Metallica

Biography

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.

Metallica: 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.

Metallica: 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.

Read More

Glastonbury Festival Goers Told To "Prepare For Rape" By BBC

26th June 2014 -

 News

Glastonbury Festival goers were warned to "prepare for rape" by a subtitle blunder during the weather report on BBC News at Ten. The weatherman told the audience to "prepare for rain" but the caption instead...

Glastonbury Weather 2014: It's Going to Rain. Loads.

23rd June 2014 -

 News

Glastonbury festivalgoers are famously robust whatever the weather, packing willies, umbrellas and waterproof ponchos to ensure their heads don’t drop should the heaven decide to open. It Could Be A Muddy Glastonbury Festival. Photo: Getty...

5 Things You Can Do With Free WiFi at Glastonbury 2014

23rd June 2014 -

 News

Glastonbury revellers will be able to enjoy free wifi this year thanks to a heard of special cows dotted around the festival. The EE cattle won’t be hard to spot. Artist Hank Kruger decorated them...

Glastonbury Founder Michael Eavis Defends Festival Headliners Metallica

16th June 2014 -

 News

Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis has defended the decision to have Metallica headline the festival this year. There has been growing opposition regarding Metallica performing at the festival by festival-goers who don’t feel a heavy...

Metallica Will Be "Fantastic" At Glastonbury, Says Kasabian's Tom Meighan

13th June 2014 -

 News

Tom Meighan, lead singer of rock band Kasabian, has offered his two cents regarding the fuss that's been surrounding Metallica headlining at Glastonbury Festival. There has been a heated debate over whether the heavy metal...

Should Metallica Be Removed From Glastonbury Headline Slot?

6th June 2014 -

 News

Over 14,000 people have signed an online petition to have Metallica removed from this year’s Glastonbury line up. But why? Is the idea of ‘Enter Sandman’ ringing out across the festival fields really just too...

Mogwai Laugh Off "Sh*te" Metallica, Call Lars Ulrich "Terrible" Drummer

5th June 2014 -

 News

Of course, anyone who's remotely interested in music would choose to see Scottish post-punk heroes Mogwai over Metallica at the Glastonbury Festival 2014 and the Glaswegian band have been doing their best to pull the...

Metallica To Cover 'Wonderwall' At Glastonbury, But What Are The Best Oasis Covers?

4th June 2014 -

 News

In a similar fashion to the announcement of Jay Z in 2008, metal titans Metallica’s headline slot at the iconic Glastonbury Festival has been met with a wave of criticism and derision from commentators who...

Jimmy Page: Led Zep could play Glasto

2nd June 2014 -

 News

Jimmy Page hasn't ruled out Led Zeppelin headlining Glastonbury Festival in the future. The guitarist has responded to comments made by festival boss Michael Eavis, who claimed he was ''sure'' the band would one day...

Head To Europe This Year For The Best Summer Festival Experiences!

23rd May 2014 -

 News

We've been seriously pushing US and UK music festivals this year but, it has to be said, there's nowhere quite like Europe.The continent is home to some of the most unique music events in the...

Metallica At Glastonbury: 10 Acts More Deserving Of The Headline Slot

19th May 2014 -

 News

Metallica have been festival mainstays since their appearance in the original incarnations of Monsters of Rock festival in the 1980’s- a celebration of all things hairy and leather-clad that takes place on the same Derbyshire...

A Week In News: Met Gala Glamour, Metal At Glastonbury, Meet 'Tammy' Comedy Giggles

9th May 2014 -

 News

Met Gala: This year's Met Gala was even more extravagant than ever before as the biggest names in showbiz arrived in New York clad in "decorations" and finery. Anna Wintour's bash served up some true...

Say Your Prayers! Enter Metallica For Glastonbury Festival

9th May 2014 -

 News

Pack up your hemp baskets and herbal healing tents and swap 'em for some New Rock boots and a devil's horns salute: Metallica have been announced to headline Glastonbury Festival 2014. The US heavy metal...

Babymetal To Make Uk Debut At Sonisphere In July 2014

8th April 2014 -

 Press

One of the best things about being in 2014 is that when something happens which is truly unique, no matter where in the world it happens, everyone knows out about it. The latest musical phenomenon...

Sammy Hagar And James Hetfield Team Up For Cancer Charity Gig

19th March 2014 -

 News

Former Van Halen guitarist Sammy Hagar and Metallica frontman James Hetfield are set to team up for a special benefit concert in May (14).The veteran rocker has recruited Hetfield, along with Green Day singer Billie...

Pinkpop 2014 Announce Headliners The Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys, Metallica Plus Many More

12th March 2014 -

 Press

Pinkpop is proud to announce that The Rolling Stones will be headlining the first day of the festival. The Rolling Stones - 14 ON FIRE tour sees Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie...

Metallica thought Grammy loss was f***ed up

28th January 2014 -

 News

Metallica thought losing their first Grammy nomination was ''f***ed up''. The heavy metal act - who performed at the ceremony on Sunday night (26.01.14) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles - were nominated in...

Metallica and Lang Lang? 5 More Divergent Musical Collaborations

27th January 2014 -

 News

Metallica teamed up with the phenomenally talented Chinese pianist Lang Lang at the 56th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday (January 26, 2013). It was a strange collaboration on paper, though offered a brooding intensity to...

Metallica Team Up With Classical Pianist Lang Lang For Anniversary Performance Of 'One'

27th January 2014 -

 News

Since their first appearance at the Grammys exactly 25 years ago, Metallica have often experimented with classical instruments. Back then, they played One, but lost the Hard Rock/Metal Performance award to flute-mongers Jethro Tull. Last...

BBFC Makes Plans To Introduce Music Video Age Ratings To Combat Inappropriate Themes

16th January 2014 -

 News

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has announced plans for a new age-rating system designed to tackle online music videos deemed inappropriate material for young people. The organisation's assistant director, David Austin, said the...

Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr Confirmed For Grammy Awards Performance. Does This Spell A Beatles Showcase?

15th January 2014 -

 News

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are set to perform at this years 56th Grammy Awards, with their inclusion to the Grammys set list being announced this week by the music awards showcase. Although the organisers...

Metallica and Iron Maiden to headline Sonisphere 2014

3rd December 2013 -

 News

Metallica and Iron Maiden will headline Sonisphere festival 2014.The heavy metal titans will appear at the festival in Knebworth, Southern England, between July 4 and 6 next year. The performances will be the only shows...

'Metallica Through The Never': Prepare For A 3D Rock Movie Like No Other

27th September 2013 -

 News

Metallica's action music movie, Metallica Through The Never, is smashing into IMAX theaters today in the USA and is preparing to blast wannabe concert documentaries (cough-OneDirection-cough) out of the stadium with a mind-blowing mash-up of...

Rocker Jason Newsted's Wife Helped Him Beat Addiction Issues

22nd August 2013 -

 News

Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted has credited his wife with helping him through his addiction to painkillers, which left him battling crippling depression.The rocker started popping pills to numb the pain in his shoulders following...

Metallica Rock Comic-Con With Secret Show And Airing Of New Trailer [Video]

22nd July 2013 -

 News

Metallica rocked out and geeked out at this years San Diego Comic Con International this weekend when they performed a surprise show at the California gathering, where they also aired a clip from their upcoming...

Jason Newsted: 'I saved Metallica'

3rd June 2013 -

 News

Jason Newsted believes he ''saved'' Metallica.The bass player joined the 'Enter Sandman' group in 1986 to replace Cliff Burton - who had died in a road accident - and left in 2001 after relationships between...

Dane DeHaan Stars In Metallica 'Through the Never' Teaser [Trailer]

28th May 2013 -

 News

You know you’re making it as an actor when you appear in a Metallica music video, right? That’s what the up and comer Dane DeHaan must be reckoning, after the star of the forthcoming Amazing...

Metallica Through The Never

28th May 2013 -

 Video

Trip is a young and inexperienced roadie who is charged with the important mission of finding a damaged delivery vehicle and retrieving a valuable item that was on its way to sold-out Metallica concert. However,...

Metallica's Orion Festival Reveals 2013 Line-Up, Including Red Hot Chili Peppers

25th February 2013 -

 News

Metallica have revealed the line-up for their second annual Orion Music + More Festival, and as you’d expect from the ageing veterans of heavy metal, it’s one that bristles with more noise and riffs than...

The Toys Are Back In The Pram - Metallica Back Catalogue Launched On Spotify

7th December 2012 -

 News

Twelve years after waging war with Napster, Metallica have finally softened their approach to allowing fans to access their music online. The long-lasting metal band will be making their back catalogue available to stream on...

Back to top

Metallica Images

More Metallica Pictures

Back to top

Metallica Interviews

Back to top

Metallica Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Metallica

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Contrary To Her Song Lyrics, Lana Del Rey Worked Her Way To The Top

Lana Del Rey is no stranger to vicious rumours, but she definitely did not...

Contrary To Her Song Lyrics, Lana Del Rey Worked Her Way To The Top

Weird Al Scores First U.S Number 1 With New Album

The album was released only one week ago and sold 103,000 copies to secure the top...

Weird Al Scores First U.S Number 1 With New Album

Peaches Geldof's Cause of Death Confirmed as Heroin Overdose

The second daughter of musician Bob Geldof, Peaches Geldof was thrust...

Peaches Geldof's Cause of Death Confirmed as Heroin Overdose

Robert Downey Jr.IS Iron Man... But For How Long?

You know who he is. Robert Downey Jr.’s involvement in the Iron Man franchise has been...

Robert Downey Jr.IS Iron Man... But For How Long?

Hercules Extended Trailer

Following his deadly ordeal of being put through the Twelve Labours by his father Zeus and his...

Hercules Trailer

Miley Cyrus Appears in Pharrell's New Video 'Come Get It Bae'

Cyrus also features on the track's vocals, and -perhaps most shockingly of all- resists...

Miley Cyrus Appears in Pharrell's New Video 'Come Get It Bae'
Advertisement

Let Battle Commence: Superhero Studios Fight for Best Opening Weekend

We live in a movie world of superheroes at the moment with franchise...

Let Battle Commence: Superhero Studios Fight for Best Opening Weekend

After The Success of 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes', What's Next?

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has been a huge success both critically...

After The Success of 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes', What's Next?

'Mad Max: Fury Road' - New Stills and Poster Appear From Comic Con [Pictures]

Max Max: Fury Road was one of the most anticipated films at the...

'Mad Max: Fury Road' - New Stills and Poster Appear From Comic Con [Pictures]


More recommendations

Comments