In conversation with Classic Rock Magazine (opens in new tab), he details how the members of Kiss became Metallica fans around the time the Black Album dropped. “How could you not be a Metallica fan?" he asks. "Eric Carr [former Kiss drummer, who died in 1991] was the one that brought Metallica into our realm, and he did that quite a bit earlier, in the early, early days of Metallica. But in terms of becoming a worldwide phenomenon, I would have to say the Black Album was what did that.
“Enter Sandman – that song really flicked a switch, it changed something. It retained the grit, the passion and the rawness of what they had done until that point, but it managed to package it in a way that had a more widespread appeal. It wasn’t a coincidence that Bob Rock produced that album. He became the go-to guy for bringing out the most commercial aspect of a band’s sound, whether we are talking Metallica or The Cult.
“But the most important thing when you are a band or a creative person is to do what you want. Kudos to Metallica for that. Where they’ve gone since the Black Album, and factoring in their beginnings, is nothing less than amazing. Their appeal became massive, in capital letters, because it crossed boundaries. That’s always a great plus.”
The new issue of Classic Rock, which celebrates 30 years of the seminal album with new interviews and insights, is on sale now (opens in new tab).
The Black Album’s legacy is also to be celebrated by a new reissue. As well as collecting together countless early demos and rehearsal tapes, it’s accompanied by The Metallica Blacklist, a 53-track all-star covers album comprising versions of Black Album songs by everyone from Ghost, Volbeat and Biffy Clyro to Miley Cyrus. Metallica Remastered and The Metallica Blacklist are out on September 10 via Blackened Recordings.