Metallica: James Hetfield Talks On Cliff Burton's Influence

James Hetfield spoke about the "memorial day" for late Metallica bassist Cliff Burton at Gyllene Rasten restaurant/bar in Sweden.

Metallica: James Hetfield Talks On Cliff Burton's Influence
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Metallica frontman James Hetfield spoke to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter about the "memorial day" that was held Sept. 30, 2006 for late Metallica bassist Cliff Burton at the Gyllene Rasten restaurant/bar in Ljungby, Drarp, Sweden. Check out pictures at this location. It was on September 27, 1986 ? 20 years ago ? that Burton died in a tragic bus accident in Sweden, just over the road from where Gyllene Rasten is located.
  • On performing "Orion" live this past summer: Hetfield: That was the highlight of the set for me. It sums up Cliff and I cried every time I played it, but it was good tears. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the fact that I had the opportunity to play in the same band as Cliff and learn things from him.
  • On the importance of Cliff, the musical genius: Hetfield: We never would have written guitar harmonies or instrumentals or songs with very intricate melodies and orchestrations without Cliff. We wouldn't be where we are today.
  • When the memorial stone is described to James Hetfield, he is stunned and very happy. Hetfield: Wow. That really shows the kind of commitment and love our fans have for our music and the people behind it. Cliff is one of the icons that won't be forgotten. Apparently some fans who are very dedicated have taken the time and put in the effort to create something as timeless as a memorial stone to remind people about Cliff. It's really amazing. Metallica is currently working on its next album with producer Rick Rubin. On a wall in Metallica headquarters there's a poster for the concert in Copenhagen which the band were on their way to when Cliff Burton was killed. James Hetfield says that Cliff is still present when they write songs. Hetfield: We talk about what Cliff would think and what he would have added. And now, especially with our new bassist Rob [Trujillo] playing so powerful and with his fingers just like Cliff, I have a feeling that he likes what we're doing.
  • No one in Metallica has been back in Drarp since the bus crash, but James Hetfield points out that they probably should visit the site. Hetfield: I think it would do us good. But my relationship with death is different. I grew up with Christian Science where you don't believe in funerals. In a way it's very unhealthy not to get closure, time to mourn. But the idea behind it is to let the person live on within you. I know that Cliff lives on within us. Will you go to Drarp to look at the memorial stone? Hetfield: Absolutely. There's no question all of us would enjoy it. Not so much to grieve but to see how loved Cliff is. Swedish-to-English translation provided by Blabbermouth.net.
  • 188 comments sorted by best / new / date

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      metallirock08
      Jaykib wrote: mercurymay wrote: RIP Cliff RIP Hendrix RIP John Bonham RIP Keith Moon RIP John Lennon RIP George Harrison RIP Freddie Mercury RIP Dimebag RIP Syd Barrett +Jim Morrison
      +Witold "Vitek" Kiełtyka, drummer of Decapitated
      outlaw metaler
      three of the most trrajic deaths in metal the shooting of Dime bag darrel The loss of chuck schulinder(hope I spelled that right) to cancer and cliff burtons deathin the bus crash
      acshadow25
      Some freak i know said trujillo is way better than burton. I just don't bother talking to him.
      metallica_man2
      cliff burton, best basist in the history of bass guitar in my opinion. metallica isnt half the band without him. (even though i think that metallica still kicks ass.) if u dont think cliff was a good bassist check out this video its for whom the bell tolls. and cliff kickss ass. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=... 229316521&q=metallica
      havana_Affair19
      harD_Rokr wrote: henza_x wrote: mercurymay wrote: RIP Cliff RIP Hendrix RIP John Bonham RIP Keith Moon RIP John Lennon RIP George Harrison RIP Freddie Mercury RIP Dimebag RIP Syd Barrett RIP Randy RIP Janis RIP KURT RIP Kurt
      If there was no Johnny Ramone. Metallica would not kick as much ass. They would be slower Rip Johhny Ramone
      John Bonham24
      Having read all of these messages I was truly touched. I know ever since I got my first metallica CD my perspective of music was totally changed, and I realized the amazing talent of Cliff Burton. Even if you think he doesn't have the most talent(not saying he doesn't) the things that make one of the largest impacts in music is revolutionizing modern music. Cliff Burton brought bass playing to a new level and fueled inspiration in younger players. It amazes me that people compare new musicians to older ones because music is changed throughout the years and what was amazing in one time in history may only be mediocre in current day. What is more amazing is musicians that are still considdered to be the best today that played decades ago. Musicians like this are Cliff Burton and being a drummer I would have to bring John Bonham into the conversation. I have no doubt that musicianss like these will be compared to musicians decades from now. To all the deceased music legends RIP. (I'm glad keith moon and John Bonham were added to the list of legendary musicians)
      outlaw metaler
      proboly the only bassists close to cliff burton our jaco and les claypool(whom I've heard was friends with kirik and tried joining metalica)
      josephmaio123
      I'm only 13, and from what I'm hearing, Cliff Burton is was an awesome bassist. I love Metallica, they're legends already. I think Cliff was probably a great bassist, and a great person too. RIP Cliff Cliff 'em all!
      mmanson
      theneildeal wrote: please, everyone stop saying that cliff is the best bassist of all time. i admit he was very good, but just check out some victor wooten, or other bass soloists. And another thing, good bands do progress as they make new albums. Metallica would be crap if they kept making Master Of Puppets. No doubt that their new album will be criticised because it won't be like their earlier stuff
      i think he is the best. i didnt say most talented. you can have all the talent in the world and be boring and write terrible music
      EXile1588
      i think i read somewhere that les claypool didnt join metallica cause he was too good not sure though
      LVK
      Let us chant his name, in memory of his outsanding influence on the world of music. CLIFF CLIFF CLIFF CLIFF CLIFF !!!!!
      MegaBassPlayer
      R.I.P Cliff Burton, you're the inspiration for me to start playing bass. someday, i hope to visit the stone to show respect to my idol.
      mmanson
      you can always find someone better its hard to say who the most talented person is unless you've heard everyone in the world. Don't base stuff on talent look at the sex pistols.
      -BobboHead-
      I keep hearing people say that Cliff wouldn't have been happy with the band's direction post-Justice. Those people are forgetting that even Cliffhas admitted that playing the same music would be boring and eventually they would have to move on to other things.
      Jaykib
      mercurymay wrote: RIP Cliff RIP Hendrix RIP John Bonham RIP Keith Moon RIP John Lennon RIP George Harrison RIP Freddie Mercury RIP Dimebag RIP Syd Barrett
      +Jim Morrison
      beau05
      Nor'Easterbass wrote: Cliff = legend is goddamn right. The man was the Hendrix of bass guitar in my opinion. ...A Hendrix that listened to the Misfits alot. lol.
      thats a bit extreme
      FearFactory1981
      You know what I keep thinking about? What would Metallica be like if Cliff would have survived and Kirk died? Remember they drew high card for the top bunk? Or what if Cliff survived? What would Metallica be like, would there have been no Black Albuem, Load ReLoad, St Anger?? Who knows? WHat do you guys think?
      Jackson365
      I started getting hooked to metallica when listining to "for whom the bell tolls" the opening riff of what sounds like scales is cliff. Man he made most guitarists look bad with that bass.And i play "orion" all the time. It was a highlight to the master of puppetts album and we miss that ass kicking punch he put in there. Metallica is one of my biggest influences.Cliff rest in peace man may God bless your souland you will be remembered. You were metal man thanks. I wouldnt be the same guitarist if cliff hadnt been there.
      Jackson365
      Wait i saw some one put that flea and Les Claypool is better than cliff. Go shoot yourself now.
      Jackson365
      Sorry took that post the wrong way sorry man thought you were saying somthin else. Cliff Kicks ass. \m/
      mercurymay
      RIP Cliff RIP Hendrix RIP John Bonham RIP Keith Moon RIP John Lennon RIP George Harrison RIP Freddie Mercury RIP Dimebag RIP Syd Barrett
      monkey of doom
      Cliff was a gifted musician but he wasn't the best bassist. I do agree that Metallica are worse off without his musical input, but in terms of technical ability his successor was better (everyone seems to bad mouth Jason, and why?). To me when a musician dies his legacy gets hyped up to near god status. There are only a couple of people who are worthy of such status.I'm not sure about Burton. Don't get me wrong, I am a hardcore metallica fan. I don't mean to cause any offence by this post, its just my opinion, in the end.
      metalhead332
      cliff F***king rocked. he made every one of the earlier albums kick ass. justice was the best album they made after he died. black was below average but had one or two decent songs. after that it completely sucked. load was crap. they kind of deteriatted (hope thats spelled right) after cliff died. their new stuff is better than load. hopefully their new album will be better again. R.I.P. Cliff
      henza_x
      mercurymay wrote: RIP Cliff RIP Hendrix RIP John Bonham RIP Keith Moon RIP John Lennon RIP George Harrison RIP Freddie Mercury RIP Dimebag RIP Syd Barrett
      RIP Randy RIP Janis no one cares about kurt
      DIME666
      cliff >= god, RIP Cliff metallica has gone down hill ever since u left us
      harD_Rokr
      henza_x wrote: mercurymay wrote: RIP Cliff RIP Hendrix RIP John Bonham RIP Keith Moon RIP John Lennon RIP George Harrison RIP Freddie Mercury RIP Dimebag RIP Syd Barrett RIP Randy RIP Janis no one cares about kurt
      **** you kurt is good RIP Kurt
      The War Machine
      Cliff is a true genius, which is showed in their instrumentals and harmonies/melodies, and also in his infamous solo Anesthesia. However, Jason Newstead knew a hell of a lot about the same techniques Cliff did, and was able to bring a great talent to Metallica. Trujillo is phenomial, but he isn't for Metallica. He's been with Ozzy for too long, which is a completely different type of music, especially in the talent area (it's so much lower.) I think they should bring in a person more like Jason, because he's the closest thing to Cliff they ever got.
      mmanson
      pariah452 wrote: mmanson when claypool breaks out he REALLY shines and can truely be considered one of the best.
      hey im not putting him down i love claypool one of my top favorite bassists
      maiden4life
      cliff is killer,and metallica sucks so bad now i didnt think that only one band could be so brutal to suck that much!
      theneildeal
      please, everyone stop saying that cliff is the best bassist of all time. i admit he was very good, but just check out some victor wooten, or other bass soloists. And another thing, good bands do progress as they make new albums. Metallica would be crap if they kept making Master Of Puppets. No doubt that their new album will be criticised because it won't be like their earlier stuff
      Hotfox_07
      Jaykib wrote: mercurymay wrote: RIP Cliff RIP Hendrix RIP John Bonham RIP Keith Moon RIP John Lennon RIP George Harrison RIP Freddie Mercury RIP Dimebag RIP Syd Barrett +Jim Morrison
      What about Randy Rhoads? Stevie Ray Vaughan? Hmm? Look, I've just read almost all the comments and people who're flaming Cliff shouldn't be reading an article about his death and his memory. If you think that cliff burton wasn't the best bass player of all time, that's fine. Greatness is a point of view. Some people thought Hitler was great, the rest of the world hated him. However, I will say that cliff changed the face of music forever. FOREVER. Without cliff, there would have been no les claypool. There would have been no mainstream metallica and no real change in the worlds of thrash, death, and heavy metal. Whether you believe him to be the greatest (as I and many others do) or not, you must acknowledge that he changed music forever. Without cliff, I wouldn't be playing guitar, and without guitar, my life would be shit.
      METSOAD
      in a way hetfield is right, he would have approved of some, not all, of the stuff metallica have written since he was taken from us, like fixxer or outlaw torn, nothing else matters, unforgiven, sad but true, my freind of misery, hero of the day, both these new ones, i dissapear, wherever i may roam, everything on justice (apart from the mixing done on that album) bassically everything good that they have
      binjajer
      Rest in Peace, Cliff. Meatllica is not what it used to be without you. In my humble opinion Cliff was one of the most iconic and masterful bassists out there. He will be remebered. Too bad he died so early, kind of reimds me of Shawn Lane. Once again, rest in peace.
      metalmiliita56
      cliff F***king rocked. he made every one of the earlier albums kick ass. justice was the best album they made after he died. black was below average but had one or two decent songs. after that it completely sucked. load was crap. they kind of deteriatted (hope thats spelled right) after cliff died. their new stuff is better than load. hopefully their new album will be better again. R.I.P. Cliff
      And on Justice They still had some of cliffs unwritten material
      cliff4ever
      Everytime i listen to his music, everytime i play his music, it brings a tear to my eye. he is the greatest bassist to ever live. ive never used a pick and use a rickenbacker just like his. i makes me sad that i wasnt alive or even thought of when he died. im 15 and have been playing bass for 3 years. his finger style was great. slap bass is cool, but the fingers are the true way to go. God Bless Cliff Burton, the man that changed the face of metal. R.I.P Cliff (destroy that bass in heaven) CLIFF 'EM ALL