Guitar World magazine recently opened up its vaults to unveil Metallica's guitar duo discussing some of the crucial songs that made their careers.
Note that this is not a fresh interview in a typical sense, but is still packed to the gills with tasty info, so by all means, scroll down. Throughout the chat, James Hetfield mostly provided the background stories, while Kirk focused on the technical, guitar-related parts.
Discussing "Fade to Black," the song known as one of somewhat controversial 'Tallica tunes, as well as the one that marked the beginning of "sellout" accusation on the fans' behalf, James pointed out that getting "stuck" like their peers Exodus or Slayer was never the group's plan.
"That song was a big step for us. It was pretty much our first ballad, so it was challenging and we knew it would freak people out," James said. "Bands like Exodus and Slayer don't do ballads, but they’ve stuck themselves in that position which is something we never wanted to do; limiting yourself to please your audience is bulls--t."
Taking a chronological step back, the pair talked about "The Four Horsemen," explaining how they basically upgraded Dave Mustaine's "The Mechanix" track, later released on Megadeth's 1985 debut "Killing Is My Business ... And Business Is Good."
"Dave brought that song over from one of his other bands. Back then it was called 'The Mechanix.' After he left Metallica, we kind of fixed the song up. The lyrics he used were pretty silly," James commented.
The matter of song inspiration also popped up on a few occasions, with Hetfield explaining how the inspiration for "Seek & Destroy" came from a Diamond Head song "Dead Reckoning." "I used to work in a sticker factory in LA, and I wrote that riff in my truck outside work," he said.
Furthermore, the frontman also admitted that the main riff from "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" was "lifted from some other band, who shall remain anonymous." Black House's "Rainbow Warrior" maybe?
More cool stuff? Sure. Switching to "...And Justice for All," Hetfield said that the band initially wanted to make shorter songs, but ended with some of the longest tunes they'll ever compose.
"That song is pretty long, like all the songs on that album. We wanted to write shorter material, but it never happened," he said about the title track. "We were into packing songs with riffs. The whole riff is very percussive; it goes right along with the drums. The singing on that song is a lot lower than usual."
If you're up for an eight-page piece featuring James and Kirk discussing all-time Metallica classics, make sure to check out the article source here.