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Trivia / Metallica

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For the Band:

  • Approval of God: James Hetfield is aware that the US military has used some of Metallica's music for torture, and seems relatively relaxed about it.
  • Big Name Fan: Robert Trujillo is a fan of legendary jazz fusion bassist Jaco Pastorius, owning his "bass of doom"note  and making a movie about him.
  • Black Sheep Hit:
    • "Nothing Else Matters", a Power Ballad that holds the title as the only love song Metallica has ever put out. It reached number 11 on the Billboard mainstream rock tracks and is still frequently played on rock radio stations.
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    • "The Unforgiven II." Released as a single and had a music video made for it, and played on the radio regularly. Only ever played live once, at the Billboard Music Awards in 1997.
    • The band finally dusted the song off again in late May and early June 2015 for shows in Germany and Italy.
  • Chart Displacement: Their only top ten hit on Billboard, as well as their first song to top the Rock charts, is "Until It Sleeps", which isn't even the best known song of the Load\ReLoad era (that would be "Fuel", which only hit #6 in the Rock chart).
  • Content Leak: An demo version of the song "I Disappear" (their contribution to the Mission: Impossible II soundtrack) leaked to radio before it was officially released. It was traced back to the file sharing site Napster, thus causing the band to file the infamous lawsuit against the service.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • In a 2009 interview, Hetfield was asked about the Load period. He revealed that Lars and Kirk were largely responsible for their image change starting with Load. He accordingly hated the cover art (which he labeled a "piss-take" and said Lars and Kirk went with it to annoy him), Anton Corbijn's photos (he said he rejected at least half of them, and said the ones where Lars and Kirk were kissing were intended to annoy him), and agreed that they were musically "unsure" in that period. Despite this, he has said that "Bleeding Me" was lyrically his favorite Metallica song (if not necessarily his favorite song across the board).
    • He also doesn't like "Don't Tread on Me", and in the infamous Playboy interview of 2001 also expressed disappointment with "Of Wolf and Man" and "Through the Never", calling them "a little wacky".
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    • St. Anger got this too, though they said it was necessary due to... see the Music tab.
  • Creator Breakdown:
    • Documented in Some Kind of Monster, with St. Anger as its testament.
    • Their fourth album, ...And Justice For All, is possibly their most aggressive. It was their first album after original bassist Cliff Burton was killed in a bus accident; his replacement, Jason Newsted, was pretty much mixed out of the album altogether.
    • Their 1984 ballad, "Fade to Black", was written after the band's equipment was stolen after a concert in Boston, including James' prized and rare Marshall amplifier.
      • Which his mom gave him soon before she died of cancer. His mother's death has been a key inspiration to much of his music, most prominently in "The God That Failed" from Metallica, and "Mama Said" and "Until It Sleeps" from Load.
  • Defictionalization: The final level of the game Guitar Hero: Metallica (published in early 2009) features the band playing in Antarctica. In December of 2013 Metallica actually would perform a concert in Antarctica.
  • Fan Nickname: The Four Horsemen, which comes from their song of the same name. Possibly also the Lords of Summer, if the song of the same name is any indication.
    At last the thawing has begun
    Come trade your darkness for the sun
    Melting the chill of winter's turn
    So celebrate and let your fires burn
    The Lords of Summer have returned!
  • Fatal Method Acting: Barely averted by Hetfield when he got too close to a column of phosphorus flame and was almost burned alive on-stage (his guitar actually shielded him from most of the flames). See Great Balls of Fire!, too.
  • He Also Did: James Hetfield sang the song "Hell Isn't Good" from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Death Magnetic is a particularly notable example due to the Loudness War problems with the commercial version and the complete absence of any such issues with the Guitar Hero III version. Many people who find the original completely unlistenable have no problems with the GH3 version. This has become less essential since the release of the 2016 remaster, which is fairly dynamic by contemporary standards (although it's still slightly clipped).
  • Money, Dear Boy: One of the reasons for The Black Album and the band changing their style to appeal to a bigger audience. While they may have wanted to stick to thrash and progressive and keep their fan base small, eventually making sure they would keep eating and continue to have roofs over their heads became more important. The band have however disputed that this was their main reason for the change: James and Lars were quite vocal about their dissatisfaction with how long the songs on ...And Justice for All were and how the audience responded to them live, with James mentioning in an interview that the band had on previous albums deliberately ramped up the intricate songwriting and multiple sections in response to their own "musical insecurity".
  • Old Shame:
    • In Some Kind of Monster, they acknowledge Load and Reload as this.
    • Lars admits to misjudging people's reaction about Napster, also, and regretting it.
    • The band themselves seem to agree their treatment of Jason is this, considering the immense hell the poor guy dealt with for 14 years for the sole fact he wasn't Cliff.
  • The Pete Best: Ron McGovney.
    • Dave Mustaine is a subversion. He was kicked out of the band right before they recorded their first album, but he then went on to form his own band, Megadeth, whose success has rivaled Metallica's.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • Jason, who was a fan of the band before being hired as the new bassist, and became famous as part of his new gig. Unfortunately for him, the rest of the band never let him forget that he was, first and foremost, Cliff's replacement.
    • Also true for Robert, though less so, as he came to the group with his own professional history (Suicidal Tendencies, playing bass with Ozzy Osbourne on tour) and a more even footing.
  • Referenced by...: "Four Horsemen" plays when Archangel is "born" in X-Men: Apocalypse.
  • Streisand Effect: Lars Ulrich's attempts to shut down Napster actually encouraged many people to illegally download Metallica songs; even people who didn't like the music still downloaded it just to spite Lars.
  • Throw It In!: "(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth" starts with Cliff calmly announcing "Bass solo, take 1".
    • According to Word of God, it was actually around take seven and they only said that to let people know it was a bass solo.
  • The Wiki Rule: Metallica Wiki
  • Troubled Production: Metallica to a certain extent. St. Anger to a greater extent.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Before he died, Cliff Burton was leading the band into a progressive direction. One can only wonder how far they would have gone into Progressive Metal had Cliff not died. They were already moving in that direction by Master of Puppets because thrash in general was moving in that direction (Megadeth and Slayer had foreshadowed it with Peace Sells and Hell Awaits; additionally, newer acts like Forbidden, Heathen, Blind Illusion, and Watchtower were also setting the stage for a flashier, more musically complex direction in the genre); additionally, it's possible that Cliff may not have even stayed and very well may have jumped ship for another act or started a new project.
    • Similarly, Hammett and Burton were actually looking to fire Ulrich after the Master of Puppets touring cycle had concluded, as there is some evidence to suggest that they had grown annoyed with his stagnating ability and wanted a more technically proficient drummer, which would have allowed them to make even more complex music. Burton's death killed this plan, but they definitely would have been a far different band with a different drummer.
    • Also, on S&M, both "No Leaf Clover" and "-Human" had a unique sound to them. They were still rock, like Load and ReLoad, but without the blues and country elements. They were a lot heavier, more technical and had a darker, almost hopeless atmosphere to them. As with the example above, they may have continued in this more musically mature and progressive direction if not for their subsequent Creator Breakdown.
    • Les Claypool, a personal friend of Kirk Hammett, once auditioned to be Metallica's newest bassist after Burton's death, but he was turned down, because, according to Hetfield, "he was too good" and that he should "do his own thing". Claypool would later form Primus. In a later interview, Claypool said that he wasn't much of a metal fan and wasn't the right person for the job.
    • Hulk Hogan claimed that he was almost in Metallica. "Bass solo, take 1, brother!"
    • James Hetfield had asked John Bush of Armored Saint (later for Anthrax) to take over for lead vocals, even after Kill 'Em All was recorded and released. Bush declined, wanting to stay with Armored Saint, who were comprised of childhood friends. Thirty years later he did join them briefly on stage to sing "The Four Horsemen".
    • Metallica nearly had their own video game. "Damage Inc". was going to be a game set in a grim Mad Max-esque future where players spend most of their time just driving around listening to heavy metal. Not only was the game going to be chock-full of Metallica tunes, but leaked concept art indicates that the band members themselves were going to be denizens of this barren future wasteland.
    • The band wanted to release a box set for their No Life Till Leather demo tape, even inviting Dave Mustaine to participate, but this was shelved after Dave took issue with Lars wanting credit for two songs he fully wrote. The songs are presumably Mechanix and Jump in the Fire, which James and Lars re-wrote for Kill 'em All (the former re-titled Four Horsemen).

For the Pinball game based on the band:

  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • Before doing the artwork on Stern's Metallica pinball, "Dirty" Donny Gillies, a freelance artist, had previously customized an Earthshaker! pinball game into a Metallica game for the band.
    • Similarly, designer John Borg was a longtime Metallica fan long before he got to develop the pinball game.


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