This year marks the 30th anniversary of Metallica’s “The Black Album.” With its continuing arc of record releases, Metallica has reigned as one of the best heavy metal acts in the world. To appreciate their career, celebrate “The Black Album’s” history and its newly mastered re-release, the band has partnered with Amazon to present “The Metallica Podcast: Volume 1 – The Black Album.”
This series, a “living, breathing sonic blender of a podcast,” will delve into the album’s classic tracks like “Enter Sandman” and “Nothing Else Matters.” Listeners will hear stories from Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, and Kirk Hammett as they explore their nascent beginnings as outsiders that translated into a lifelong dedication to the band. Music clips are played throughout the episodes, listeners also learn how they came into their sound, how the songs developed over time, and what happens on tour – and why Lars has been deemed the most business-savvy band member from day one.
Metallica considers the success of “The Black Album” and believes there are several core reasons for its longevity: their alignment of ideas, a quintessential lineup of songs, working with producer Bob Rock, and harnessing the band’s drive for music and success.
The band speaks about the concept of “#goals.” Their present goal, and past ones, even when first starting the band was not to have any. To rather have fun and embrace every day through new experiences with friends.
At first, guitarist James had trouble finding fellow musicians to play with and convinced friends through delegation to jam along. The group started out as friends wanting to belong to something greater than themselves, creating a space to share mutual experiences. Through Metallica, the bandmates created a group that fostered safety and strength in numbers. They also realized how much they enjoyed creating together.
In 1984, heavy metal was more of an underground scene in California. The band explains how the term “heavy metal” got a bad rep, and they originally didn’t want to be lumped into the sweeping generalizations the genre seemed to encompass. Eventually, the thrash metal Bay Area Music Scene evolved, and Metallica were at the forefront. The rest is history, as told in the podcast with over 40 guests, including Metallica’s former bassist, Jason Newsted.
To coincide with the podcast and album’s re-release, Metallica called upon an array of musicians to cover songs from “The Black Album.” Re-imaginings of songs include Miley Cyrus/WATT/Elton John/Yo Yo Ma’s “Nothing Else Matters,” Weezer’s “Enter Sandman,” and St. Vincent’s “Sad But True.”
8 episodes are slated for release. Tune in for new, weekly episodes to hear more about “The Black Album.”