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Tim Henson reveals he's never heard Metallica's Black Album – much to the amazement of Tosin Abasi and Misha Mansoor

Rick Beato, Tosin Abasi, Tim Henson and Misha Mansoor
(Image credit: Rick Beato/YouTube)

One of music’s most beloved YouTubers and educators, Rick Beato, has shared a modern guitar summit with three of today’s most influential guitarists, Tosin Abasi, Tim Henson and Misha Mansoor.

The foursome’s 40-minute discussion – which you can watch below – is a fascinating overview of guitar’s position in modern music, but it contains one surprise admission in particular that really got the conversation flowing.

During an opening discussion of artists selling out, Metallica – and, naturally, their haircuts – comes up. Yet when Abasi brings up the subject of artists compromising their music to be more popular, Beato poses the question, “Did Metallica do that on the Black Album?”

Mansoor is quick to shoot down the suggestion, before Henson responds, “I’ve never heard it” – a revelation that results in sheer disbelief from his fellow conversationalists.

Upon further inquisition, Henson does admit to having heard Enter Sandman – although not Nothing Else Matters or Sad But True – and his favorite Metallica riff is… Some Kind of Monster. He even likes the St. Anger snare.

“My dad wasn’t a Metallica fan – that’s why I’ve never heard it,” Henson explains. “I started on playing the things that my dad showed me, so that’s what I fell in love with: Hendrix and Black Sabbath.”

Beato, Abasi and Mansoor do propose Henson puts out a reaction video to his first listen of the album, however, so there’s hope that he may yet experience Hetfield and Hammett’s chart-smashing masterpiece.

Henson is one of today’s most forward-thinking guitar players, not just in terms of playing and technique, but also tone and composition, and his idiosyncratic style eschews many traditional “boomer-ish” guitar conventions.

Given their supreme influence on the next generation of players, it’s a kinship you’d think all three players shared, but as it turns out, that’s not quite the case.

Later in the discussion, Abasi posits, “I think everyone in these chairs right now feels a sense of a need to contribute something new to the canon of music.”

“I disagree with you,” Mansoor responds. “I don’t care about being original. I’m chasing something much more selfish, which is abstract, but I know when I reach it. It’s just something that feels a certain way. Originality is a byproduct, and it was never a concern. I was ripping off Meshuggah before it was cool.”

We know we lured you in with the headline, but we would thoroughly recommend watching the 40-minute discussion in its entirety, as it spans a number of fascinating subjects, including fear of music theory, the democratization of music instrumentation and production, and Tosin Abasi’s first experience hearing Mansoor’s original Bulb material (on MySpace, natch).

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is editor-in-chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He's spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, and a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.