Metallica: Lars Ulrich recalls recording Kill ‘Em All in ‘haunted mansion’

Metallica play on CHILDREN'S instruments in hilarious clip

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Metallica’s first album changed a lot of the rock music landscape. The rhythmic guitars and aggressive vocals ushered in a new wave of metal that has continued to evolve to this day. It is fitting, then, that the band’s debut record, Kill ‘Em All, was recorded in a positively ghastly setting.

Drummer Lars reminisced about releasing the 1983 album in an interview in 2008.

Speaking about the album he recalled: “Kill ‘Em All was recorded at Music America, a low-budget recording studio located in a large old house in Rochester, New York.

“The actual studio was in the basement of this huge old colonial-type of clubhouse. On the second floor there was a huge ballroom, perfect for getting a good drum sound.”

The musician added: “The problem was the place was f*****g haunted.”

Lars revealed: “I had to have someone else up there the whole time I was recording.

“My cymbals would start spinning for no reason, s**t like that. It was scary.”

That wasn’t the only unhappy incident that happened to the band around the recording of Kill ‘Em All.

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Lead guitarist of Metallica, Kirk Hammett, recalled: “All the guitar stuff was recorded through [singer] James [Hetfield’s] magical, mythical Marshall.

“It was his first Marshall amp. I think he had it modifiied and it just had a really, really great sound. And I say ‘magical, mythical Marshall’ because it’s not around anymore.

“Shortly after we did Kill ’Em All we were going to play some shows up in Boston and someone broke into the truck and stole that Marshall.”

These weren’t the only occasions of chaos surrounded in the recording of the band’s seminal album.

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During recording James recalled the band staying at the mansion of up-and-coming music producer John Zazula.

They weren’t the most well-behaved guests, though.

Kirk said: “We totally thrashed the place. I felt bad after a while. I don’t want to get into it too much, but we pretty much never washed the dishes.

“It’s four guys, you know? There was carpet in every single room including the kitchen and the bathrooms, and we drank pretty much 24 hours a day back then. So you can imagine how that turned out.”

Despite the various stories surrounding Kill ‘Em All, it’s hard not to think all of the stress was worth it.

Kill ‘Em All was certified 3x platinum after selling three million copies in 1999.

Although the record didn’t chart very well – 120 in the US – it cemented the band as one to look out for, before they began working on their follow-up album, Ride The Lightning. The rest is history.


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