Metallica Has Always Been Lars Ulrich And James Hetfield’s Band, Brian Slagel Says

Metal Blade Records founder Brian Slagel recently gave an interview to Metal Hammer and stated that Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield have always been the primary decision-makers in Metallica.

As an avid heavy metal fan, Brian Slagel organized a compilation album named ‘Metal Massacre’ back in 1982, a valuable record in the history of metal music. The album featured the first recordings of Metallica and also gave them their first big break. They contributed to the album with the track, ‘Hit the Lights,’ the first song Ulrich and Hetfield wrote together.

Although what Slagel did for the band doesn’t seem like a considerable contribution, Metallica was just at the beginning of their career, so it was an essential step toward future success. During a recent interview, Brian Slagel revealed that he was also the one who introduced Cliff Burton to Lars Ulrich as they were not content with their then-bassist. They went to a show to see Burton owing to Slagel, and Cliff was in the band in a short while.

Later on, Brian Slagel talked about Dave Mustaine, who was fired from Metallica due to his alcoholism and personal problems with Ulrich and Hetfield. Slagel explained that Mustaine was an incredibly talented guitarist, but his alcohol addiction was a huge problem as it would turn him into someone else.

Slagel also revealed that Mustaine seemed like a part of the band back then, but it was ultimately Ulrich and Hetfield’s band. Mustaine was also running the shows with the other two, but the decision-makers have always been Ulrich and Hetfield.

Brian Slagel’s words on Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield’s role in Metallica:

“Dave Mustaine was a phenomenal guitar player, but when he’d have too much to drink, he’d change a little bit. He wasn’t the fun-loving Dave that everybody knew. I could see where that could potentially be a problem, especially after seeing them and hanging out with them later on. It was really Lars and James’s band, but Mustaine was in there too. It was a three-headed monster in terms of who was running the show.”

It is a well-known fact that Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield have led Metallica since the first days of the band’s inception. Although the two had some ups and downs in their long-term relationship, their creative dynamism has been one of the most critical points that held the band together for years.