For decades, everyone has been asking which band(s) will be the next Metallica and Papa Roach's Jacoby Shaddix says they're already here, naming his own band and two others as artists who fit the bill.

First of all, what does "the next Metallica" even mean?

The genesis of what that idea constitutes has certainly changed over the years as Metallica's popularity remarkably keeps growing. Generally, Metallica are regarded as the biggest gateway band in heavy music, meaning they're the band someone who is not a big fan of rock or metal tends to gravitate to first, later going deeper to discover other heavy bands.

Their growth in popularity is largely a result of accumulating new generations of fans, which is the case for countless other rock and metal bands who have begun to play bigger and bigger venues the longer their career continues.

Shaddix's reasoning appears to be along the same wavelength, acknowledging in an interview with Iowa's Lazer 103.3 that Metallica are breathing particularly rare air.

"We're watching Metallica step into that Rolling Stones spot right now. And Foo Fighters are another one of those groups," Shaddix notes (transcription via Blabbermouth), aware that these two acts in particular are worldwide cultural icons in their own regard, superseding rock and metal entirely.

READ MORE: Papa Roach's Jacoby Shaddix - My 10 Favorite Albums When I Was a Teenager

With the nu-metal revival in full bloom, Shaddix realizes that merging other styles of music with rock/metal has been a boon to the overall popularity of heavy music.

"And Korn, Papa Roach [and] Deftones, we're like the next Metallicas," he continues, "You know what I mean? That's it. We're stepping into that spot now. It just comes to, I guess, being able to survive the treachery of this rock 'n' roll life. And if you can do that and still continue to create good art and good music, then we can get into that space."

At the surface level, naming anyone as the next Metallica almost feels like an exercise in futility because when it comes to numbers, very few musical acts in history can even reasonably be compared to Metallica. But, digging deeper into what "the next Metallica" means for the scene on the whole, Shaddix's points are fair and valid — Korn, Papa Roach and Deftones are all big-time headlining acts, capable of bringing up younger artists and ensuring the survival of this style of music we all know and love.

Watch the full interview below.

Papa Roach's Jacoby Shaddix, Interview With Lazer 103.3

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