Back in 2015, US chat show host Jimmy Kimmel revealed a spoof Ed Sheeran Sings Heavy Metal album, claiming that the singer had recorded songs by Slayer, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse and more, with Sheeran playing along by performing versions of Iron Maiden’s Run To The Hills and Limp Bizkit’s Break Stuff.
But it turns out that the notion isn’t as laughable as it might sound, as Sheeran has revealed that he was “really into death metal as a kid” and “learnt all those riffs on guitar.”
Speaking to The Sun newspaper, the English singer/songwriter said: “I listened to Cradle of Filth and Slipknot and all that stuff. I’m not saying I could ever step into that world [but] I learnt all those riffs on guitar as a kid. That’s something I’ve never thought about doing – but something I would not be opposed to creating.”
In 2017, Sheeran also namechecked Slipknot as a formative influence.
“My first sort of music that I got into that wasn’t from my parents was rap, metal, punk,” he said. “I went one day listening to Iowa, Slipknot and the next day listening to Damian Rice’s O.”
And in 2018, Korn guitarist Brian ‘Head’ Welch posted a selfie with Sheeran taken backstage at a Marilyn Manson concert in Nashville, and revealed that the singer told him he’d been listening to Freak On A Leash earlier that day.
Having been name-checked by Sheeran, Dani Filth referenced the idea of the singer making a death metal on social media and said, ‘I'll believe it when I see it’ but added ‘Fellow Suffolk lad could come good in the end.’