Andreas Kisser Remembers Nearly Joining Metallica: 'It Was Like a Dream/Nightmare'

"'The Unforgiven' was kind of hard for me, as was 'Nothing Else Matters,'" Sepultura guitarist explains.

Ultimate Guitar

Sepultura guitarist Andreas Kisser recently revealed he was close to joining metal titans Metallica as a temporary member following frontman James Hetfield's 1992 Montreal stage pyro incident. Chatting with Guitar World, Kisser discussed the fill-in guitarist audition. "Phil Rind, the singer and bass player from Sacred Reich, was very good friends with Jason Newsted. He mentioned my name to Jason, and Jason said, 'Yeah, if you can manage to come to the United States, we're going to be in Denver auditioning different guitar players.' So I bought a ticket right away, and the next day I was going to Denver." he explained. "I knew all the Metallica stuff by heart - that's like my school - except the 'Black Album,' which was very new at the time," Andreas continued. "But I went there and I practiced with them the first day. James wasn't there - only Lars [Ulrich], Kirk [Hammett] and Jason, and I played the songs, and they liked it a lot. "Jason was really excited about my playing and they asked me to stay the second day, which were the finals. James was there that day. It was between me and James Marshall [Metal Church guitarist and onetime Metallica roadie], who had already filled in before when James broke his arm skateboarding." Although the band ultimately didn't pick him, Kisser still has fond memories of the whole experience. "Maybe they didn't choose me because I wasn't really ready with the full repertoire," he said (via Blabbermouth.) "I played many songs with them - 'The Shortest Straw,' 'One' and 'Enter Sandman' - but 'The Unforgiven' was kind of hard for me, as was 'Nothing Else Matters.' "Plus, I was nervous as well. To walk into a Metallica practice room ... The first time you see everybody there, it was like a dream/nightmare for me. But from there I got to be really good friends with them, especially Jason Newsted. We've met many times after that, and we've done demos together and jammed and stuff, so it was awesome. Even though I didn't get the job, it was an amazing experience for me."

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Great story behind the scenes ! ... except the dudes name was John Marshall.
    Why does the headline say ''Remembers Nearly Joining'' when it was a short temp role? He was never going to join them full-time, as stated in the article. C'mon UG.
    Man he nearly joined Metallica?! And he would have hated it?! Oh wait...UG has struck again..
    Who the hell wants to audition for one of their favorite bands, one of the first and most popular thrash bands, and go and play something like "Nothing Else Matters"? I feel ya, Andreas.
    Arfing Thumb
    After all he did have problems with Nothing Else Matters?
    Amusingly, I am not very good at playing "Nothing Else Matters". No idea why. But anyway, I think the point was that he just didn't really know the new songs. (and Kirk only plays the intro live; album is all James)
    the two easiest metallica songs are hardest for him, **** logic.
    James' parts on NEM and Unforgiven aren't exactly Metallica's easiest stuff. The straight forward riff-driven songs like Sandman and SBT are significantly easier to pick up and play than James' parts on NEM and Unforgiven in my opinion.
    But they are beginner songs nonetheless. You don't go THIS unprepared for when auditioning to a gig with Metallica.