, Thom Yorke Listening Parties And Bands F.C. Launch

Music News Round-Up: New Muse, Razorlight And Cliff Richard Albums, And Metallica Whiskey

By Ed Biggs in Music / Festivals on 02 September 2018

Muse Razorlight Cliff Richard Neil Young Metallica

The week's music news rounded up.

Muse UNVEIL EIGHTH STUDIO ALBUM

British rock giants Muse have revealed the title of their new, eighth studio album, as well as its release date. Simulation Theory is set to come out on November 9th, and includes recent singles ‘Dig Down’, ‘Thought Contagion’ and ‘Something Human’.

Muse also teased more new music from the album, with a music video to ‘The Dark Side’.

Continue reading: Music News Round-Up: New Muse, Razorlight And Cliff Richard Albums, And Metallica Whiskey

Metallica Honoured With Sweden's Polar Music Prize

By Holly Williams in Music / Festivals on 15 February 2018

Metallica

The band become 2018's recipient of the coveted award.

Metallica are set to receive the music industry's answer to the Nobel Prize this Spring; that is, the coveted Polar Music Prize. The award includes a monetary prize, which they are planning on donating to their own charitable organisation All Within My Hands.

Image caption Metallica perform live in London

After almost forty years of metal, Metallica are finally being honoured for their musical legacy with the Swedish prize that was initially founded by Stig Anderson of ABBA in 1989. The award is given out each year to a contemporary musician and a classical artist.

Continue reading: Metallica Honoured With Sweden's Polar Music Prize

Metallica's Manchester Tribute

By Clive King in Music / Festivals on 30 October 2017

Kirk Hammett Noel Gallagher

Metallica performed Oasis 'Don't Look Back in Anger' during their concert at Manchester Arena at the weekend.

Metallica performed Oasis 'Don't Look Back in Anger' in Manchester at the weekend.

The song has become an unofficial anthem for the North West England city since Manchester Arena was rocked by a terrorist attack after an Ariana Grande concert in May, and the 'Enter Sandman' hitmakers led their fans in a sing-along to the track during their sold-out gig at the venue on Saturday (28.10.17) evening.

Drummer Lars Ulrich tweeted a clip of bassist Robert Trujillo and guitarist Kirk Hammett performing the track and admitted the emotional moment had given him ''goosebumps''.

Continue reading: Metallica's Manchester Tribute

Metallica on the WorldWired Tour 2017 performance at the Rock on the Range 2017 Music Festival at Mapfre Stadium - Columbus, Ohio, United States - Monday 22nd May 2017

Metallica Light Up 'The Late Show' With 'Now That We're Dead'

By Holly Williams in Music / Festivals on 16 May 2017

Metallica

The band perform for Stephen Colbert on his 'Late Show'.

Metallica hit 'The Late Show' this week for a live performance with a song from their latest album 'Hardwired... to Self-Destruct', which they are currently promoting on a massive worldwide tour. 'Now That We're Dead' is their first single release of the year.

Image caption Metallica perform on 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert'

The thrash metal group joined Stephen Colbert on the CBS show last night (May 15th 2017), performing their newest single 'Now That We're Dead' to a much-appreciative audience. The group kicked off their WorldWired 2017 North American tour last week at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium.

Continue reading: Metallica Light Up 'The Late Show' With 'Now That We're Dead'

Metallica Are Getting Europe Wired Over New Tour Dates

By Holly Williams in Music / Festivals on 16 March 2017

Metallica

They'll be in the continent well into next year.

With Spring and Summer 2017 set up for their extensive North American dates, Metallica have finally announced the schedule for the European leg of their WorldWired Tour which will take them into 2018. Also, they reveal support from the Norwegian band Kvelertak.

Image caption Metallica announce their European tour dates

Following their show at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Canada, Metallica will journey to Denmark to play their postponed gig from February 5th at Copenhagen's Royal Arena on September 2nd 2017, with Aphyxion as the special guest.

Continue reading: Metallica Are Getting Europe Wired Over New Tour Dates

Metallica and Lady GaGa seen on the red carpet at the 2017 Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 13th February 2017

James Hetfield: Adele 'blows My Mind'

By Clive King in Music / Festivals on 21 November 2016

James Hetfield Adele Amy Winehouse Lars Ulrich

Metallica's James Hetfield has praised Adele's ''unbelievable'' live shows and was amazed by her ''candour and coolness'' up on stage.

Metallica's James Hetfield says Adele ''blows his mind''.

The 'Nothing Else Matters' hitmaker has gushed about the 'Hello' singer's ''unbelievable'' live shows and praised her ''candour and coolness'' up on stage.

He told BBC Radio 6 Music: ''I have to tell more stories ... She's got funny stories!

Continue reading: James Hetfield: Adele 'blows My Mind'

Metallica performing live at the 2016 Global Citizen Festival held in Central Park, New York, United States - Saturday 24th September 2016

David Bowie Reckons Lou Reed's Metallica Collaboration 'Lulu' Was His "Masterpiece"

By Ed Biggs in Music / Festivals on 21 April 2015

David Bowie Lou Reed Metallica Patti Smith

The late Velvet Underground leader was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the weekend, but Bowie is quoted as saying that one of his most poorly-received albums might actually be Reed's "greatest work".

Never one to back away from a controversial opinion, David Bowie has pretty much a unique opinion on Lou Reed’s career. Believe it or not, he reckons that the late singer’s greatest musical work was his recent collaboration project with Metallica.

Lulu, released in 2011 with the metal legends, was one of the former Velvet Underground singer’s final projects before his death in 2013. It was almost universally panned by critics and listeners who were baffled by its complexity and lyrical themes. While not as challenging as Reed’s notorious 1975 album Metal Machine Music (seriously, don’t even bother with that one), it was instantly overlooked.

Image caption Lou Reed's best work was his Metallica collaboration Lulu', according to David Bowie

Continue reading: David Bowie Reckons Lou Reed's Metallica Collaboration 'Lulu' Was His "Masterpiece"

Sonisphere 2015 Cancelled

By Ed Biggs in Music / Festivals on 17 January 2015

Prodigy Metallica Iron Maiden

The UK edition of the metal festival has been cancelled for the third time in four years.

Bad news for metal fans today: the UK edition of Sonisphere festival at Knebworth will not go ahead this year. Sonisphere’s organisers made the announcement on its official website late on Friday (January 16th).

One of the reasons given was that there had been a struggle to put together a “good enough” line-up, though The Prodigy, Metallica and Iron Maiden had all been announced as headliners for the July 4th-6th event. Furthermore, in the increasingly crowded festival fixture list, it’s been difficult to find a weekend that doesn’t clash with other events.

Image caption Iron Maiden had been one of the confirmed headliners for Sonisphere 2015

Continue reading: Sonisphere 2015 Cancelled

Nimród Antal - Arrivals at the regional premiere of "Metallica Through The Never" at Fantastic Fest in Austin,Texas 9.25.2013 - Austin, TX, United States - Thursday 26th September 2013

James Hetfield, Metallica and Download Festival - James Hetfield of Metallica Saturday 9th June 2012 The Download Festival 2012 at Donington Park