Metallica: From a Garage to Seven Continents
On the 8th of December, 2013, Metallica set a world record when they performed in Antarctica and became the first and only band in history to perform concerts on all seven continents in under a year!
Rewind almost 40 years from today, and like quite a few bands starting from a garage; Metallica's origin story is ditto. The band was born on the 28th of October, 1981 when guitarist/singer James Hetfield answered drummer Lars Ulrich's newspaper ad in Los Angeles, California. Soon, they recruited Ron McGovney, Hetfield's friend and housemate to play base; followed by Dave Mustaine to play lead guitar.
For the initial period, the band spent much of its time playing in the garage, where they even penned down some of their classic albums "Kill 'Em All" as well as "Master of Puppets".
And despite relocating to a considerably larger practice space, the garage has its own share of importance in the band's history. Reason enough for them to namecheck on the 1987's The $5.98 E.P.—Garage Days Re-Revisited and the 1998 covers album Garage Inc.
Over the years, the band has seen its share of change when it comes to its band members. They have found themselves replacing McGovney with an ace bassist in the form of Cliff Burton from the band Trauma, in 1982. Dave Mustaine being replaced by Kirk Hammett of Exodus, because of the former's drunken misdemeanour, in 1983. Cliff Burton's untimely demise and the addition of Jason Newsted from Flotsam & Jetsam, in 1986. And the 'newest member' Robert Trujillo joined them in 2003 after Newsted parted ways in 2001.
The reason why Metallica has seen the test of time, and come out the other side with an excelling result, is how they have adapted to change. One might even say that they are no longer the heavy, thrash metal band that they were during their yesteryears but, they instead of simply locking onto one identifiable style, they have radically changed the direction of an entire genre, multiple times over time.
While this move may be at a risk of alienating their fan base, they are still playing stadiums at full capacity.
In one of the interviews, even Hammett agreed that there were only a handful of bands left that were on a level that is similar to what they were back in the day. That is simply because of their desire to expand and evolve their sound.
In fact, the band's last album "Hardwired…To Self-Destruct" that released on 18th of November, 2016 has been widely raved to be the best thing that they have done since "The Black Album"; with the critics stating it that, "Metallica has galvanised, refreshed, refocused and rediscovered themselves". Rightly so.
As Metallica embarks on its next leg of the "WorldWired" Tour, it sure feels like it is 1993 all over again.