Most music lovers avoid heavy metal like the plague. They can’t stand the frightening riffs, demonic vocals, and dark lyrics. For those few souls who can handle it there is one group that is universally adored: Metallica. For 34 years the band has thrived at the forefront of heavy metal. Here are the 4 things they have done since 1981 to become the giant they are today:
1) Tour until you don’t need to rehearse – When asked about Metallica’s preparation for tours, drummer Lars Ulrich said, “we’re generally pretty played in. We don’t disappear for so long that we have to work ourselves back into touring shape.” Yeah, Metallica has been touring so frequently for so long that they don’t even have to practice. No wonder they’re known around the world.
2) Use creativity to change the status quo – Metallica entered the scene playing so fast that they kick-started a whole new subgenre of metal – “thrash metal”. Through the years they’ve continued to expand metal’s possibilities with political songs, ballads, collaborations, and covers.
3) Be unpredictable – In all facets of their own history Metallica has, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not, kept fans guessing. They’ve had fights with each other, fights with other bands, swapped members, and reinvented their image from one album to the next. Regardless of whether they’ve pleased listeners, there’s no doubt they’ve created opinions. As Lars says, “It’s better that people have an opinion than no opinion.”
4) Focus on your music – There is no doubt that Metallica is full of some of the greatest musicians to grace popular music. Songs like Master of Puppets are musical masterpieces amateurs spend their whole lives mastering. James Hetfield has been able to write captivating tunes throughout the years because of his dedication to mastering his instrument, lyric writing, and song composition.
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