In a brand new interview with Sara of the Philadelphia radio station 93.3 WMMR, METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett was asked about his “relationship” to the songs on the band’s first two albums, “Kill ‘Em All” and “Ride The Lightning”, which are celebrating their fortieth anniversaries in 2023 and 2024, respectively. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Well, when I listen to those tracks, I’m just kind of blown away when I look back. We were all so young, but we had a very clear vision of what we wanted to do, what we wanted to sound like, how we wanted to execute things, the type of songs we wanted to write. I mean, for as young as we (were), we all had a collective vision and we knew exactly what we wanted, and what we wanted and what we were chasing was very unique. No one else was — well, very few other bands were chasing that same vision. You know, it was us, it was SLAYER, it was ANTHRAX, it was MEGADETH, it was EXODUS, it was OVERKILL, it was TESTAMENT. There’s a lot of bands who were chasing that vision, and we all had kind of like the same vision. But what blows me away about it is we’re all around the same age. I don’t know if that happens these days. You find just a large group of people, a scene where everyone’s just all into the same thing and is supporting each other. And then record companies start going, ‘What’s going on?’ and start getting curious, and next thing you know, all of a sudden there’s a record company in the room and it is signing everyone. And we were all, like, 22, 23 years old. The fact that we got so much done at such a young age just blows me away, because it seems like we had something on our sides — we had some sort of energy, or God was smiling down on us or the universe was pushing us. And thank God, because those two albums, ‘Kill ‘Em All’ and ‘Ride The Lightning’, when they came out, there was nothing like it. And I’m really proud of that… I’m actually blown away when I look back at it. When we were making those albums and touring behind them, we just kind of took it for granted. It was just, like, ‘All right, we did that. Let’s go on to the next thing.’ We never like sat down and really thought about the accomplishment that we made. And so, 40 years later, I’m able to do that and I’m able to go, ‘Man, we really pulled something off and we were just kind of blasé about it,’ you know?”
Originally issued on July 25, 1983 through the independent label Megaforce Records, “Kill ‘Em All” was recorded in two weeks on a miniscule budget in upstate New York. Although only 1,500 copies were initially pressed, the album was reissued by Elektra Records after the band signed to that label in 1984 and has since been certified triple platinum for sales of more than three million copies.
The varied sounds of “Ride The Lightning”, which included the first METALLICA ballad in “Fade To Black”, drew mixed responses from some fans. The band’s drummer, Lars Ulrich, told Rolling Stone magazine: “It did surprise us a little bit, I guess. People started calling us sellouts and all that type of stuff. Some people were a little bit bewildered by the fact that there was a song that had acoustic guitars.”
Noting that at least four songs from the album are still part of METALLICA‘s live set today, Ulrich said that “Ride The Lightning” “holds up very well,” adding, “There’s kind of a youthful energy that runs through the record.”
METALLICA‘s “M72” world tour, which launched in late April in Amsterdam, sees the band playing two nights in every city it visits — with each “No Repeat Weekend” featuring two completely different setlists and support lineups. The “M72” tour features a bold new in-the-round stage design that relocates the famed METALLICA Snake Pit to center stage, as well as the “I Disappear” full-tour pass and the debut of discounted tickets for fans under 16 years of age.
“M72”, named after “72 Seasons”, includes “takeover” events taking place during weekends in the New York City area, Montreal, Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, St. Louis and Detroit. Those events include film fests, pop-up stores, Ross Halfin book signings, tribute bands, special performances by friends and family, and more.
METALLICA‘s two-night stand at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas later this month will be livestreamed to movie theaters across the globe. It will mark METALLICA‘s first appearance in Texas since November 2021, when the band played before, during and after a Triad Combat event at Globe Life Field.
METALLICA last played AT&T Stadium in June 2017.