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What was Metallica’s original name?
The band name came from Ulrich’s friend Ron Quintana, who was brainstorming names for a fanzine and was considering MetalMania or Metallica. After hearing the two names, Ulrich wanted the latter for his band, so he suggested Quintana use MetalMania instead.
Metallica has seen massive success throughout its career and has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame — but how much do you really know about it? Here are 10 fascinating facts about Metallica you may not have known.
1. The Band Started in 1981
Metallica was founded in Los Angeles in 1981 by frontman James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich. The band has something of a checkered past, but continues to be an iconic force in hard rock and metal music.
2. Metallica’s First Album Was a DIY Effort
Metallica’s self-titled debut album, released in 1983, was recorded for next to no money with a small independent record label. To this day, the album is considered one of the greatest metal albums of all time.
3. The Band Refused to Play MTV
Metallica has famously refused to appear on MTV, as the network never originally aired music videos for metal bands. However, a few solo appearances on behalf of some members have been made over the years.
4. They Don’t Tour as Much as You’d Think
Despite their iconic status, the band has only toured roughly once every three years since 1985. They justified this move in 1991 by saying it allowed them to “remain artistically valid and to ensure their continuation as a living, performing entity.”
5. They’ve Collaborated With Many Artists
Metallica is not just known for their superstar lineup. They have collaborated with many performers and bands over the years, including Ray Manzarek of The Doors and Lou Reed of Velvet Underground.
6. Metallica Was Once Banned in India
In 1996, the Indian government banned Metallica from entering India after the band members declared themselves to be Satanists. The band has since been allowed back into the country, albeit with a much more toned-down marketing and promotional presence.
7. They’re Big Fans of Covers
Metallica has released numerous covers of classic hard rock, punk and even classical songs over the years. Perhaps their best known is their version of Diamond Head’s “Am I Evil?”
8. They’re Not Afraid of Politics
Metallica has never been afraid to tackle political issues in their music, from the Gulf War to the financial crisis of 2008. Their activism earned them the “Global Humanitarian Award” from Operation USA in 2005.
9. The Band Has a Fascinating Family History
Metallica’s family tree includes three members of the entire original lineup, two founding members and two members who were replaced. Lars Ulrich is the only constant presence in the lineup since Metallica began, an astonishing feat for any band.
10. They Voiced Their Own Animation Series
Metallica had its own animated series, “Metallica: Death Magnetic”, released in 2009. The series featured the band members doing their own voices and was helmed by legendary animator Phil Roman.
Metallica’s album ‘Master of Puppets’ has been cited by respected sources as one of the best heavy metal albums ever. Additionally, the album has been added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress, making it the first metal album to be included in the registry.