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Band Photo: Metallica (?)

Formed: 1981
From: San Francisco, CA, United States
Last Known Status: Active

Background

Metallica was first formed by Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, and future Megadeth member Dave Mustaine and Ron McGovney. They first played in L.A., but later found themselves at home playing in the San Francisco Bay area. The band later replaced Ron with Cliff Burton and Dave with Kirk Hammet as late as 1983.

On September 27, 1986, on the European leg of the Master of Puppets tour, Cliff Burton was killed in a bus accident in Sweden en route to their next show's location. Tragic as this event was, Metallica continued on and Cliff was replaced by Jason Newsted, who remained part of the band until 2001, when he finally annouced he would leave Metallica because of the damage he had done to his body touring and headbanging for fourteen years.

More than any other band, Metallica and their albums have been the yardstick with which to measure other heavy metal releases. Metallica practically defines "heavy metal" as a sub-genre of metal itself, although their music ranges from NWOBHM to Thrash in their earlier days. However, in the 1990s and beyond 2000, Metallica evolved a more mainstream sound, which helped them become a household name and the seventh biggest selling act in history.

Latest Metallica News

Below is our complete Metallica news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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King Refuses To Watch "Fragile Old Men" Metallica

A six-minute video interview with SLAYER guitarist Kerry King and drummer Dave Lombardo, conducted by Norway's NRK P3TV on the eve of the band's appearance at Hovefestivalen (a brand new five-day festival being held June 25-29 on the island of Tromøy, just outside the city of Arendal in Norway), has been posted at http://www21.nrk.no/p3tv/?bcpid=909858640&bclid=1028788533&bctid=979466591 . A few excerpts follow:

On black metal:

Kerry: "Black metal doesn't do anything for me."

Dave: "Me either. I watched it last night on TV and it was very disappointing."

Kerry: "I think they're [black metal bands] all very similar too."

Dave: "They do. They do. They went from another band to another band, and it sounded almost like the same band."

On SLAYER's musical legacy:

Kerry: "I don't think there's ever been a time when somebody could have said, 'SLAYER really missed with this record. I'm not gonna go see them.' And I think that earns your longevity, that earns you… keeps you relevant, and the fans just admire that."

On perfoming live:

Kerry: "The lights go out, you hear the intro going… Game on."

Dave: "We're gonna pummel them — we're just gonna destroy them. And that's my mentality up there. And when the crowd doesn't respond, I tell my drum tech, 'They're a bunch of ungrateful bastards. They don't appreciate the energy that we're giving them."

Kerry: "When I walk to the stage, there is no 'fail.' Doesn't exist."

Dave: "When I play drums, there is no 'fail.'"

On METALLICA:

Kerry: "I used to admire METALLICA and I don't wanna see them going to fucking therapy. I mean, that's fucking… keep it in the band, man."

Dave: "Yeah, that's personal stuff. There's stuff that you shouldn't be laundering."

Kerry: "I won't watch that movie ['Metallica: Some Kind of Monster'], because I don't want to think of them like that. I wanna think of fucking 'Battery' and 'Damage Inc.' and 'Ride the Lightning'. I don't wanna see these fragile fucking old men that can't have a cocktail anymore because they're afraid of what they'll become. Fuck that!"

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Metallica Perform New Song In Spain

Metallica premiered a brand new track, tentatively dubbed "The Other New Song", during their appearance Friday night (June 29) at the Bilbao BBK Live festival in in Bilbao, Spain. The group also performed its 1986 LP "Master of Puppets" in its entirety, just as they did at almost every show on their summer 2006 tour. The band's setlist was as follows:

01. Creeping Death
02. For Whom The Bell Tolls
03. The Four Horsemen
04. The Memory Remains
05. The Unforgiven
06. Battery
07. Master of Puppets
08. The Thing That Should Not Be
09. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
10. Disposable Heroes
11. Leper Messiah
12. Orion
13. Damage, Inc.
- - - -
14. Sad But True
15. Nothing Else Matters
16. One
17. Enter Sandman
- - - -
18. [The Other New Song]
19. Seek and Destroy

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Machine Head Guitarist Comments On Metallica Gig

MACHINE HEAD have been confirmed as special guests for next weekend's Wembley Stadium show on July 8.

Following their victorious Saturday set at the Download Festival and the release of their universally lauded "The Blackening" album, MACHINE HEAD are more than ready to take on 70,000 loyal metalheads at the new national stadium.

To say MACHINE HEAD guitarist Phil Demmel is looking forward to it would be an understatement. "Holy Crap!!!" he enthuses. "A monstrous cherry just got plopped on top of our already huge European festival run pie, in the shape of the METALLICA show at Wembley Stadium. Are you effin' kidding me?!? We couldn't have asked for a better ending to this amazing ride through Europe than to play with our Bay Area brothers at this legendary venue. WOO HOO!!"

MACHINE HEAD are set to take the stage at 5:15PM. A few remaining seated tickets are on sale now at Live Nation, priced £40.

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Machine Head Added To Metallica's Wembley Bill

Machine Head has replaced Bullet For My Valentine as one of the opening acts for Metallica on July 8 at the Wembley Stadium in London, England. Also scheduled to appear are H.I.M. and Mastodon.

Bullet For My Valentine cancelled its appearance at Wembley and several other European dates in order to allow frontman Matt Tuck to undergo tonsillectomy (a surgical procedure in which the tonsils are removed).

Professionally filmed video footage of Machine Head's entire performance at the Download festival on June 9, 2007 at Donington Park, Leicestershire, England has been posted at YouTube.

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Thrash Metal Book To Surface In September

Zonda Books has posted this press release:

Garry Sharpe-Young's latest book, "Thrash Metal", is being readied for publication this September. In addition, Zonda Books publishes Garry's "Death Metal", "Black Metal" and "Power Metal" all before the end of the year. These MusicMight titles replace the 2001 editions, which have consistently ranked number 1 on their Amazon.com searches for five years and more.

Thrash Metal. At first mocked by the Rock traditionalists Thrash would swamp the hard n' heavy world propelling one of its own - METALLICA, to the very pinnacle of Rock's elite.

In the early 80s Thrash breathed new life into the Rock scene providing older acts with a much needed kick. This new force opened the floodgates to armies of teens armed with flying Vs, bullet belts and a sense of purpose that would fuel genres such as Thrashcore, Crossover and technical Speed Metal. Without Thrash there would be no Death Metal, no Black Metal. That explosion of aggression has seen subsequent afterblasts, most recently Europe and South America has seen a genuine renaissance of Thrash Metal.

Without doubt, Thrash Metal still continues to make its mark in the biggest possible way. The "big four" - METALLICA, MEGADETH, ANTHRAX and SLAYER are all documented here in the greatest possible detail with full, up to the minute histories, exclusive photographs and global discographies, which include demos, albums, singles, chart positions, track listings and catalogue numbers. Over 400,000 words leave no stone left unturned in pursuit of knowledge of ex-members, rare recordings and career milestones. The author has interviewed all these major acts. Indeed, he interviewed METALLICA's late Cliff Burton just days before his passing. The early days of MEGADETH are straight from the mouth of Dave Mustaine.

Also covered are the legion of groundbreaking Bay Area acts such as METAL CHURCH, TESTAMENT, EXODUS, DEATH ANGEL and HIRAX. The European thrash explosion of KREATOR, RAGE, DESTRUCTION, SODOM, GRAVE DIGGER and HELLOWEEN is also covered in frightening detail. The Pagan Thrash of SABBAT, the avant garde eccentricity of CELTIC FROST and the Funk Thrash of MORDRED - it's all here. The second wave of thrash with major artists such as SEPULTURA, PANTERA and MACHINE HEAD takes the genre right up to the new breed of Thrashers, now a truly world-wide phenomenon. All examined in depth.

Having achieved its quarter of a century, Thrash Metal is not only alive, it is thriving. If you thought this rawest form of Heavy Metal was consigned to the past this book will deliver a rude awakening! Read the book, buy the records and bang that head!!

The scope of 'Thrash Metal' includes artists such as A.N.I.M.A.L., ABANDONED, ABATTOIR, ACCUSSER, ACID, ACID DRINKERS, ACID REIGN, ACROPHET, AFTERMATH, AGENT STEEL, AGONY, AGRESSOR, AIRDASH, AMEBIX, ANESTHESY, ANGEL WITCH, ANGKOR WAT, ANNIHILATOR, ANTHRAX, ANVIL, ANVIL CHORUS, APOKALYPTIC RAIDS, ARBITRATER, ARCH ENEMY, ARMORED SAINT, ARMOURED ANGEL, ARTILLERY, ASSASSIN, AT WAR, ATHEIST, ATOMIZER, ATOMKRAFT, ATROPHY, AZOTIC REIGN...

And that's just some of the "A"'s!

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Metallica To Perform At UK Live Earth

Metallica have been confirmed to play this year's Live Earth show at Wembley in London on July 7 to raise awareness about climate change.

The band's short set will be available for download after the event from iTunes and www.livemetallica.com and all proceeds will go to the Alliance for Climate Protection and other international non-governmental agencies.

"We keep waiting for future generations to solve the problems; to invent cleaner technology; to pay the costs. That's the same as passing the buck," says drummer Lars Ulrich. "I want the buck to stop here, now. I want lawmakers and laws to impose change. Nothing else will keep this world safe for my sons."

The following day, Metallica play their very own headline show at Wembley Stadium.

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Joey Jordison Sets Download Fest Record

The annual Download festival took place on June 8th, 9th and 10th at Donington Park, England. Performing as part of the gargantuan festival, Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison accompanied Korn on drums. This record-breaking performance was Jordison’s fifth Download appearance since its inception in 2002, and marks him as the only artist to play the festival multiple times in 4 different high-profile bands. Past Download performances include: Murderdolls (main stage 2002), Slipknot (main stage 2004 & 2005), and a guest appearance with Metallica (main stage 2004).

Jordison has been performing with Korn since the departure of drummer David Silveria and states, “when I first heard Korn they blew me away and I have been a fan ever since…I’m looking forward to playing drums with these guys for the next five months!" Adding to his extensive list of musical accomplishments, Jordison has also been taking on producing duties, most recently working on the forthcoming 3 Inches of Blood release, Fire Up The Blades.

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Metallica's Trujillo On How Heavy The New Album Is

Greece's Rock Hard magazine conducted an interview with METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo on May 22, 2007. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow (translated from Greek):

Rock Hard Greece: Could you describe the new album's sound? Lars Ulrich, just before the release of "St. Anger", had — very accurately — described it as raw, ugly and unpolished. Can you come up some adjectives for the new album?

Trujillo: "I would say that this is album is dynamic, heavy, groovin' and you'll probably be excited to know that there will be guitar solos on it! In addition, Lars remembered to tune his snare drum properly this time! For me, this album incorporates part of the dynamic and character of 'Master of Puppets', as well as the melodic style that people liked in the 'black album,' as far as the melodies are concerned. As for the general music style, much of the current material is groovy, heavy, dynamic and surely interesting. I would say that it's different than 'St. Anger' — in a good way, of course."

METALLICA lead guitarist Kirk Hammett recently told Austrian web site Krone.at that he thinks the band's upcoming album is "the best album we've put out in, say, fifteen years." Hammett added that the record contains "just a really spectacular range of songs. This time we're not afraid to refer to our past music in order to create future music. People will see that we've kind of embraced our old vocabulary again and are using that vocabulary to express new things...I think with this album we're definitely going a little more back into our roots."

Hammett also hinted that the new record features "a lot of really, really fast songs, a whole lot of really heavy stuff. We changed our approach to writing the songs...There's a lot of changes that we've made, but I believe that they are all for the better."

The guitarist said that while the band had also written some "slower and melodic" tunes, he wasn't sure if any would make the final track listing.

METALLICA has been working on the follow-up to 2003's "St. Anger" with producer Rick Rubin since earlier this spring.

The band will now head out on a European festival run before returning to complete the album later this summer. An early 2008 release is planned.

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Hammet: New CD "Best Album We've Done In 15 Years"

Austria's Krone.at recently conducted an interview with METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett. A rough English-language translation of the interview (which was published in German on the Krone.at web site) follows:

Krone.at: We are looking forward to METALLICA's "Sick Of The Studio '07" tour. Has the itching in your fingers started, yet?

Kirk Hammett: Oh yeah, summer time is always a good time to get out and do some shows. It's the time of the festivals and the weater is nice and warm, everyone's in a good mood. It's really fun for us and really convenient to go out and do some shows in the summer. It isn't so much that we're sick of the studio as it is, we just wanna go out and play and have some fun. And not lose touch of what we are, being a live band. It seems we were in the studio for the last two years. Although we did play some shows last year, but it still seems like we've been in the studio forever.

Krone.at: So it's kind of a withdrawal symptom…

Kirk Hammett: Yes, exactly. We need treatment!

Krone.at: I got the pleasure to see the show of yours on last year's Novarock festival. The one were you had Lemmy Kilmister and that guy from ALICE IN CHAINS on stage…

Kirk Hammett: Yeah, I remember. That was fun…

Krone.at: You know, people still talk about that concert here. Was is that terrific from your point of view as well?

Kirk Hammett: Well, whenever we can get Lemmy on stage and play a couple of songs with him, that's always a terrific thing. 'Cause Lemmy, he's the guy, one of the grandfathers of heavy metal.

Krone.at: Do you remember some other things about Austria or from that day?

Kirk Hammett: Let's see. Well, we played a series of songs from the "Masters of Puppets" album, we played with Lemmy and then we left. (laugh) But Austria is just a beautiful place, Vienna's a beautiful city with a lot of history and beautiful museums I must say. I always love coming here for sure…

Krone.at: I can hardly imagine you strolling through a Viennese museum…

Kirk Hammett: Yeah, I've been to a couple of them. I am the museum kind of guy, believe it or not!

Krone.at: Okay, got me convinced. Why "Sick Of The Studio" anyway? Would you say that you're addicted to cheering crowds?

Kirk Hammett: Totally! If I played my guitar and I looked up, do I wanna see the other three guys of the band or do I wanna see 30,000 cheering people? (laugh) It depends on what mood I am in. If I am in the mood to do some creative things, write some songs, record an album, then I'd rather look into the rest of the band. But if I'm in the mood to just rock out and really have fun and play our best material, I'd rather look up and see a 30,000 fans out there. More...

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Metallica's Lars Ulrich Disses Rolling Stones

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich commented on opening for THE ROLLING STONES:

"Yeah, it was last year — it was about a year and a half ago out here in San Francisco. We were in the middle of some chill time after the 'St. Anger' tour and one day it was like, 'The STONES wanna know if you wanna open for them in San Francisco,' and it was like, 'Duh, of course, we will. Just name the day and place and we'll be there.' We obviously hadn't opened for anybody for a few years but if you're gonna open for anybody, open for the STONES. I mean, c'mon!

"It's the second show — [we played] two shows [with THE ROLLING STONES] in a row — and some assistant with, like, five walkie-talkies and a water-bottle holder, whatever, comes in before the show and says, 'Do you want your picture taken with THE ROLLING STONES?' We were like, 'You know what? Sure. Why not?' So after our show and then they're getting ready to go on, this assistant comes in and says, 'OK, be ready in five minutes' or whatever. So she comes in, she escorts us into this place in the tunnel leading into the stadium and she says, 'Wait here.' As we're standing in this tunnel, literally, and this band EVERCLEAR — who were playing also — they were kind of like over there on their 'X'. So we're standing there and we go over and say 'Hello' to the guys in EVERCLEAR, 'Hey, how was your show?' And this assistant comes back and says, 'No. The guys in METALLICA stay here, and the guys in EVERCLEAR stay over here.' We were like, 'Whoaaah.' So then about five minutes later the STONES come in, and I swear they didn't stop — they slowed down their pace, or their walk, just slow enough to get, like, two or three pictures taken, two or three frames shot with EVERCLEAR, and then they came over to where we were standing waiting, and they all looked at us… No, actually, Charlie Watts said 'Hello' and I think Keith [Richards] nodded or something, and Mick [Jagger] looked like we were all gonna give him pneumonia or something — he had this disgusting look on his face. And then they slowed down long enough while the photographer took two or three frames, and then they walked off. And then the assistant came over and said, 'If the band approves the photo, we'll send you a copy.' That kind of sums up THE ROLLING STONES experience. [Laughs] But being up on stage, that was awesome and the legacy and the whole thing, but that kind of left me with a little bit of a strange taste in my mouth . . . If we ever pulled that, would you come and find me and shoot me? I mean, seriously? But it was a great night and getting a chance to just be part of… If you can sit there and tell your kids, 'I opened for IRON MAIDEN, I opened for DEEP PURPLE, and I opened for THE ROLLING STONES,' then you're pretty much good to go, you know what I mean?"

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Rick Rubin's Move To Columbia Records Is Official

Producer RICK RUBIN's move to Columbia Records is now official, although there are no details yet on what Rubin's exact role at the label will be or where he will be based. The label released a statement this afternoon (May 14) confirming the Rubin hire and stating that he would "form a dynamic and creative executive partnership" with Columbia chairman Steve Barnett, under a new model devised by Sony Music topper Rob Stringer. As part of the deal, Rubin will bring his American Recordings imprint to the company, which previously distributed it in the late '90s and early '00s. American, which for the last year-plus has been distributed by Warner Music Group, has a roster that includes SLAYER and catalog including THE BLACK CROWES, DANZIG. As expected, in addition to producing albums for Sony BMG acts, Rubin will continue his producing activities for artists at other major labels. In this capacity he will work with artists signed to Warner Bros., including METALLICA.

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Manslaughter Charges Dropped In Edmonton Death

News 1130 reports: Four young men hugged weeping friends and family after Crown prosecutors dismissed manslaughter charges against them in the death of a man on an Edmonton transit bus after a fight over heavy metal music.

"The initial reaction that was played out in the media was one of a person on an ETS bus being swarmed and killed," prosecutor Bart Roberto said outside court Friday.

"I think it was actually very reductive for the public to see that once the full evidence came out, a very different story was told."

The four youths - one was 16 and three were 17 at the time of the killing - were charged with manslaughter in the March 2006 death of Stefan Conley, 35, originally from Cookshire, Que.

Initial published reports from witnesses suggested that Conley was swarmed, kicked and stomped by four rowdy teens after he told them to settle down. The beating was said to have continued after Conley fell.

But that story collapsed during a preliminary hearing, which was held in public at the request of the defence.

Under cross-examination, those witnesses acknowledged they didn't actually see any kicking or stomping because their view was blocked.

Others testified Conley interrupted a conversation among the four youths about the rock band Metallic and insulted their taste in heavy-metal music. Court heard Conley and the teens then traded jibes.

A 16-year-old girl testified that Conley, who was five-foot-11 and weighed 198 pounds, crossed the aisle and punched one of the boys. The youths fought back, but one passenger told court they stopped punching Conley as soon as he let go of their friend.

The fight lasted about 10 seconds. Between five and 10 punches were thrown.

A medical examiner testified that Conley, who had a blood alcohol level twice the legal driving limit, died from a rare injury - a pinhole tear in a tiny artery at the base of his brain, the result of a blow to the face or chin. He died within minutes of receiving it.

The case initially provoked widespread public outrage. More...

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Apocalyptica Reveal European Tour Dates

Finnish cello-rockers APOCALYPTICA have lined up the following tour dates:

May 25 - Liquid Room - Tokyo, JPN (showcase)
Jul. 15 - Olympic Stadium - Helsinki, FIN (supporting METALLICA)
Oct. 08 - Riga Arena - Riga, LAT
Oct. 09 - UPA - Vilnius, LIT
Oct. 10 - Linnahall - Tallinn, EST
Oct. 11 - R-Beat - Turku, FIN
Oct. 12 - Lippupalvelu - Tamper, FIN More...

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Mnemic Talk About Opening For Metallica

"We are beyond stoked, beyond surprised, and MORE than happy to be a part of the METALLICA gig in Aarhus, Denmark!! It's definitely a dream come true for all of us," writes in MNEMIC guitarist Mircea. "It simply CAN NOT get any bigger for us to say the words, 'Yeah, we've opened up for Metallica!' It's definitely a nice tap on the shoulder for all the hard work and hard moments MNEMIC have gone through. We would especially like to thank Lars and the mighty Metallica for choosing MNEMIC for this fine day of pure Danish Metal. We will of course make this day extra special, extra heavy, and extra metal!"

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich issued an Easter greeting in Danish (translated text follows) announcing that Metallica had "decided to make our Aarhus day to be of a Danish enterprise... drumroll please... We have actually asked the awesome Danish bands Volbeat and MNEMIC to be a part of the event on the 13th of July, and they both freakin' said, 'Yes please!' so, game on and all the good stuff! It's going to be a pure Danish enterprise. Well, yeah, fuck it, 'tallica is only one-fourth Danish, but let us celebrate our Danish-ness, where and whenever we can, especially when we aren't home that much. With other words, here is the short version: I am happy to be able to announce that Volbeat and MNEMIC will make the Metallica show in Aarhus the 13th of July as Danish as possible."

MNEMIC recently completed a European tour with the Deftones in support of their latest album, Passenger, which was praised by Outburn Magazine for its "energetic execution, dazzling chops, polyrhythmic pummeling, and soaring melodic anthems."

Produced by Fear Factory's Christian Olde Wolbers at Track Record Studios (Kiss, Megadeth, Aerosmith) in Los Angeles, Passenger features artwork by Asterik Studios (Anthrax, Unearth) plus guest vocal appearances by Jeff Walker (Carcass, Brujeria) and Shane Embury (Napalm Death, Brujeria). MNEMIC also completed a video for "Meaningless" with Revolver Film director Patric Ullaeus, which has aired on MTV2's Headbangers Ball and can be viewed here.

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Metallica Announce Opening Acts for Upcoming Tour

METALLICA have issued the following update:

"Easter greetings from Metallica HQ! In our ongoing quest to keep you informed about every little thing we have planned for our upcoming jaunt through Europe this summer, we finally have an almost complete list of bands who will be joining us as we take a little break from recording to come hang with some of you in a few of the coolest cities on the planet. As you know, some of the shows are festival dates, so things could change a little here and there, and we may have one or two more surprises for you along the way, but as of April 8, here's what we've got for you so far. And for those of you in Denmark lucky enough to score tickets after we got done with Lars' guest list, we're spreading the Danish love with... just read Lars' extra special Easter greeting...in Danish!

We're super psyched to be sharing the stage with great musicians from all over the world . . . see you out there!" More...

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Swedish Couple Told They Can't Name Baby Metallica

A Swedish couple have been told that they may not call their six-month-old daughter ‘Metallica.’ Although baby Metallica Tomaro has been baptised, the Swedish National Tax Board have refused to register the name.

The baby’s mother Karolina, claimed that the name suited her daughter, adding "She's decisive and she knows what she wants."

The couple, who can not get a passport or personal ID for their daughter, have been backed by a court on the grounds a women in Sweden also has the middle name ‘Metallica.'

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Metallica Announce All Sick Of The Studio Dates

After six weeks of announcing a few dates here and there, Metallica has announced all 11 of the Sick Of The Studio 2007 tour dates that they will be playing this summer. The tour dates are as follows:

June 28 - Lisbon, POR, Super Bock Super Rock Festival
June 29 - Bilbao, SPA, Bilbao BBK Live Festival
July 1 - Werchter, BEL, Rock Werchter Festival
July 3 - Athens, GRE, Rockwave Festival
July 5 - Vienna, AUT, Rotundenplatz
July 8 - London, UK, Wembley Staduim
July 10 - Oslo, NOR, Valle Hovin Stadion
July 12 - Stockholm, SWE, Stadion
July 13 - Aarhus, DEN, Vestereng
July 15 - Helsinki, FIN, Olympic Stadium
July 18 - Moscow, RUS, Luzhniki Stadium

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Bullet For My Valentine To Support Metallica

Bullet for my Valentine have been chosen by the legends Metallica as a support act on both their European stadium dates in July 2007, including a historic show at the newly finished Wembley stadium.

The tour dates are:

5th July - Rotudenplatz in Vienna, Austria
8th July - Wembley Stadium

These will be the first live dates for B4MV since selling out their previous UK, US and European tours, shifting over 750,000 copies of debut album "The Poison" (including over 250,000 in the US alone), playing main stage at Download 06, touring with Metallica, Guns and Roses and Iron Maiden across Arenas and Stadiums worldwide, and recording album number 2 in El Paso, Texas, release date TBC.

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Hammet Talks About Eastern Vibe In New Album

METALLICA started recording its ninth studio LP in Los Angeles this week. According to the band's site, this is the first time METALLICA has recorded outside of the Bay Area since they spent "an eternity" at One on One Studios recording their 1991 self-titled release, popularly known as The Black Album.

In the latest issue of the METALLICA Club (the group's official fan club) members-only magazine "So What!", guitarist Kirk Hammett was asked if there are any common musical themes running through the 14 songs the band is recording for its new effort. "There is a really unusual theme that's working its way into the music," he replied. "I'm not really sure how to react to it. Maybe it's someone else trying to tell us that we should react to it, but a lot of the music has an eastern harmonic flair to it, a harmonic minor flair to it, and when I say harmonic minor, that could be construed as like eastern sounding or Middle Eastern sounding or maybe Arabic? I don't know if it's just the zeitgeist, a sign of the times, or maybe because like, you know, Middle Eastern culture is so prevalent, or maybe the negative things about Middle Eastern culture. Maybe artists are conscious, just want to shine light on the positive aspects of Middle Eastern culture, i.e. the music. But there's passages that sound, that use harmonic minor and dominant, and those sounds are distinctly Arabic sounding or Middle Eastern sounding, and you hear them in all the songs. At the less likely times, all of a sudden they'll turn a corner and there we are, smack, right dab there in Syria or Iraq, as far as culture is concerned. We're playing notes that were played, have been played for thousands of years, that aren't born in western culture, and it's just a trip to see. And maybe I'm the first to really vocalize it, but it's just there."

Unlike the troubled, turbulent sessions for the band's last album, 2003's "St. Anger", drummer Lars Ulrich told Launch that pre-production for the new effort had a whole different vibe. "It's frighteningly tame (laughs)," he said. "The four of us show up and we hang out and we have a great time, and there are no psychiatrists in sweaters, there are no film crews, it's very much like it used to be. It's pretty mellow around here. All that 'St. Anger' stuff seems like a movie (laughs)."

The group plans to work in the studio until early June, take a break for its European tour, then finish recording in August. As for whether METALLICA will release the new album in 2007, Ulrich said, "I'd like to try and get it out this year, I hope we can get it out this year. If it doesn't come out this year, then it will be out at the very beginning of next year."

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Metallica Enter The Studio And Begin Recording

Metallica left the comfort of HQ this week to descend upon the greater Los Angeles area to begin recording their 9th original album. This is the first time they've recorded outside of the Bay Area since they spent an eternity at One-On-One Studios recording The Black Album in '90 and '91. The last couple days have been devoted to each band member working out the right sounds, including Lars who remembered to turn on the snare and Kirk who played a solo.

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