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  • Episode 32: Frank Bello & David Ellefson

    Frank Bello (ANTHRAX) and David Ellefson (MEGADETH) live from the Musicians Institute, part of the MI Conversation Series presented by Loudwire and Ultimate Classic Rock. In this wide ranging conversation with Ryan J. Downey and the audience Q&A that followed, the two Big 4 bassists talk about their band together, Altitudes & Attitudes, meeting for the first time while on tour in their respective bands, and the early days of thrash. Frankie does the best impression of Gene and Paul from KISS ever, both guys remember Alice In Chains opening for the first US "Clash of the Titans," David talks about the influence of original Metallica bassist Ron McGovney, and both men share thoughtful reflections on the late Cliff Burton. 

  • Episode 31: Joe Satriani

    Kirk's guitar teacher! Recorded live as part of the MI Conversation Series at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California, presented by Loudwire and Ultimate Classic Rock. This is an in-depth (and at times very emotional discussion) about his life and career. Joe talks about switching from drums to guitar as a kid; jazz music; teaching his neighbor, Steve Vai; recording and releasing his classic records; his songwriting process; and working with a young Mr. Hammett as the Bay Area badass figured out what to do in Metallica.

  • Episode 30: Christopher Swinney

    Christopher Swinney is the former guitarist for gold-selling pop punk band The Ataris, host of That One Time On Tour podcast, and of course, a massive Metallica fan.

  • Episode 29: Dennis Lyxzén

    Refused frontman Dennis Lyxzén performed "Whiplash" with Mikkey Dee (King Diamond, Motörhead, Scorpions) and a cellist at last year's Polar Music Prize ceremony, in front of Lars, Rob, and the King and Queen of Sweden. Dennis tells stories from that night, talks about meeting Metallica when International Noise Conspiracy shared a stage with them, his love for the early Metallica records, and even his respect for Lulu. 

  • Episode 28: Jonas Åkerlund

    Filmmaker and music video director Jonas Åkerlund on the Metallica videos "ManUNkind," "Whiskey in the Jar," and "Turn the Page," as well as his new film about the early days of Norwegian black metal. Before he made award-winning music videos with Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, U2, and Paul McCartney, the Swedish born filmmaker was the drummer for Bathory. His first music video was for the song "Bewitched" by his friends in Candlemass. LISTEN.

  • Beyond the Black

    Episode 27 guest Tommy Rogers confessed that, like some fans, he dropped out of the Metallica game after the Black Album. I told Tommy I'd get him a my specialty curated playlist of post-Black Album Metallica tracks to discover. Not all of these are officially released and/or readily available versions.

    • "THE OUTLAW TORN" (Unencumbered By Manufacturing Restrictions version)
    • "BLEEDING ME" (Load)
    • "KING NOTHING" (Load)
    • "THE MEMORY REMAINS" (Reload)
    • "FIXXER" (Reload)
    • "MINUS HUMAN" (unreleased studio version)
    • "LOW MAN'S LYRIC" (Reload)
    • "NO LEAF CLOVER" (S&M)
    • "ALL WITHIN MY HANDS" (acoustic version) 
    • "ALL NIGHTMARE LONG" (Guitar Hero version)
    • "THAT WAS JUST YOUR LIFE" (Guitar Hero version)

    Notes: 

    Longtime listeners may recall when I told Doc Coyle about what the band dubbed the Unencumbered By Manufacturing Restrictions Version of "The Outlaw Torn." My favorite Metallica song of the '90s, which closes Load, caused the Load run time to exceed what was possible to safely squeeze onto a CD, so it was trimmed. 

    Load/Reload was initially conceived as a double album rather than two separate releases. "Minus Human" and "No Leaf Clover" were both songs from those sessions that didn't make either album, but were performed with the San Francisco Symphony and released as part of S&M. The version of "Minus Human" I have listed here is the studio one, without the symphony. (I like "No Leaf Clover" better with the symphonic parts.)

    The acoustic version of "All Within My Hands," from one of the Bridge School Benefit performances, is fantastic. The Guitar Hero version of Death Magnetic boasts superior mastering.

    I would recommend every second of Hardwired to any level of Metallica fan, past or present, which is why I haven't included any of those songs here.

    Check out this playlist on our YouTube channel.

  • My Big 4 Report for MTV (2011)

    I've had the opportunity to interview and/or write about Metallica several times over the years. Here's a report I did for MTV News on the Big 4 show in Indio, California, in 2011. 

    INDIO, California — One week after indie hipsters and pop enthusiasts stood on the same desert ground for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, an estimated 55,000 metal fans watched "The Big 4" of thrash share a U.S. stage together for the first time.

    "This is history tonight and you're part of it," Metallica frontman James Hetfield told the crowd Saturday at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio, California. "Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica as one — with you!"

    As members of all four bands gathered together toward the end of Metallica's set to perform the Diamond Head classic "Am I Evil?," fans roared. The group of friends, sometime rivals and ex-bandmates embraced one another affectionately and shared wide smiles. READ MORE AT MTV.