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When I get 13 or 14 years old, I get crazy with rock music, like, like, deeply crazy. And one of my favorite bands at that moment was, for example, like - bands like Metallica or Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd and Santana, you know? And then I start to play metal, actually, when I was - at the age of 15.
I went from being a kid-kid, listen to everything from The Beatles through Kiss, Peter Frampton, Jethro Tull classic rock, classic stuff into immediately, it seemed like, Iron Maiden and stuff like that. The first Iron Maiden record and then, obviously, the first Metallica record.
I've worked with all sorts of random people - everybody from Metallica to Britney Spears to Ozzy Osbourne to Michael Jackson to the Beastie Boys. I've got a really strange CV. It's interesting - I work with a lot of these disparate, different people to learn what it's like to work with random people.
There is something powerful in Metallica, a will, a drive.
What's the message in Metallica? There is no message, but if there was a message, it really should be look within yourself, don't listen to me, don't listen to James, don't listen to anybody, look within yourself for the answers.
I'm married to Metallica.
Metallica is a very complicated, fragile thing. On the outside, it's all metal, but on the inside it's very delicate.
There is one Metallica. We have many styles, it's called Metallica.
I didn't like the way I was let go from Metallica.
Megadeth doesn't sound anything like Metallica.
Metallica is a wonderful key to have on my key ring. I can go anywhere - it's great.
I've learned that there's a signature Metallica sound, and if we stray too far from that, our fans get impatient, or they just don't understand, or they miss the point. And I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing; it's just something we have to contend with.
Metallica is like the phoenix rising from the ashes. We set everything on fire, and this is what has risen from it - 'St. Anger' being the fire and 'Death Magnetic' being the phoenix.
On 'Metallica,' I recorded six or seven different guitar solos for almost every song, took the best aspects of each solo, mapped out a master solo and made a composite. Then I learned how to play the composite solo, tightened it up and replayed it for the final version.
As iconic a band as Metallica has become, I think sometimes we forget just how raw they were in the beginning of their career, and to a 15-year-old kid like me, it was just shattering. I mean, it was beyond.
My biggest influences were 1980s punk and metal. Metallica were my biggest influence because they were good at everything - riffs, energy - but with such an ear for melody, it was hard not to get pulled into it and become a fanatic.
Nobody wants to hear Metallica at lunchtime.
Then about 12 years ago it dawned on me that folk music - the music of Woody Guthrie and Phil Ochs, early Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Pete Seeger - could be as heavy as anything that comes through a Marshall stack. The combination of three chords and the right lyrical couplet can be as heavy as anything in the Metallica catalogue.
When I came into Metallica, I had to do justice to Cliff's work, but I also had to put my own signature on it. No one could be Cliff Burton; Cliff Burton was the Jimi Hendrix of bass.
As big as Metallica are, they're still not like a pop act. As big as they are, they're still not U2 or Lady Gaga. It's still underground.
Metallica is going to be one of those bands you look back on in the year 2008, that people will still listen to the way I still listen to Zeppelin and Sabbath albums.
There was this really rock n' roll guy who was very obviously dragged to my concert by his girlfriend. He had tattoos all over, and he was wearing a Metallica T-shirt. He came up to me said it was one of his favorite concerts because I had reached for his heart and dragged it out and put it in front of his face.
If we were to hit the level that Metallica or somebody like that hit, we'd have had a hard time dealing with it. I think it would have been our doom. It's hard for anybody at that level.
As long as it says Metallica on the record it's Metallica.
I've been a fan of Metallica and friends with those guys for a long time and that was just great - half Alice In Chains and half Metallica playing together.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
John F. Kennedy
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