James Hetfield has been the face and voice of Metallica since the very beginning. When fans think of Metallica, it's impossible not to hear Hetfield's signature growl ring through their ears. He embodies all that is mighty Metallica.
The legendary Metallica would never have even come into existence if it wasn't for drummer and co-founder Lars Ulrich. In 1981, Ulrich posted an advertisement in the Los Angeles newspaper 'The Recycler.' He was looking for other musicians to jam with. Because of that ad, history was made.
Guitarist Kirk Hammett first crossed paths with Metallica in the early 1980s with a little band he co-founded known as Exodus. Opening up for Metallica a few times no doubt put Hammett on the band's radar. In 1983, on the heels of the firing of original guitarist Dave Mustaine, Metallica asked Hammett to audition for his spot. After scrounging up some cash to fly from California to New York City -- the first time Hammett left his home state in his life -- it didn't take long for Hammett to become an official member of the rock band.
At first glance, it seems like Robert Trujillo has been with Metallica since day one. He's comfortable with the band during interviews and press conferences, his bass style fits perfectly with the rest of the crew and he absolutely owns the stage when he wants to during live shows. However, he's the newest member of the band, though, jumping on board officially on February 24, 2003. Nearly a decade later, Trujillo has definitely earned his spot with the legendary band.
When discussing the history of Metallica, is there any better decade than the 1980s? Without it, fans wouldn't even have the band, let alone albums like 'Kill 'Em All,' 'Ride the Lightning,' 'Master of Puppets' and '...And Justice for All.' However, with all the things to celebrate in this decade, and there were a lot of ups, there were also more downs than fans would have preferred, from the departure of musicians to the death of a beloved bandmate. Even with all of that, the Metallica that fans know and love today wouldn't be what they are without the '80s.
Riding the success of the 1980s, Metallica made a splash in the following decade with one of the greatest selling albums of all time, the 1991 self-titled disc affectionately known as The Black Album. Mix in a ton of awards here and there, a couple of worldwide tours, their first-ever box set release and a few more studio albums and fans have another decade of nonstop Metallica action.
Rehab, recording delays and the departure of their bassist all made the beginning of this decade a rocky one. Fans were unsure of the future of their favorite band, but fortunately for the world Metallica did what they do best: they overcame any and all obstacles that were in front of them and created new, headbanging music. Metallica won several more awards, released a couple of more albums and toured more and more during the 2000s, making this another historical time period for the band.
This decade isn't even halfway through and Metallica has already made huge waves by collaborating with an unlikely musical partner, creating their own music festival and preparing to dominate Hollywood once again, this time in the form of a 3D movie covering some live performances. What's in store for Metallica this decade? If the first few years are any indication, fans are in for one hell of a ride.
Nine studio albums. Twenty-five music videos. Forty-five singles. Worldwide tour after worldwide tour. When trying to contemplate the magnitude of Metallica's success, several things come to mind. What other band could create their own two-day music festival and shoot a 3D movie in the same year? What other band could experience the ultimate tragedy early in their career and bounce back less than two years later with some of their greatest work? What other band could open themselves up in the most vulnerable of ways in front of movie cameras, release a highly-controversial album and still win Grammy Award after Grammy Award?
In 1986, Metallica faced a significant change in their lives with the death of bassist Cliff Burton in a tour bus accident. Trying to cope with the loss but not slow down with the success of their latest effort 'Master of Puppets,' the band started searching for a new bassist. Soon after the bus accident, Metallica hired Jason Newsted to pick up the bass duties.