SPOTLIGHT : Metallica

The Metallica article was written by Lewis Chapman-Barker, a GIGsoup contributor


Legendary thrash-metal four-piece featuring front-man and guitarist James Hetfield, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich on drums, and bassist Rob Trujillo

Where are they from?

Originally from Los Angeles, California, Ulrich formed the band along with Hetfield before Hammett and original bassist Cliff Burton joined in 1983. Following Burton’s death in a bus crash in 1986, Jason Newstead took over on bass until 2001 before Trujillo was announced as part of the band in 2003.

What do they sound like?

Originally thrash metal incorporating blistering solos along with chugging guitars riffs, but later the band started to include cleaner, slower melodies and progressed to more of a hard rock sound.

Songs to get you started:

Seek and Destroy (1983), The Call of Ktulu (1984), Orion (1986), The Struggle Within (1991), The Memory Remains (1997)

What are they doing now?

The band are currently in the process of remastering and re-issuing their extensive back catalogue, with ‘Kill ‘Em All’ and ‘Ride the Lightning’ set for release on Friday 15th April. The band has also teamed up with author Matt Taylor and their considerable fan base to write ‘Metallica: Back to the Front’, which tells the story of the ‘Master of Puppets’ album release and tour. The book is set to be released later this year to celebrate the album’s 30th anniversary.

Bonus Points Facts:

  • They also form part of ‘the big four’ of thrash-metal, along with Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax
  • The band’s 2004 film ‘Some Kind of Monster’ won Best Documentary Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards. The film was shot during the recording of ‘St. Anger’ (2003), and follows the band coping with Newstead’s departure and Hetfield’s decision to enter rehab.
  • Among the band’s past members is original lead-guitarist Dave Mustaine, who left before recording began on their debut record and now fronts Megadeth.
  • Drummer Lars Ulrich is the son of former pro-tennis player Torben Ulrich, who played over 100 Davis Cup matches for Denmark.
  • Lead guitarist Kirk Hammett has a passion for horror-themed collectables, which has led to the birth of toy manufacturer KVH Toys and the metal and horror festival Fear FestEvil.