Metallica turns double adult – 36 years (which is 2×18). And today I want to share with you 36 rare facts about Metallica: about their songs, shows, the band’s history in general – stuff that goes far beyond Wikipedia. Join us here to stay updated.
Some of these facts went from my personal observations (ya know, I’m nerd), so you probably will not find that shit anywhere else.
If your knowledge of Metallica is a bit deeper than basic, if you know what’s ‘wha-na-na’ and ‘I am the table’ – this video is for you. But even if you’re a newcomer, it’s not going be a problem.
So, let’s get to it: 36 things you might not know about Metallica.
- ‘The new Metallica’ bassist Roberto Trujillo has already spent with the band almost 15 years. The day when he will outlast Jason is May 15th, 2018.
- Although Jason left the band on January 17th 2001, he took the decision a few months earlier when James made it clear: no side projects. It was September 27th 2000, exactly 14 years after the loss of Cliff.
- ‘Bass solo. Take one.’ – this phrase has become legendary. But in fact, Cliff recorded 6 or 7 takes, each being completely different.
- ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ intro is leading bass, you do know it. But not many know, there are 3 different bass tracks in there: low (following guitars), high (main lead), and extra-high (tapped harmonics, often counted as a guitar overdub). You can download Metallica bass tabs here.
- Btw, the bell sound was not a bell nor another bass effect. That’s an anvil.
- You all remember how Robert smashed everybody with his flamenco, that gave birth to ‘All Nightmare Long’. But swapping instruments is a normal thing in Metallica’ songwriting process. For example, James wrote the bass riff from ‘Devil’s Dance’ and insisted to keep it that way. Of course, there’s guitar stuff by Cliff. And also Lars could come up with melodies orally.
- What Lars did on ‘And Justice for All’ has inspired many. But actually, Flemming Rasmussen had to make lots of tiny cut-and-glue’s there, to even out his drumming.
- Kirk’s only duty (up to Load) was recording his solos. That’s why there’s no Hammett on ‘Nothing Else Matters’: everything that’s guitar was on James. It’s funny that there’re no lead parts on St. Anger, but Kirk participated in every song there. At least, he tried.
- Metallica didn’t have much time to polish ‘Orion’ because they got it together right before recording. Basically, they had only the interlude, and a couple of Cliff’s sketches that later made up the first section.
- The final bass solo from ‘Orion’ was actually an extension of Kirk’s part. Cliff changed it a bit, wrote harmonies, and adjusted to his bass.
- THE CENSORED FACT! Here’s what James told about how they picked girls in 80s: “Lars would charm them, talk his way into their pants. Kirk had a baby face that was appealing to the girls. And Cliff – he had a big dick. Word got around about that, I guess.” There you go)) Turned out that Cliff had not only a huge middle finger))
- The working title of The Black Album was ‘Married To Metal’. You know, that’s because Lars, Kirk and Jason got divorced in the process of making it.
- In 1993, Metallica planned an EP to conclude the huge tour in support of The Black Album. This EP could’ve been titled ‘Nowhere Else To Fucking Roam… Nothing Else To Fucking Play’.
- Speaking of touring, Metallica has visited more states and territories than practically any other artist – 63 (~1/3 of all), including China and Antarctica. Only restless Scorpions beat them with 72 countries.
- Metallica had two the most distant performances in North-South direction: Carlini base show in Antarctica (2013) was the Southernmost, and live Tuktoyaktuk in Canada (1995) – the Northernmost. The distance between these places is 134 degrees! (max is 180 – between poles)
- Minor dominates heavy. Thereby, a metal song in major key happens very rare. Metallica used it a few times, for example, in Hero of the Day, Low Man’s Lyrics, ManUNkind and Damage Inc intros.
- Cliff adored classical music and played around it. Guys heard those variations, and proposed to use them in songs. This is how ‘Fight Fire with Fire’ intro came up: it’s Cliff’s variation on ‘Minuet in G’ from XVII century.
- Variation that became ‘Damage Inc.’ intro turned out less recognizable: it’s based on Bach’s etude ‘Come Sweet Death’.
- Load’s album design was the first which all members of the band contributed to. For example, it was Kirk’s idea of the artwork, and he proposed to name it ‘The Delicate Sounds of Metallica’. Now I see why Lars and James used to be in charge of everything.
- ‘2х4’ was initially just a working title of the song which meant ‘2 riffs played 4 times in a row’.
- There’s only one Metallica song featuring slap. Although Rob Trujillo is the funk boss, this technique was used by Jason Newsted in ‘Cure’. He confirmed this in one interview, so it’s no more just a guess.
- Load was, perhaps, the most innovative Metallica record: slide guitar in ‘Ain’t My Bicth’, slap in ‘Cure’, fretless bass in ‘Until It Sleeps’, electric organ in ‘Bleeding Me’, major key in ‘Hero of the Day’, talkbox solo in ‘The House Jack Built’, Kirk’s rhythm parts… Nevertheless, drums innovations were yet to come.
- ‘Bleeding Me’ is now considered a classic in Metallica’s discography. But the first amount of times it was played, some fans were faking throwing up as a sign of rejection to the change in sound and style.
- After ‘Garage Inc’, Metallica was asked a lot about what their next record’s gonna sound like. James had just become a father, so they assumed that he would write brighter lyrics. They joked that the next album would be about flowers and puppies. Yeah, sure…
- For many years James told that his favorite album was ‘Ride the Lightning’.
- S&M happened two more times after an epic San Francisco performance. They teamed up with an orchestra again in November 1999, in Berlin and New York.
- Only one of 94 members of San Francisco orchestra turned out to be a Metallica fan. It was a tattooed harpist who, can you believe it, sometimes played with a pick.
- Nobody in Metallica had a clue about 5 time signatures in Master of Puppets, until Michael Kamen told them. As Jason said, ‘We just knew it like ‘chika-chika-chika-chika’.
- Total amount of riffs in Metallica songs – about 660 (plus-minus 40 due to lots of variations). So, an average Metallica tune contains 5-6 riffs.
- The most riffed Metallica record was St. Anger – 85 in total, 8 per song.
- The least riff-loaded albums were Load/Reload – 55 in total (each), 4 per song.
- On studio recordings, James said ‘yeah’ around 150 times.
- And ‘fuck’ with its derivatives – 23 times
- (plus a hidden one in Bell Tolls, perhaps, by Cliff)
- Metallica has the biggest following on Facebook among metal bands – 37 million likes of their official page. Most of them are from US, Latin America, Europe, Canada and Australia. After some calculations, I found out that a new Metallifan is born every 12 minutes roughly.
- And, finally, what does the word ‘Metallica’ actually mean? In Latin and Italian, it is the feminine form of the adjectives ‘metallicus’ and ‘metallico’ respectively, which basically means exactly that – ‘metallic, metal’. And if to literally translate ‘metal band’ to modern Italian, it’s ‘banda metallica’ (just a wordplay, take it easy)). They were meant to become the greatest.
Thanks for reading/watching. It’s Andriy Vasylenko. #BeInMetal \m/