Jason Newsted: The So What! …AJFA Interview
Steffan Chirazi sits down with Jason Newsted to reflect on his time in the band during the Justice-era.Read More
When Master of Puppets came out, James Hetfield was a care-free, rampaging rager of a young man. Pedal to the metal? Oh I’d say so. I knew him back then from our interactions when I was a Sounds reporter. I attended some of the mixing sessions for the MOP album. But like every other metal-fanatic at the time, as I soaked up and thrashed out to the likes of “Disposable Heroes” and “…(Sanitarium),” I took them at face value. Most of the words on MOP are angry. They’re delivered with ferocity and a clear intent to hit hard and to hit true.
Meeting first responders (those firemen and women who were first on the scene to fight the fires and offer relief effort) as the boys did pre-show would certainly have reinforced the already deeply-felt determination to hurl every last ounce of performance and delivery into the audience.
With only one week remaining until the release of Master of Puppets (Remastered), take a look behind the scenes as told by the people who made it all come together.
Nov 1, 2017The Birthplace of Heavy Metal Hails Metallica
The Greater Birmingham area... Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Diamond Head, a fair deal of Led Zeppelin... this is a heavy metal heritage site! So yes, there was an extra twinge of excitement at Metallica taking the Genting Arena (more of a large, imposing and raw barn like structure) and making it theirs for the first time in nine long years.
Oct 29, 2017FIFTH MEMBER REPORTS: MANCHESTER EDITION
What can I say? After 20 years’ worth of Metallica gig attendance, there’s always a risk that one day I'm going to turn up and at the end of a show think, “This is the beginning of the end,” and walk away with a heavy but grateful heart for what the band have meant to me over the years. Well folks, if tonight is anything to go by, this is still the beginning.
Oct 27, 2017FIFTH MEMBER REPORTS: GLASGOW EDITION
I love Glasgow it's one of my favourite cities in the world. I love Metallica they are my favourite band in the world. So the fact I've never seen the mighty M north of the English border is a bit of a funny one. That anomaly was put right tonight.
Oct 22, 2017LONDON CALLING... AND RECEIVING!!!! - O2 NIGHT ONE
I have a confession to make. After yesterday’s rehearsal, I firmly thought that tonight’s WorldWired-last-leg-of-2017 first date at the O2 in London might be a bit slack. I assumed it would end up being a tad ropey, y’know, still good and decent, but perhaps nothing to write home (or even to you!) about. Assumptions. Making them can end up making an ass out of you…
Oct 20, 2017TAIT-ED LOVE - A Chat with James “Winky” Fairorth
TAIT is listed in a google search as a “machining manufacturer,” but as if to underscore how t’internet can never be trusted as an accurate source, that woefully undersells a company which helps design, constructs, and delivers live productions. It is the company which has realized Metallica’s adventurous live designs for over two decades, and TAIT manages such matters for many of the world’s most famous acts including U2, Madonna, Kanye, and Justin Timberlake. They do it from a small town in Pennsylvania, Lititz, and the chances are you will have absolutely no idea how much of their work you have actually witnessed.
If you really are what you eat, you will have noticed that Metallica must be one of the best nourished, fittest, and healthiest beasts on the planet. And a good deal of that is because of the band’s personal chef, Simon Mitchell, of UK-based Rockpool Tour Catering.
It is very (and I mean very) easy to take Big Mick for granted. I certainly have done so for decades. A wave, a hello, a wink toward the bacon tray (Mick loves a good bacon sandwich) and that vibe of brotherly familiarity. A lot of great history. But it is what he does with Metallica’s front of house sound that is at once so finitely excellent yet also taken completely and utterly for granted. Big Mick’s approach mirrors that of Metallica to their work and the two have a language and understanding that in many ways make him a “band member” – such is his synergy and importance with, and to, the band.
For over two decades, show designer and director Dan Braun has been helping to conceive, create, and execute Metallica’s exciting and inspirational live productions. Steffan Chirazi discusses the WorldWired production with a man who insists he is only one piece of the puzzle.
Sometimes our So What! updates come laden with specific aims and goals. Sometimes we just happen to be able to grab one of the guys and get an instant take on a moment unfolding. Thus during the production rehearsal week in Copenhagen, I had a chance to ask James what he thought of everything as he first saw it. It was probably a 10 minute chat at most. And here it is.
Sep 27, 2017ROADWIRED TO SUCCEED
By now, it is clear that once again Metallica is showing hundreds of thousands of fans globally that it’s one of the very best live bands on the planet. That isn’t hyperbole; it’s fact.
What is also “fact” is that there is an enormous team of people who help every show come together and enable Lars, James, Kirk, and Rob to deliver. From the vendor supplying scaffolding to the lighting director to the stage designer to the riggers to the take-your-pick, there is a tangible army out there who between them span 24 hours a day, seven days a week making sure that the show most certainly goes on.
“…I got chills when I saw it; my 13 year old inner-child was going crazy!”
Jon-Michael Marino, the manager and coordinator of CID Entertainment’s WorldWired Tour Enhanced Experiences, is telling me about the moment he first saw Cliff Burton’s famous Aria bass.
“And the handwritten lyrics,” he quickly follows-up, “I love those…”
Sep 16, 2017Fifth Member Reports: Köln Edition, Night 1
So here we are, at the end of the first run of Europe shows…Cologne…packed with 18.500 die hard Metallica fans in Germany’s biggest indoor arena on a Thursday night. Waiting over a year to hear some new stuff from Hardwired… live in Germany… and then all expectations are met within the first song… “Hardwired”… the best opener for years, pure energy! People around me start singing, smiling and screaming… yes, you know that you are at the right place when you see so many familiar faces from around the world… and this is, right now, the best place to be!!