For their 1992 single Nothing Else Matters, Metallica allowed the wider world a glimpse at the band at work in the studio. Directed by Adam Dubin, the six-minute clip was a world away from the horror of their 1989 One promo which pleased some of their more sensitive fans. Everyone in the world loved the video, except Kip Winger for some reason…
Here’s that classic video, scene by scene. Warning: contains scenes of bad pool, ice cream shenanigans and blurred jazz mags.
The opening shot suggests we’re not in a hellish war zone or living someone’s nightmare. We’re at the One on One Recording Studios in Los Angeles. Fun fact: X Japan’s Yoshiki Hayashi bought the studio the year after Metallica released The Black Album.
A Culpepper Minutemen flag hangs on the wall, which bears a familiar snake. Might be the one who gets the train every morning. Keith? Can’t be.
Lots of studio gear being wheeled around. Microphones are set up. Tapes fed into the deck.
There’s Lars Ulrich taping his fingers in case they fall off or something, then Kirk preparing to unleash a solo while sat on a swivel chair.
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Hetfield plugging in a guitar that isn’t an Explorer. What’s going on here?
Lars spinning his sticks. That’s what all drummers do when they’re in the studio. That and hang around the mixing desk asking for their drum tracks to be pushed waaaaay up.
Jason holds a lighter aloft and cradles an acoustic bass on his knee. We can’t hold lighters in the air at work. Health and safety. We’re allowed basses, but no-one’s brought one in for ages.
The band are tracking the song. No mucking about here.
Kirk concentrating on the task at hand. He’s unfazed by the blurred photo of the naked lady taped to his mic stand. Professional. MTV wouldn’t air this video during the daytime because of it. Nowadays, the channel is quite happy to show drunk Brits humping and fighting. A lot has changed over the last 25 years.
Lars giving the camera op some evils, there.
Gosh, they’re short shorts. MTV should’ve blurred that. OK, don’t judge. It was a different time.
Ten seconds ago, Hetfield’s Lemmy tribute beard was at least two inches long. He’s had a quick trim for this bit. Don’t think we don’t notice these things.
It took less than 100 seconds before someone started mucking about.
Is this the only recorded footage of a bassist nailing a sweet overhead bas-
The original lyric sheet for Nothing Else Matters. Wonder how much that would fetch on eBay? Asking for a friend.
Poor shot. Or this Newsted’s attempt at hustling?
Metallica look like they’ve never played pool before. Game on.
We would love some ice cream, thank you Kirk. Flick it in our mouth? Sure.
We didn’t know the band were fans of Kip Winger. Look, there’s a poster stuck to the dartboard. With a load of darts.
The Danish for hair is ‘hår’. Pronounced hår.
Lars looks unnecessarily angry for one of the lighter moments on Metallica. Maybe the sweatband is a little too tight.
“Who’s used up all the black ink on the printer?”
There’s the solo. Whatever happened to The Four Horsemen? Did they become mechanics? Sorry.
Show a tape reel to a kid these days and they’ll look blankly at you. There’s magic on this brown ribbon, son. Magic. Please don’t touch it.
From the moment John Logie Baird invented the earliest video camera, there’d become an unspoken rule that if a mate fell asleep, you’d film them and silently chuckle at them. At this point in the video, it’s producer Bob Rock’s turn for some unconscious banter.
Aaaaand we’re done.
Yep, they’re really short shorts.
What did we learn from Nothing Else Matters?
At the time, it was rare to see any footage of Metallica while they worked on a new album. This six-minute teaser revealed that Lars liked to drum in little shorts while the band blew off steam by shooting pool and kept their darts safe embedded in a poster of the Winger frontman. The band would release a two-part documentary A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica later that year and it quickly became required viewing for any metal fan. We’re going to dig out our dusty VHS tapes now and bask in that sweet glow of nostalgia.
Metallica’s Hardwired… To Self-Destruct will be released on November 18.