It might sound like a paradox, but according to Metallica's James Hetfield, thrash metal probably wouldn't exist without glam, the very thing most metalheads loathed back in the day.
As baffling as it may seem at first, the frontman also offered an explanation, saying that it was the immense hate towards the popular '80s glam rock that "fueled a lot of thrash." When asked by the MK Onderground on whether or not would thrash metal exist without glam, Hetfield answered:
"Probably not. There was a giant hatred for that that fueled a lot of thrash. Maybe some know the story - Metallica growing up in Los Angeles right in the heart of glam, right at the peak of glam and your Motley Crues, your Ratts, your Poisons, all that stuff was based in L.A. and we were the hated figure, but they were hated even more. We were thrown out of clubs because they thought we were punk rock."
The frontman then discussed the appeal thrash has and the "underground feeling" it gives the listeners, saying, "Whether it's packing our stadiums or being blasted in people's living rooms, it delivers a feeling, it delivers a connection to people who need it. It's that underground feeling. It's the black sheep of music. It's the thing that the misfits are attracted to."
At a certain point, the chat took a turn towards the so called Big Four of thrash metal, with the interviewer asking Hetfield which band he thinks would coin the Big Five. The singer/guitarist then singled out thrash pioneers Exodus, a band in which current Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett started out, as a personal favorite.
"The Big Four name was not coined by us. It's been in the press for a long, long time and way back. So there's no limit to the number of big thrash bands that were respected in those days. I would say, personally, I would say Exodus would be number five."
Finally, the frontman discussed the group's upcoming album and the inspiration for the new songs. In his own words, "the fuel will come from where it normally comes from: the will to do better, to do better than you've done before."Still searching for the ultimate riff, the ultimate guitar sound, the ultimate lyric, all of that stuff. It's a never-ending quest, you know, never satisfied," the singer said. "So that, as well as just enjoying and taking care of the life we have. We're pretty blessed."
As far as the new Metallica record goes, the latest info says that it could even take until 2015 before it's released. However, in the words of bassist Rob Trujillo, the riffs the band is working on sound "very, very exciting."