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Guitarist Lloyd Grant Talks Contribution to Early Version of Metallica’s ‘Hit the Lights’

Today when you think of Metallica guitarists, names like Dave Mustaine and Kirk Hammett probably come to mind. But in the very beginning, a man by the name of Lloyd Grant added his guitar input to Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield‘s first published song, “Hit the Lights.” Grant only played on that one track with the band, but shared the stage with them again in 2011 as part of the group’s 30th anniversary celebration. You can check out a video of that reunion above.

In an interview with Rockzone Legends (listen below), Grant, who was a friend of Lars Ulrich’s, explained how he ended up on “Hit the Lights.” The musician stated, Ulrich “called me and said they were gonna be on this compilation album and he brought over a tape of ‘Hit the Lights’ recorded on a four-track and asked me to make some solos for that, and they were gonna bring the four-track down and they were just gonna put it out and dump it on the compilation album.” You can stream Grant’s full chat with Rockzone below.

The compilation album he’s referring to is Metal Massacre I, and that version of “Hit the Lights” was included on the effort. The track was later part of the band’s demo No Life ‘Til Leather with Dave Mustaine on guitar, as well as their debut album, Kill ‘Em All, with Hammett on guitar.

The Jamaican born musician said that while he was called in at the last minute to add guitar parts to the tune, he was already familiar with it. “We were playing for a long time, and [Ulrich] came down to my place, my apartment, once, and he kept asking me to come by and jam with the band, but I was really busy doing other stuff,” Lloyd continued (as transcribed by Ultimate Classic Rock). “And I went down and played with them – me and him and James [Hetfield]; just the three of us. James was playing bass and I was playing guitar and Lars was playing drums. And we rehearsed that ‘Hit the Lights’ song. But way before that, Lars let me hear that song. We were hanging out watching soccer … and he played this one song, and it was great, and that’s how I first was introduced to ‘Hit the Lights.’ And after that, I went over and jammed a few times.”

Metallica have announced that they’re reissuing their 1982 demo No Life ‘Til Leather on cassette on April 18 in honor of Record Store Day. They’re also set to co-headline Lollapalooza this summer at Chicago’s Grant Park.

Listen to Lloyd Grant’s Interview with Rockzone Legends

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