As Metallica have started to add more dates to their 2012 tour schedule, which -- at least for Europe -- looks to see the band performing their 1991 self-titled album in its entirety, one venue in particular stands out: Statsfængsel.
Inside a wood-panelled Sausalito, California, studio called The Plant, Metallica frontman James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich gaze reflectively at a dust-covered relic sitting in the corner of the room. "This thing's been in the closet for 10 years," says Hetfield. "It was the second guitar I ever owned, and it was the only one I had when we recorded Kill 'Em All." He picks up the cheap, white Flying V copy and begins to pluck out southern rock licks in the vein of Lynyrd Skynyrd. "It still plays pretty good," he beams.
“When we were making our last record, nobody knew who the fuck Kurt Cobain was!” Kirk Hammett, at ease in the lounge of the New York City recording studio where he and the rest of Metallica are rushing to finish their sixth album, Load, is acutely aware of how much the musical climate has changed in the five years since the band put out their last studio recording.
If you're a metal fan, then you're probably already drooling over the 2012 Download Festival, which will see not only the reformed Black Sabbath headlining Sunday night, but Metallica headlining Saturday's festivities as well. A commercial for the event has just been posted online and can be seen below.
Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted appeared on San Francisco's 107.7 The Bone for a lengthy interview during which the bassist discusses his time in Metallica as well as his new band, Papa Wheelie.
While we're not sure about the long-term viability of the holiday, today seems as fitting a time as any to look at 11 essential thrash metal albums that any self-respecting metalhead will have in their record collection.