Metallica's Hetfield and Ulrich recall ‘awkward’ first meeting

Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield in the 1980s
Early days: Ulrich and Hetfield pictured in the 1980s

Metallica frontman James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich recall their “awkward” first meeting in a trailer from a documentary to be released this week.

Landmark – Metallica: The Early Years will be launched by Spotify on August 18 (Thursday) in four parts, focusing on the thrash icons’ history from 1981 until the launch of second album Ride The Lightning in 1984.

In the preview clip, Hetfield says of Ulrich: “When I met Lars he was pretty much a stinky European kid. He introduced me to a-whole-nother world of music.”

Ulrich remembers his bandmate by saying: “He was really awkward.”

Hetfield also recalls the contibution of late bassist Cliff Burton, reporting: “Cliff, as a writer, brought a grandness to it – ‘this should be giant.’”

And Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian says: “These were guys we met when they were pimply-faced metalheads like us. I certainly had that moment going, ‘Our friends are going to be one of the biggest bands in the world.’”

Spotify will provide custom playlists to accompany each part of the half-hour documentary, which consists of chapters entitled Metal Militia, Metal Up Your Ass, Sophistication And Brutality and Armageddon’s Here.

Producers say: “Metallica: The Early Years celebrates penpals, the birth of thrash metal, heavy-riffing cellists, and the origins of one of rock’s most influential bands.

“Each chapter features candid interviews, rare archival footage, messed-up animations from Anthony Schepperd, and unusual context showcasing the strange ways Metallica’s tentacles continue to worm their way through our collective unconscious.”

The band’s 10th album is expected before the end of the year. They’ll stream their Minneapolis show live on August 20, and release a book on the making of groundbreaking album Master Of Puppets later this month.

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.