Top 10 Facts About Metallica

Who doesn't love Metallica?

by The Dope Lists

The Top 10 facts about Metallica – did you know about these?

The legendary band Metallica was founded back in 1981 in Los Angeles, USA. It became a reality thanks to 18-year-old James Hetfield and 17-year-old Lars Ulrich. Later, a second guitarist – Dave Mustaine, joined them, and afterward, Ron McGovney as a bass player. The latter was soon replaced by Cliff Burton. Finally, in 1983 Kirk Hammett replaced Dave Mustaine. This is how the story of a black diamond in the music industry called “Metallica” begins. 

At first, they only appeared on underground stages and recorded nothing but demos. In 1983 that changed, and Metallica released their first album, “Kill ‘Em All. ” The rise of thrash metal was already a fact with the heaviest and most controversial album released in history. And so to this day – Metallica has no analogue.

The interesting thing about the band’s name is that Ulrich “borrowed” it from his colleague – Ron Quintana, who was working as a metal promoter in creating a metal magazine. While trying to come up with a name, Quintana shares his idea that the magazine should be called “Metallica”, but another proposition by Lars gained the upper hand, and the rest is history. 

Today they are one of the wealthiest bands in the music industry. According to Forbes, in 2019, Metallica’s net worth was around $900 million.

Metallica’s presence in the music industry is iconic, and this is why today we will reveal 10 Metallica facts about the band and its members! 

10. The cover of their debut album “Kill ‘Em All” was supposed to depict a toilet

Kill Em All

Kill ‘Em All by Metallica

Weird but true! The cover of their debut album, released in 1983, shows a hand that holds a hammer and blood around it. However, this was not the original concept! Hetfield, Ulrich & Co. wanted the album’s name to be “Metal Up Your Ass,” and Lars Ulrich said he wanted the cover to depict a hand coming out of a toilet holding a machete with blood dripping from it. The band’s idea behind the image was to scare the “posers” away and only keep the die-hard metal fans, but their agents had different views on that matter. It’s one of the most interesting facts about Metallica.


9. Metallica had 8 official members.


Their names are Jason Newsted, Cliff Burton, Robert Trujillo, Kirk Hammet, Dave Mustaine, Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, and Ron McGovney. 


8. Metallica is the first band to play on all continents in a single year. 

Yes, this is not only the most successful metal band but also the fastest growing one. In addition, they also hold the first place ranking of the most successful live concerts of all time. So, next time they come to your country, put your Metallica t shirt and rock on! Is it good enough for your Metallica trivia facts?


7. Hetfield and his new beginning – from the piano, through drums to guitar. 

James Hetfield

Photo by Jimmy Hubbard

At an early age, James Hetfield lost both of his parents. There was only one way out of the misery – music. It was his salvation. At the age of 9, he learned to play the piano, then the drums, and finally the guitar. That’s how his career began. He’s also enjoying happiness in his personal life as he’s married to his wonderful wife, Francesca Hetfield.


 6. James Hetfield catches on fire during a live performance on stage.

The group’s reputation was in jeopardy. During a concert in Montreal, the band’s frontman – James Hetfield, lit up in front of 55,000 fans. A small detail is that his guitar “saved” him from some of the more significant burns his body would have suffered. It’s one of the most exciting facts about Metallica.


 5. “Master of Puppets” is Metallica’s most performed live song. 

A stunning count of 1256 times in the history of their concerts. The lyrics tell a story about drugs and how life changes as a result of their use. As a puppeteer, narcotics take control of the addict’s mind. “Master of Puppets” has been named the third-best thrash metal song of all time by the TV channel VH1.

 “Master of Puppets” is followed by:

 “Creeping Death” – 1209 performances

 “One” – 1135 performances

 “Seek and Destroy” – 1128 performances

 “For Whom the Bell Tolls” – 1034 performances


 4. James Hetfield hates the album “… And Justice for All”

In a 2007 interview, Hetfield said he hated the album. He said he couldn’t even listen to it! He also mentioned that according to him, the band had recorded too many songs, and they knew they had to start working on the next record. This became a reality soon after, with the subsequent “The Black Album”. It’s one of the Metallica fun facts.


 3. Bassist Cliff Burton died on September 27, 1986, in a ridiculous accident. 

Cliff Burton

Former Metallica member Cliff Burton

Burton fell asleep shortly before 7:00 a.m. on September 27 – the day that turned out to be fatal for him. According to the driver, the bus lost control and veered off the road (on the E4, 2 miles north of Ljungby). Then the bus flew into the grass. According to witnesses, Burton flew out the window of the bus, which then fell on him. Extremely tragic and unexpected turn of events. 


2. Metallica and the case against Napster – the cherished, long-awaited win! 

Metallica was fighting music piracy. On April 13, 2000, their lawsuit against Napster was for racketeering and copyright infringement, and illegal use of audio recordings. The group considered all this illegal and immoral. Success is late, and by a lot, but after almost 21 long years, Metallica won the case! 


 1. Metallica always starts their live performances with the song Ecstasy of Gold.

The legendary composer Ennio Morricone created “Ecstasy of Gold” for the 1966 film The Good, the Bad and the Evil. Since 1983, this is the song with which Metallica opens up for each of their concerts, in a version arranged by Lorenzo Bocci – for brass band.

Bonus Fact: Many pop stars love the band’s music.

The American thrash metal icons are well-respected by artists in various music genres. Even Miley Cyrus loves Metallica! In 2021 she made a fantastic cover of one of the band’s most popular songs – “Nothing Else Matters.” It proved once again that Metallica’s influence in the music industry is enormous.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Metallica the best metal band?

Metallica is arguably one of the essential bands in the history of metal. Their commercial success is unparalleled in the genre.

Is Metallica still touring?

Yes, Metallica is touring worldwide almost every year, and watching them live while you still have the chance would be best.

Is Metallica still together?

Yes, Metallica is still together. They are creating new music and touring around the world for their fans.

Is Metallica thrash metal?

Yes, Metallica is one of the world’s most famous and successful thrash metal bands.

Is Metallica making a new album?

According to band members, Metallica is indeed working on a new album. We don’t know when it will be released, though.

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