Metallica is an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles, California. The band was formed in 1981 when vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield responded to an advertisement posted by drummer Lars Ulrich in a local newspaper.
Metallica’s current line-up comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.
Let’s find out some interesting facts about them!
1. Metallica was formed in Los Angeles, California, in late 1981 when Danish-born drummer Lars Ulrich placed an advertisement in a Los Angeles newspaper The Recycler, which read, “Drummer looking for other metal musicians to jam with Tygers of Pan Tang, Diamond Head and Iron Maiden.”
2. Guitarists James Hetfield and Hugh Tanner of Leather Charm answered the advertisement. Although he had not formed a band, Ulrich asked Metal Blade Records founder Brian Slagel if he could record a song for the label’s upcoming compilation album Metal Massacre. Slagel accepted and Ulrich recruited Hetfield to sing and play rhythm guitar.
3. The band was officially formed in October 1981, five months after Ulrich and Hetfield first met.
4. The band’s fast tempos, instrumentals, and aggressive musicianship placed them as one of the founding “big four” bands of thrash metal, alongside Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer.
5. Metallica earned a growing fan base in the underground music community and won critical acclaim with its first four albums; their third album Master of Puppets (1986) was described as one of the most influential and heaviest of thrash metal albums.
6. The band expanded its musical direction and achieved substantial commercial success with its eponymous fifth album Metallica (1991), which resulted in an album that appealed to a more mainstream audience.
7. The album was also their first to debut at number one on the Billboard 200, a success that they also achieved on their following four studio albums.
10. In 2000, Metallica joined with other artists who filed a lawsuit against Napster for sharing the band’s copyright-protected material without consent from the band. A settlement was reached and Napster became a pay-to-use service.
11. The release of St. Anger (2003) alienated fans with the exclusion of guitar solos and the “steel-sounding” snare drum, and a film titled Some Kind of Monster documented the recording of St. Anger and the tensions within the band during that time.
12. The band returned to its original musical style with the release of Death Magnetic (2008), and in 2009, Metallica was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
13. Metallica has released nine studio albums, four live albums, five extended plays, 26 music videos, and 37 singles.
14. The band has won eight Grammy Awards and five of its albums have consecutively debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.
15. The band’s eponymous 1991 album has sold over 16 million copies in the United States, making it the best-selling album of the SoundScan era.
16. Metallica ranks as one of the most commercially successful bands of all time, having sold over 110 million records worldwide.
17. Metallica has been listed as one of the greatest artists of all time by many magazines, including Rolling Stone, which ranked them 61st on its list of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
18. As of December 2012, Metallica is the third-best-selling music artist since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991, selling a total of 54.26 million albums in the U.S.
19. Metallica collaborated over a long period with producer Bob Rock, who produced four of the band’s studio albums between 1990 and 2003 and served as a temporary bassist during the production of St. Anger.
20. In 2012, Metallica formed the independent record label Blackened Recordings and took full ownership of its albums and videos.
21. The band is currently promoting its tenth studio album, Hardwired… to Self-Destruct, which is expected to be released on November 18, 2016.
22. Metallica’s best-selling album is “The Black Album,” 1991. They sold over 15,000,000 records.
23. In 2008, when the album Death Magnetic was released, five of their songs became number one in the Billboards Top 200.
24. Kirk Hammett’s first guitar was a Montgomery Ward catalog special. He plugged it into a shoebox that was packed with a 4-inch speaker.
25. Metallica’s first appearance on an album would be their performance of ‘Hit the Lights’ on Metal Blade’s inaugural compilation, ‘Metal Massacre.’ Their name, however, was misspelled as Mettallica.
26. After recording ‘Kill ‘Em All,’ Kirk Hammett decided to hone his shredding skills by taking lessons from guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani.
27. Germany is the country outside the U.S. that Metallica has played the most in, at exactly 104 concerts.
28. Kirk is married with no children. James is married with three children. Lars is married with one child.
29. Metallica moved to San Francisco from Los Angeles because Cliff, who lived in S.F. didn’t want to relocate.
30. The members of the band love sports. James likes the Raiders, Lars likes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 49ers and San Jose Sharks. Kirk, on the other hand, says he hates sports.
31. The French pressing of 1984’s ‘Ride the Lightning’ featured a misprinted cover. Rather than the standard blue, Bernett Records printed the album with a green cover. Reportedly, there are only 400 green copies in existence.
32. James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich guest starred on the Disney cartoon ‘Dave the Barbarian.’ They voiced two dragons in an episode called ’Here There Be Dragons.’