Metallica reflect on ‘rebellious’ Master Of Puppets era


Metallica have released a video where they look back at the release of their 1986 album Master Of Puppets.

It’s been issued to mark the upcoming release of Metallica: Back To The Front, author Matt Taylor’s book celebrating the band’s classic third album and accompanying tour, which saw the group winning over new fans and suffering the tragic loss of bassist Cliff Burton in a bus accident in Sweden.

Vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield says: “I think Master Of Puppets signifies for a lot of people – and it does for me as well – the pinnacle of the Cliff Burton era with Metallica, obviously, but also it was still rebellious. Back then it was just the four of us in a van out to conquer the world.”

Drummer Lars Ulrich adds: “Master Of Puppets seemed to be the culmination of the journey that had started four or five years before with James and I getting together, writing some songs, Kirk and Cliff joining at separate times within six months, and that lineup settling.”

Guitarist Kirk Hammett reports the album’s popularity shows no signs of abating, even 30 years after it was released.

He continues: “I really feel with the music on Master Of Puppets, we had to pull out of a deep place. A lot of it is so emotional – from the music to the lyrics and guitar solos. Even the arrangements – it’ so dramatic.”

For Metallica: Back To The Front, Taylor interviewed key players including managers Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch, producer Flemming Rasmussen, mixer Michael Wagener, along with members of the road crew and tour mates Anthrax and Armored Saint.

It’s set for release on September 13 and is available for pre-order from the band’s website.

Metallica are gearing up for the launch of their 10th album Hardwired… To Self Destruct on November 18 via their Blackened Records label. Earlier this month, they issued a stream of the title track and teased Moth Into Flame.

The Hardwired… To Self Destruct cover

The Hardwired… To Self Destruct cover

Metallica Hardwired… To Self-Destruct tracklist


  1. Hardwired
  2. Atlas, Rise!
  3. Now That We’re Dead
  4. Moth Into Flame
  5. Am I Savage?
  6. Halo On Fire


  1. Confusion
  2. Dream No More
  3. ManUNkind
  4. Here Comes Revenge
  5. Murder One
  6. Spit Out The Bone

The first reaction to Metallica's new song Hardwired

Scott Munro
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Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.