Metallica, Megadeth and Def Leppard guitar techs discuss survival on the road and life 20 feet away from stardom

Chad Zaemisch
Metallica tech Chad Zaemisch (Image credit: Chad Zaemisch)

Metallica’s members performed more than enough hijinks and shenanigans to earn their reputation for alcohol-fuelled hedonism. For the past 16 years, Chad Zaemisch has been along for that ride - just don’t count on him for too many debauched stories from the road. 

While James Hetfield is playing the opening riffs to Nothing Else Matters or Master of Puppets to thousands of adoring fans, Zaemisch is the guy who made sure the guitar was set up, restrung and in tune, that the ever-evolving amp and effects rig was in order, that the wireless system isn’t pulling a Nigel Tufnel and that the metal god is, in general, a happy deity.

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Adam Kovac

Adam is a freelance writer whose work has appeared, aside from Guitar World, in Rolling Stone, Playboy, Esquire and VICE. He spent many years in bands you've never heard of before deciding to leave behind the financial uncertainty of rock'n roll for the lucrative life of journalism. He still finds time to recreate his dreams of stardom in his pop-punk tribute band, Finding Emo.