Join Metallica Contest Winners On a Guided Video Tour of HQ
Three metal fans recently won a dream giveaway — a guided tour of Metallica HQ given by the band's guitarists. And Ernie Ball, which sponsored the Hetfield + Hammett Experience contest, has posted a video that reveals images from the museum-like lair where Metallica write, record and store all their really cool stuff.
At one point in the clip, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett points to an old Metallica banner on the wall. "That’s the actual Ride The Lightning backdrop – the real one," he says. "I love looking at it because it brings me back to those times of 1984 / '85.”
As the band members chat about the history and significance of the place, the camera captures shots of guitars, pedal boards, amps, a giant hanging Lady Liberty head the band used during the And Justice For All tour, a Metallica pinball machine and other priceless props and gear.
When they get to the studio area where the band rehearses, frontman James Hetfield explains how Metallica likes to work. "We're just jamming and they're kind of recording everything. Anything we record or come up with we're able to use, so it's less of a 'red light is on [situation].'"
"The one thing I live for is getting that bolt of inspiration and running to my guitar. And it still happens for me," adds Hammett. "As long as it still happens for me I'm really fucking excited and happy."
As the band and its visitors walk down "The Hallway of Inspiration," which is lined with the albums Metallica grew up with and were influenced by, Hammett points to a record by The Sweet. "Fox on the Run. This album is an amazing album!" he says, like a kid trying to turn his classmates on to new music.
In addition to receiving an unforgettable walk through Metallica's workshop, the contest winners got to sit down with Hetfield and Hammett and chat about music. Responding to a question about what an artist should strive for, Hetfield says, "Don't play it for somebody else, play it for you, you know?" echoing the band's lifelong ethos. Play stuff that you want to listen back to go and go, 'Fuck, yeah! That is cool! I did that!'"
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