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Metallica: Master of Puppets with guest Rick Hanson

Updated: Mar 30, 2023


Music Rewind welcomes Rick Hanson to discuss Master of Puppets by Metallica

A transformative album that came along at the perfect time to help a young lad from Wisconsin get through some difficult times, while also shaping a lifelong musical journey.


Album: Master of Puppets

Artist: Metallica

Year: 1986


Find the album here: https://amzn.to/3zf0r0s

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Transcript as follows:

Participant #1:

Hello and welcome to Music Rewind, a podcast where we look to tell the stories behind our favorite albums. I'm your host, Steve Epley, and in each episode we invite a guest on to tell us about their favorite music album, how they decided covered it, and what makes it special to them. Joining me today to kick off our season three is friend of the show Rick Hanson. Rick is a philosophy professor and also the guitarist and vocalist for the Sketch Balls. Welcome, Rick, and thank you for being on the show. Oh, thank you so much for having me, Steve. And there is a certain inaccuracy in that Sketchball statement now that happened since the last time we communicated. The sketch balls have actually broken up. It's a long story, but basically I'm playing with a band called The Night Howls now, so there's still some active musicianship going on. That's good. Glad you're able to keep that going. Oh, thank you very much. And you are a relative of some show regulars of ours and a music mentor to a few. Quite correct. Mike Broski and Danny Prokup are my cousins, my first cousins on my mom's side. And I'm responsible for probably much of their musical delinquency as I am their elder. And this album that we're going to talk about tonight is where it all began for me and by proxy, in a strange and roundabout way, where it all begins for them. Well, that's a great lead in. So let's jump right in there. What album are you bringing to the table and how did you discover it? Okay. Master of Puppets by Metallica.


Participant #1:

A 1986 classic. The Way I Discovered it, this is a story in itself. Master of Puppets was my musical awakening. I never had my own music until the day at the end of one of the first I'd say the first three weeks of fourth grade, it was sitting out on a desk. So there's this cassette tape. This is 1986. This is the year that the album was released. And probably the day, for all I know, it could have been the day Cliff Burton died, quite frankly. So sitting out on this desk in my fourth grade classroom is a cassette copy of Master of Puppets. Intrigued is an understatement. I look out and I see this dark, foreboding, eldridge thing with these string hands and this graveyard and this red sky, and I'm just like, what is this? I need to know about this. And I turned to the kit who I associated ownership with and said, is this yours? Yeah. Can I borrow it? Oh, yeah. Immediately took it and footed it and was just we'll talk about the ways in which I was floored, I'm sure, through the rest of the podcast, but I don't think I could stand up until the album was over except to flip the sides of the tape because it was two sided tape. And I came back to school the next day, and the same kid who I distinctly asked permission to borrow this from said, hey, where's my tape?


Participant #1:

I'm like, you said I could borrow it. No, I didn't. One of those cuts. So I had to rush home after I shouldn't say after school. I'm like, okay, I'll get it back. And I had to dub it onto all I had was this black and gray 60 Minutes blank cassette. It was supposed to be 60 Minutes, which is shorter than the actual or longer than the actual album time, and it never quite fits. So there's another story that'll be connected to this, but that was my regular listening of Master of Puppets was on this dubbed copy. So there's my tale of discovery, if you will. Oh, that's great. Personally, I'm glad you brought this one in because I hadn't listened to it in full in such a long time. Certain songs are always in the regular playlist. They kind of come up. But I hadn't given it a full list and in quite a while, and it was just wonderful to revisit it. I had forgotten how good it actually is. Yeah. And I forgot how long the songs were. Yeah. Shortest is first track, but then there's like three or four tracks that are over eight made a song by themselves. Oh, yeah. And that, to me, was one of the things that defined Metallic that it was about. It was the hardest and heaviest thing I had ever heard up to that point. And I should probably say I mean, I said fourth grade. I was nine years old in fourth grade. And so that was my first experience with Thrash because there was no Internet there's, whatever you found in the grocery store and the magazines, basically. And they didn't really talk much about Metallica in Circus or Metal Edge at that time. And that that that was my world, you know. And so it was my first time hearing what Thrash was all about. But you go back and you realize how much progressive stuff is in that album, too, and how many classical influences are in the album. And those, I think, are the things that I come back to, and that just blow me away every time. That's one of the things I love about this early Metallica, is that, you know, going from Kill Em All through those first several albums, there there's such an evolution of, you know, they're they're learning and refining their craft. And Master Puppets is a wonderful product of that and talked about that in our Ride the Lightning episode, how that was such a huge step from Kill Them All due to Cliff Burton and his influence on the band. Yes, like you said, with that classical influence, you hear these interludes not just at the beginning of the songs, but they'll break into classical interludes in a metal fashion at very key points of several songs. And it's fantastic. Yes. I think about the only song that doesn't really have anything of that nature is Thing That Should Not Be, which is its own epic storytelling type of thing in itself. It's an invocation of Cthulhu, essentially. Like, we did it musically unride the lightning. And now we're going to add the lyrics here. They do have a thing for lovecraft. They do, or they did. So you were already listening to rock and metal at the time, right? Is that what you no. Okay. I was nine. Yeah. This was my calling up until that time. I remember hearing Dirty Deeds Dunder Cheap by AC DC on the radio. It's a very small kid and going, this is what I like. Yeah, there's something about this. And not really knowing what it was, but being four or five and going, this is my favorite song, and just always thinking that there was something lacking. My parents listen almost exclusively to this day to Top 40 stuff from the 1960s, like freaking Bobby Vinton and Frankie Valley and stuff like that. And it's like, okay, that that that is its own thing. But when that's your whole musical universe, it's just informed by that. It's it's a very limiting, paradigm, safe belief. And so nothing of that sort had ever made its way in until Metallica. So I have that sort of root and like those little experiences of AC DC or seeing an album cover or actually, there's one other thing. I'm sorry. I was intrigued very much, and I could never get a hold of it. My parents wouldn't actually let me listen to certain things. I was able to get away with Master of Puppets, because the dubbed copy that I heard cut out the swear words and Damage Incorporated. Really? Yes. My parents raised a red flag even at listen. Damn it. In welcome Home Sanitarium, they're like, well, wait a minute, where are they going with this? Even though my father swore like a sailor still does, but like the lyrics of Master Puppets, the track there was okay to them. Just everything. Yeah. It's about drugs. Drugs? Yeah. Like I said, we chop your breakfast. Done. What? Oh, those are those things you win at the state fair anyway, right? I mean, granted, it's not in favor of drugs. It's an anti drug. Maybe they zeroed in on the message. I think their concern was largely that it didn't have any swears or sexually explicit stuff in it at that time. Okay. There was maybe a sprinkling of Satanic panic, but I guess that was the error, wasn't it? Satanic satanic area. Most definitely. And I was going to say the thing that I was intrigued by before, that I wasn't really allowed to have, was there were some middle school kids that lived up the street from me that would skateboard, and whenever they tolerate my presence, I'd be up there trying to skateboard with them. And this was the summer previous to my discovery of Master Puppets, and they would listen to mostly hardcore punk. Like, I could discern now that it's hardcore punk, I have no idea what it was at the time. I was just like, yeah, it's loud stuff that swears a lot. I like it. But it didn't captivate me the way that I think that progressive and well formed and classically inspired stuff that Metallica was doing. And then I found out that Metallica was into skateboard. Yes. My two worlds are converging. They were? I didn't know that. Yeah. Kirk James broke his wrist. I think not. It was right around that time. Skateboard. Interesting. Yeah. I remember seeing pictures, so one of the first pictures I ever saw was Hetfield with a cast. And they did designs like Puss Head that artists that they worked with so many times did, designed a few boards. I remember actually salivating over some Metallica decks that were in some of the local skate shops around that time. I'm envious that you got to discover this as a nine year old, brand new. That's pretty amazing. I'm of the generation where we kind of I'm one of many. I'm not going to say everyone. We discovered metallica in reverse. So with MTV you had the Black Album. So you had Enter Sandman. You had nothing else matters in them. And so it was a bit of a, this is amazing. And then you go backwards. You got Anjustice for all while also. Then you got load and reload. This is all right. Yeah. Okay. This is different. And then you keep going back in time and it keeps getting better. Yep. So that was that was kind of a neat way that we all discovered. Yeah. Metallica. But I didn't really dive into Master of Puppets as an album or Ride the Lightning, those two, until after high school. For me. My roommate in the army was the guitarist, and he just lived and breathed the great guitarist. He had a wide range from, say, Kirk Hammock to Engve. He tried to get me to learn and tried to get me to understand it all, and I couldn't. It's not in my skill set to be able to play, but I appreciate it. And that's where I really kind of learned all those other songs, getting into Sanitarium and others. And that's really the Orion, just really pulling out the great ones that I hadn't really paid attention to before, because before it was always Battery, Master Puppets and then the album, because there's always other stuff going on. But with my roommate Zach at the time, he was really, you know, man, you need to listen. You heard it, but you didn't listen. So, for all you music fanatics out there, here's a great podcast to add to your must listen list. Nakedly Examined Music is a podcast about songs and songwriting. In each episode, Mark Linsenmeier speaks with a songwriter about three of their songs which you get to hear in full. Nakedly examined Music explores what motivates creative decisions at every step of a song's creation, from the initial idea to the final recording. It also provides a picture of how a songwriter's work has changed over the course of their career. This is the ideal context for introducing you to new music. And you're going to come away from the podcast with many new favorite songs. You're also going to learn about legendary artists, and you'll get filled in on scenes and genres that you always felt like you should know more about. You may come away a better listener and a more inspired creator. Start listening today. Wherever you listen to your podcast, the link in the show notes or find the show@nakedlyexaminemusic.com. So walk me through the album, how you listen to it. Sure. Okay, so I'm trying to uncover all of the I've been doing this for months, ever since you invited me, so Graciously invited me to this, but just sort of the archaeology of my listening, if you will, if that makes any sense. It does, and I want to hear it. Let's go. Yeah. So nine year old me in fourth grade going through some really tough times, just with a lot of different things. And basically, to summarize it and not to make it into a pity party, the school I went to, the idea of discipline was essentially a Skinner box. And I was somebody that was beaten hard against the walls of said Skinner box. And the walls were starting to beat back real hard that year. And so I'm experiencing a lot of that. Again, that's what I think attracted me to that image on the COVID I put it on and I hear that classical intro to Battery that there's a bass and guitar in there, and I don't know if that's an eight string bass, but there's definitely like those low tones. And then there's that. I don't know if it's a nylon string, but damn it, it sounds like a nylon string doing that duet. And to me, it put me in this strange camp of medieval warriors. It's like they're sitting around the fire and this is what they will play. That's a great image. Yeah. Masterpubus is extremely evocative. So there's this camp of medieval warriors, and right away there's this dark foreboding, like the fire is crackling in the background, and then that boom come in with the drums and the electric stuff, and that's when the enemy attacks


Participant #1:

the missile of the night. And then it's off and it's just like this. When that heavy part kicks in in Battery, it's like you are getting psyched up for battle. Do we have any censorship in terms of our language telling us? Okay, I might mark all these episodes as explicit. Excellent. I'm glad to hear that. Keep your minded chow. All right. So it is fucking on. The enemy has arrived and they are hitting us hard and we are going to hit them back harder. And it's just that. So here's me pounding against the Skinner box, discipline and bullying and all kind of shit like that going on in my school, and it's returning the reaction. That was that line right there. We are ripped and torn away. We're taking it. We are fucking taking it, but we are dishing it out twice as hard. And just that music is twice as hard as anything that I never heard. Just that speed right away. And batteries. To me, battery is just a taste. It's like there's this initial salvo, everybody's. This initial fight, it's almost a skirmish. And then the real battle gets with the title check.


Participant #1:

I was so grateful that they invoked it in that season of Stranger Things. Like, I was going to make the joke then. So you discovered this album recently, right? Yeah. Along with a third of the population of the Earth, right? Yeah. No kidding. Oh, my God. Yeah. That is a fantastic scene. That was great. They really did that well. They did it absolute justice. I felt vindicated a little bit as I'm watching that with my wife. And as soon as it started like that's, a Master, although the snob in me said, I wish they would have done damage Incorporated, but might have fit the scene just a little bit better, then master is the war. I'm nine. I didn't have a copy of the lyric sheet by the second time I'd heard this because I had to give the original we called them original tapes, the ones that you had to buy and not just Dumb, I didn't have that. So I didn't have any of the liner notes or anything like that. I had no idea what the hell they were saying, what the song was about. I noticed they're saying Master, master. And and, you know, like, pulling, pulling your strings. Master of Puppets. I'm doria's gray. I always thought he was saying that.


Participant #1:

Well, the drug interludes of Master, that's one that I picked up on very quickly as far as it was obvious to me. Now I run through you now I rule you too yeah, I will occupy I will watch you die those were just very blatant antidrug and I don't know their lifestyle during this time. I don't know if they were into it or not into it, or if they had friends that influenced that as far as had bad experiences, I don't know, but it was pretty obvious. They were clearly around a lot of it,


Participant #1:

but that was not obvious to me at that age. I just knew there was some greater controlling. This person that was singing this again, I heard half the lyrics just very, just call my name because I'll hear you scream that was where I went. I'm nine just call my name desalias Gray. That's what it was like. Okay. The master's name is Dizalius Gray. If I invoke this guy, I'm in trouble, things like that. And then I was probably ten or eleven before I figured out it was, oh, because I'll hear you scream. One of the things I liked about Metallica and these albums was that I could understand him. Heffield has his growl and that is his style. But this was heavy metal music that I could understand. I could hear the lyrics. I could hear them. It wasn't like, I love pantera, but that style of the screaming, whether it's Iron Maiden or other things, I can't understand half the chorus. So I'm just kind of mumbling my own things. But Metallica, I could actually get those lyrics. And I think some of it I got it when I was ten or eleven, but I think some of it was just being nine. You hear lyrics. Yeah. The metaphors probably went over your head. Definitely. Like I said, there's somebody being controlled by something here, like I'm being controlled by my school. However you want to imprint it, everyone has different ways of putting that on there. Yeah. And just that song at that time, more than anything else, was the one that spoke to me. And Battery was at intro, initial salvo. Master Puppets has it all. That furious introduction, which was one of the first things that I learned how to play on guitar. And then all of those interludes and those guitar harmonies. And the one thing that bugged me about Stranger Things is right after the solo, there's just this thrashed out rift that only occurs one time in the song. And the drummer in my band, we were actually together in the sketch balls and in the night. How a simultaneously long story, but he and I were talking about this and it was like there are certain things you hear that make you automatically want to head bang that riff right there after the solo, every time. I just remember literally thrashing around in my room to that constantly. And it's the most to this day, it is one of the most brutal things that I've heard in the best way possible. Just that riff. And it's right before what I call like, the Bouncy riff, the extremely classical inspired one. So there's this thrash like thing and then there's very classical. I picture a string quartet and it actually does sound like you're bouncing a bow on a cello or something like that a little bit, if you listen. Yeah, I can imagine that. Yeah. When I actually did play strings, I used to do that like, okay, let's get this rhythm, that sort of thing. So that classical thing. And just all the before that, there's the breakdown in it. And that breakdown was just like it's that quieter, clean guitar with the broken chords. And then the harmony solo that melodic like that every time. I was just like it's like you've just been flung out into outer space or something. That's how I took it. You're just in this very strange, beautiful, dangerous world at the same time. I could probably do an hour on that song, if you'd like. There's definitely the advantage of having the two guitarists that can both play lead. Obviously, both are world class guitarists. Yes. I don't know. Do they consider themselves one lead, one rhythm as Metallica themselves? The way that I've always heard it in interviews and things like that. I mean, James Hetfield, even Dave Mcdaine was an original member of Metallica. Of course. And I kind of agree with Dave Mcdaine that the holy trinity of Metallica is him, Hatfield and Burton. So I'm old school to that extent, I guess as much as I admired Kirk Hammett, like, right off the bat, he was my go to person from the fall of 1986. And then it was him and Slash when I first saw Guns and Roses. And that album came out in the spring of 87. That's another story. Have me back for AfD. How about that? There we go. Yeah. But Appetite for Destruction for those that didn't get the acronym. But that's my other pillar. Actually, the two pillars of my early musical experience are Master Puppets and Appetite for Destruction. You can't go wrong with those two. Yeah. And it was a year, well, more than a year between the release of Appetite for Destruction and Injustice for all. So we had 86 puppets. 87. No metallica activity. Well, activity, but not an album, because bass player died, for one thing. One of the principal architects of their sound. And then justice in 88. But Mustain, for all of the stuff that you can look up and some kind of monster and all that kind of stuff, all the friction he's had. To this day, in interviews, he will say, myself, Hetfield and Malcolm Young are the finest rhythm guitar players on this planet. And I completely agree with that for Hepfield. He is a rhythm guitarist and a riffer. He can pull off harmonies, but he ain't a shredder when it comes to the lead stuff, okay? This is all wrist downstrokes. It is rhythm, some melody. But you can't just pop him in a room and be like, okay, dude, just go shred the hell out of that solo. He ain't going to do it the way that Habit would. Or Smestane or even Robert Trujillo. Right. Their current bass player. I mean, have you ever seen that guy play guitar? No. He's amazing, to say the least. They're usually rhythm guitars with harmony support and vocals. I mean, without Hetfield's, vocals come on. Right. And then the Habit is the lead player. Okay. Recruited from Exodus. Of course, after Mustain had his behavioral problems in New York City. Too drunk for Metallica. Yeah. Blake steven Adler getting kicked out of tons of roses for drugs. Famously, too drunk for Metallica, which was too drunk for Metallica. But Megan, great band in its own right. Absolutely. Yes. That's a whole other anyway, shall we keep going through, like, tracks? Go for it. Okay. So master puppets in all of its wonderful progressive eight minute plus glory. Right. For me, historically, as much as I get the Cthulhu lyrics now,


Participant #1:

thing that should not be seething evil. Right? Seething is a good word because, I mean, it's it's a breather for a bit. Yes. From a from a listener perspective and and from the nine year old anger perspective, while you're taking a breath that anger could be seething under the surface and getting ready to boil up. Yes. And the whole song just sees to me, and it doesn't ever break into the kind of melodic interludes that a lot of the other stuff does, and it doesn't have the just sheer thrash aggression that a lot of the other stuff does. It has its own kind of beauty, and I've come to appreciate it. But early on, I was always like, oh, yeah, that's the one. I'm going to fast forward. So I'm sitting there in my walkmail in the car when my parents got The Beach Boys going, I'm like, how much longer do I have to hear freaking Good Vibrations? Brian Wilson is a damn genius. I am not, you know, trying to but I cannot listen to The Beach Boys to this day. My sister will tell you the same thing. My brothers will probably say the same thing, literally. It's some kind of classical conditioning, we feel. Carcinock. My father is a terrible driver. It's another story. But, I mean, to touch on that I don't need to listen to their hits anymore. Well, good. I mean, those are part of American lexicon. So much they've been in your head. But I can sit and listen to Pet Sounds straight through. It's a fantastic album because all the stuff that you never hear on the radio, that stuff is and that's probably my cousin L and his implanted music snob snobbery on me, so I'll claim it. That's all right, the Beachy stuff. Let's go surfing and stuff. Yeah, I don't care. But I can listen to whatever the name of that studio band because it wasn't really The Beach Boys. Brian Wilson's Studio Orchestra. They were amazing. Wilson himself again. But that was the stuff that I was running away from big time when I was running toward puppets. But Thing That Should Not Be was something that, as a kid, I would definitely fast forward that. It's taken me a much longer time to come around to it and to appreciate it. And then I will tell you about my breakup with Metallica. That's another story, but we'll get to that. And then, of course, welcome home, sanitarium


Participant #1:

for the first four or five years of my acquaintance with Metallica, I only heard the song right up to Got Some Death to do in the end. Got some death to do because that's where my tape cut off. Yes. So I didn't get to hear the final solo with that just Blistering 30 notes and everything? No, the ending of it, it would cut off there. But that song,


Participant #1:

I'm in the Skinner box, locked away in the detention rooms and things like that. Welcome to Timestamps tell no one. I mean, it just labeled mentally deranged. I was like, These people get me. And the intro to Sanitarium was about the second thing that I learned on guitar, too. Okay. Yeah, the intro and that melodic lead solo, that song, again, it brought back in, I guess that richness and complexity. That thing that should not be is more it's a steady, seeding rhythm. Just that and then there's those progressive flights of fancy, if you will, that strange, dark universe that you hear in the classical interludes of puppets. And now it's being brought out in this way that I was like, okay, this is breathing again. This is going somewhere. Instead of just that study drone of that song was a great comfort to me, again, in that really personal level, that this is the stuff that I'm up against. This is the way that I'm feeling. Because I felt rightly or wrongly, I felt institutionalized in that way. And I'm not trying to discount the experience of people that were institutionalized formally and in a much worse way than I was, but I had a lot of that feeling just with their Skinner box approach to discipline. In fact, I was labeled emotionally disturbed by the kind administration of my school. And the way that they did it was they would lump anybody that was a problem, whether it was a developmental disability, whether it was just behavioral thing. Anybody that was was labeled mentally deranged. And we were chucked off into this classroom that had all this shame and stigma about it. It was like, don't talk about that class. It was very the first rule of Fight Club. Right? It was a whole sex no, you didn't talk about it. And I saw other kids because you'd have to have these little gold cards they would give you. Oh, my God. Then they'd write a smile or a frown on it. How many frowns or smiles you got was jeez. Yeah. This is whether you got chucked. In the Ed class, we called it a slur. And I won't use slurs, but slurs for mentally challenge is not even the right word. But that word, the R word, is what they called it back then, and I apologize for that. But, you know and so it's like, Nope, nobody talked about it. You'd see people with the cards, but you'd be like, you don't have that. Nope, I don't have it either. La la. It's kind of like that. Sanitarium was the soundtrack. Even that first half of it was more than enough at that point. It sounds exactly like what the lyrics are saying. As far as your experience, where. You are forcefully in a situation where you have no control. You have to go through those motions. And you're being, for lack of better word, oppressed by the people in charge who you don't agree with what they're doing or what they're telling you to do and not to compare, per se, but I mentioned that I listened to this album in full when I was in the military, right? It was my first few years in the military that I was rumor with Zach. And that was during my lower enlisted days. Not necessarily in charge. This album had a lot of direct correlations for me during that time. Battery, right off the bat, the battle you mentioned always had the same feeling. Artillery, batteries and just that was the way that song fell to me. And then me and my friend would talk about this. How this album, this track, especially the next track oh, yes, we're quite relevant. I wasn't in a Skinner box of that nature, as you were saying. It was more commentary. Wow, this is relevant. We would joke about it. Our sarcasm was heavy in that we would quote a lot of these lyrics and they would go way over the head of our senior listed or officers at the time, which, thankfully, they did go over their head. Otherwise it would have gotten deep shit. It was all very relevant, is all I'm saying. Yeah. Oh, gosh, yeah. I'm glad that we could parallel that experience. I mean, just being up against this, like, on this discipline that fairly justly or not, you have to deal with it. It's unpleasant and it feels oppressive. It very much does, no matter what on the military side, a lot of it goes to just communication where, as an 18 year old, you don't understand. Yeah, what what they're telling us to do and what that what we were doing at the time is never explained. The bigger picture, discipline, cohesion, all that stuff. Ten years later in the military, fully understood life experience and a few trips overseas will do that to you. But at the time, I'm fresh out of high school and and these old crusty guys are, you know, making us do things, and it was just not really understood. So we our kickback was music. It was always music. And we would just correlate to the lyrics way of coping with it. And that military experience. I must confess, I don't have any military experience but obvious military lyrics in Disposable Heroes.


Participant #1:

Disposable Heroes is my favorite track with lyrics on the album. Really? Okay, bar none. My notes for this particular song is this track is heavy, musically and lyrically, to say the least. The line that we would often just yell and at certain times was just always back to the front. And that is one that would go over. They would think we were falling in line, but it was a direct, sarcastic swipe. Adam yes.


Participant #1:

That is what great art does for all of us, right. Enables us to anyway, I'm not trying to get through Phillip off front of it. Go do this. Yes, sir. Back to the front. This one definitely kicks it back into high gear, musically. I mean, this one's heavy. Yes. It's more sustained than Damage Incorporated for me. The heaviest on that album are between that and Damage Incorporated. Between disposable heroes and damage incorporated. This one could be on Kill Them All and it would fit right in. I don't know. I think it's a little too sophisticated for Kill Them All, if I'm being honest. That would be the reason. It wouldn't be yeah. In terms of we got metal militias up, but even I hear Them all. Kill Them All was just sort of like we're rebelling, but we don't really know what we're rebelling against yet. They're practically teenagers, writing and recording that stuff. There's the industry, there's the fake people, all that kind of stuff. But Puppets is more it's just as rebellious, but it's more mature and systematic. Here we have definitely yeah, this whole just the futility of warfare, the way that uses people, the way that the title of Disposable Heroes were crying out loud. Oh, yeah. There's no subtext. None at all. But I think also, like, it is firmly and fully empathetic to the people that are on the front lines. Yes. What it did for me was one of the things that has colored our family, and I don't know how much Mike and Danny have gotten into this, but our grandfather was he fought in Southern D Day, so he was there. I don't know if he was on the front lines, but he was in that battle. I think he was a sergeant by then, a technical sergeant by then, I'm pretty sure. And so his PTSD, which was unacknowledged and never fully processed in his life, and our grandfather had a very positive experience, a very positive influence, I would say, on all of us. I looked to him for so many things, it's not even funny. Passed away in 2008. But that song enabled me, even at the age of nine, to feel some of what he felt. And I don't know if that's too much of an too much of an extension, but it enabled me to step into that world of like, fuck. Fuck. This is what he went through. This is why he doesn't want to talk about this stuff. And just like that intro, my God, starts off just and I hear in that sound the tone. The culture I'm raised in is 80s Cold War. That's when this thing's coming out, it's going on. I don't know if there anybody was doing this deliberately or consciously or not, but God damn it, they were priming us to be warriors. You know, it was all over the media. Everything I did had a gun. You name it, they were priming us for that. And I knew the sound of machine guns, like, not up close and personal, but from all the cartoons and movies and things that bum bum, buh buh buh buh up. All I could hear were these fucking cannons. Just like, dude, you know, it's it's like this it's like the rhythm of some heavy ass artillery. I don't mean to I hope I'm not speaking out of no, I don't want to make any allusions that I was kicking indoors over there. I'm a signal soldier. I provided the Internet. I did my convoys with the best of them, and I was there and did what I need to do. But I was not front line infantry, okay? My experiences were to circle back with better understanding of why the discipline and why the training and reading of the Warrior is needed is because when I did go overseas, I wasn't a private anymore. I had upwards of 30 guys underneath me, and I was that old guy, more a man, more stripes he wore. I was that guy who the young soldiers were telling jokes going over my head. Yeah, now they were right. They were talking about Hubis Bank or something. And you're like, yeah, but I will say it is pretty awesome when you're rolling down a convoy and there's speakers blaring out and it's the GI. Joe theme from the 80s. No, I mean, right there on that branding thing you mentioned as far as from the 80s. Those were the guys in the trucks in the Hummers going down Route Irish. That was what we were doing, and that's what we were playing. Wow. So everybody had this was at the beginning of MP3 players when I was there. Everybody still had their CD sleeves, but some of us did have especially the combo guys. We were the ones with the zooms or whatever at the time with hey, we got 300 songs and just happened to be cartoon themes from the 80s. But then also, this whole album was played all the time out on those cowboys. It absolutely was. Yeah. Right and right there with the Team America theme. Yes, exactly. Oh, my God. But like I said, it let me step into a lot of that. And I hear this heavy artillery or something. Very heavy. And I pictured my grandfather. I didn't know he was in DDay when I was not. That didn't come out until later. But I knew he fought in World War Two, and he fought battles, and he was he was wounded, and he I know he got a Purple Heart. What was it going to say? I'd always imagined that right at that. And it's just like the beginning. It's like there's this heavy fire coming in, and then it stops for a second, and the rest is not arrest, it's panic. It's like we just took heavy fire, and now the really heavy shit is coming. That's how I hear it. That slide symbol, whatever that is, is some big badass thing about to drop out of the sky and kill us all. That is how that shit sounds to me. Incoming is not fun. That one I can attest to. Yo, I was able to tap into some of that and I'm just like, god, that must be what that feels like to some extent. And again, I haven't been there. You have. And I hope I'm not. No, you're fine. You're fine. Watering down that experience. Both my grandparents fought in Europe as well. One died before I was born. But my other grandfather, he wouldn't talk either. No, he would not speak to me, or he just singing would speak to me about it. It was just never brought up right until I was actually in the army. And that he started he started asking me questions and talking about his time in the military. So that was kind of a neat bonding at the time. Oh, wow. But, yeah, up until that, he had never really mentioned that he was over there. It was all his family word of mouth. Yeah. Oh, my gosh. Yeah. Our grandfather wouldn't he'd be little things occasionally, but it would never be acknowledged again. He was very reserved. If you've seen the wit of Danny and Michael, obviously you're very familiar with it. That's where they get it from. He was one of those people like, he could keep a perfectly straight face and everybody around him would just be falling on the floor laughing, you know, but he'd just be like, oh, and he'd be smoking his camels and just like, oh, that's pretty funny. Here. He'd just smoke like this little fifth and be done with it, you know, like that. But just just very reserved. And I don't know if he was like that before or not, because there's no way I was ever going to be able to know that. Yeah, that intro then. So there's after that slide, when there's incoming, then the really bad shit comes after that. That rhythm right after that. Every time I cure that, it morphs from my grandfather in DDay. DDay realistic. Oh, my gosh. Trauma to some kind of fucked up Tolkienesque battle figure. That probably looks like something off of the Danzig album cover. Of course, Glenn Danzig is one of James and Lars's favorite musicians in my imagination when I'm hearing the song. So there's that slide, and then it goes into that.


Participant #1:

It morphs into this Tolkien esque battle where there's these bizarre orclike skeletonsque things that are being knocked down by this Danzigesque female figure that's flying in on a black dragon. And there's this pump. It's like bodies getting thrown left and right by some unstoppable force. And then that filtered WA melody comes in that and that's when the real bad shit, it's like they have arrived and you're dead. There's skeletal hands reaching up from like gigantic skeletal hands reaching up from under the ground. This dragon is spewing fire all over the place. Like, death is here. And then it picks back up. The battle resumes. No, you're dead. But you still got to claw each other's eyes out. Like this is fucking Valhalla stuff going on after the fact. And then it doesn't really take a breather, but it slows down right before the lyric come in. And of course, first line is, Bodies fill the fields. I see. There's no pulling punches at all. He paints a picture. Just say the least. No flinching on that one. And I don't think Hettfield ever had any military experience either. Yeah, I wonder if his family did or not. Yeah, I wonder about that. I know his parents were Christian Scientists. Yeah. So I don't know if that I don't know if they had more pacifist leavings that would have precluded them from that, but I know that. But in any case, that picture just stood with me. But my favorite part of the song, actually, and this is one of the things that I think gets overlooked in a lot of thrash metal. Thrash, to me, is at its best when it is aggressive. Of course, we all get that. But also progressive and also has a groove. That groove is there. Fucking public Enemy. Heard that enslayer. That's why they sampled them all over the place, right? There is this intense groove to all thrash metal if you really listen to it. I don't know why it seems like people can't hear it. They're like, oh, Corn invented groove metal. I'm like, Fuck you on a number of levels. But, you know, not that I'm not trying to disk them, but they didn't invent groove metal. That was there a long time before Corn. And there's the call and response part of Disposable Heroes and Why am I dying? Right? That whole part. You listen to the thimble work that Lars is doing, and there's just these little flourishes and things that just have this groove that like the image that's in my mind during that colon response part is a dance macabre. It is medieval people dancing in the graveyard with relics of their dead relatives. And of course, in my imagination, the dead relatives are popping back up, dancing with them like the dead are reanimated and dancing along in that whole part. It did that to me from the get go, listening to it, and it still does it to me to this day. There's this groove and these dead bodies just getting up and just shaking what they got. Basically the best stuff falling off of them as they go. And just the way it picks back up so many times, it never mellows out, but it takes these little almost pauses because it just like you just can't take anymore and then goes right back into it. Never, ever lets you up. And then they're like, okay. All right. Time to reprise thing that should not be maybe a little bit with Leper besides


Participant #1:

so Leper Messiah, I had an issue with that song, and it was another one that I had to fast forward a little when I was a kid and that I appreciate so much more now. The reason I had to fast forward it this is almost petty. The kid that I initially borrowed Master of Puppets from. I came to love him to death. I haven't spoken to him since the 20th century. I'm not going to name names. And it wasn't any falling out. It was just sort of drifting apart after middle school. Yeah, but but he and I had this strange off again, on again friendship all throughout elementary school. And I think some of it was the mutually unacknowledged, yeah, you're in the bad class, aren't you? You know, kind of thing. You know, I was never quite cool enough sometimes. It was one of those things. And there was a moment where he played Leper Messiah as part of some performance. I don't remember all the context, but I remember him coming in with Leper Messiah and this other guy who was cooler than me and just having this, like, jealousy and just like, hey, that's my album. What the nah, that's the one you demanded back from me. And so I had, like, this weird kind of jealous, angsty stuff about that, and I couldn't really listen to it. And then it got compounded because it became a cliche j in Thrash and then other areas of metal. Two, to always have a song mocking an evangelist. And I don't know if Metallica started that or not, but you have it in Anthrax has make me laugh. Slayer has Jesus saves. Right? Testament. I forget the name of the Testament song, but there's a Testament song that's about the prejurer as a hypocrite. Of course, there's Miracle Man by Ozzy, right? So on and so forth. So it became this cliche after mid 80s stuff where a lot of my Faust was starting to develop was the Jimmy Swagger scandal and the Jim Baker scandal. I don't know if they were responding to those things or responding to a deeper vein of hypocrisy, but it seemed like, yeah, that thing is played out. And by the time I was jaded in the was like Leopard of Science, just one of those songs, god damn it. But you go back and listen to it and it has a great groove at the beginning. And that's what this guy did for the intro that he used. Him and this other Cooler than me guy were walking, and they were basically supposed to do a wrestling intro. They're walking like pro wrestlers, and they're doing like, this kind of you'll probably get this one, Steve. It's bushwhackers kind of walk. Oh, yeah, they were almost doing that. So, like the bush whackers walk and like it's a very danceable intro.


Participant #1:

Yeah. I don't want to call this a filler song because there are no bad songs on this album. But it's probably the lowest rung for me if I had to rank all eight, because this one would be on the bottom minus thing, that should not be for the first two, three minutes. It's kind of boring. Yeah. But the back half of it is pretty badass. Yep.


Participant #1:

You just got to get near the first half. And that sort of invocation of that witchery, right? Oh, my gosh, that's her app. Yeah. That back half of it is something else. And I think it was that sort of experience with that kid and then just dragging, then you're right, it drags if you're not preparing for it. And it's like, it's danceable, though. And then it drags and it's like, yeah, I'm done. Let's fast forward to my favorite song on the album. O'Ryan is easily one of the best rock instrumentals of all time. Oh, God, yes. Bar none, it's just one of the best instrumentals of all time, I think, depending on the time of day and how Calcutulu and Orion I could never rank either one of them is which one is better. They're both phenomenal. But I would put this one up there with Europa or Steven ray Vaughn's little wing. This track is a masterpiece. Yes. There's no doubt about that. I'd put it up there with all instrumental compositional music. It doesn't matter. Watermelon and Easter. Hey, Zappa. There are people that say, when I die, this is what I want to hear. Stuff like that. I don't agree with that, with Watermelon. And for me, Orion, it's like the kind of maybe slightly darker twin of that. I had a Burn CD that I made way back in the day, and it was just rock instrumentals and, you know, like sparks from Tommy and others in all these tracks, which I totally did not get from Napster. No, not at all. That's right, Lars, if you're listening, no, Napster bad. But this was the final track on that particular one because that was the place for it. It was the anchor. It just tied the whole thing together. And I can't speak more highly of this song. It is evocative and it is transformative for me in so many ways. Just the way fades in the whole album takes you on many different journeys. But this, to me, is just pure transport. There's so many images that are just really personal and really just beautiful in this song to me. And I'm sure everybody has their own resonance with it. But this one, to me, begins with a journey in nighttime. And I knew that the song was Orion. Of course, I was obsessed. You're wearing a Star Wars shirt, I can see right now. My first love top. This one. I was born on George Lucas's birthday, the year and knew well, what was then Star Wars came out. Just tell people that I had a kid once. I was born of Mark Hamble's birthday in 77. And I'm like, oh, yeah, but that was in high school. I remember that. And I was like, but I'm a Star Wars baby, through and through. So space sci-fi stuff. I was deeply obsessed with that as a kid. I wanted to be some kind of weird. Basically, the first thing I ever wanted to be in this life was a Jedi night. And back then, we didn't really know what they were. The prequels hadn't happened. We're just like, don't give up your dreams, right? There's still time. Well, the second thing, I wanted to be with Slash, but what was I going to say? Orion just starts off it's all movement for me. You're being taken. You're riding in the dark car at night. And I'm sure there are many, many nights that I was riding in the backseat of the dark car, avoiding toys. And O'Ryan was there with me for a lot of that. And just that way, it fades in. Sounds like there's an organ, but I think Cliff Burton was doing something based there. I think there's a couple of the solos or bass solos, but if you're mistaken for guitar, a Cliff Burton trademark. True. Something that, unfortunately, Metallica lost along with him. I think they lost a lot that day, but so just that fade in those drums. To this day, I maintain that for all of his crapulence, maybe in the popular sphere, lars Lolrich is one of the greatest drummers in in my experience and in my life. You know, certainly underrated actually, I think underrated is a good way to describe Lars. Yeah, listen to what he actually does. I mentioned the symbol work and disposable heroes, and then just the stuff here, just keeping the beat. He's part of this interweaving of creating these rhythms. And they're they're in there just right from that right from the start, there just that that first initial melody that dang, it just coming. Oh, my God. And and that for me, is like that that's when the spaceship starts to take off. And then some of those there's guitar solos and bass solo, I should say guitar melodies and bass melodies interwoven throughout that whole thing. And, you know, it picks up and it builds up and it builds up. And then that breakdown, that breakdown. Oh, my God. It is sunset on the beach on a very distant plain. I took that first part with those great harmony bends, whatever. I don't mean to sing too much of it, but probably off pitch anyway. But those great harmonic bends that are there in that breakdown, then it goes in so many different directions, and I don't know if I can there's no way that you ever adequately put it into words. You just have to experience that song. Right. But after the melody, there is this there's a part where there's a bass and guitar harmonies that are working together. That, to me, always invokes for some strange reason. So in the middle of this journey to all these alien worlds, there's a part where it feels like you're holding a babe, I don't know how to say it other than that. Okay. You're holding this fragile infant in your arms in the softer part, where the melody kind of kicks up after the breakdown, before the drum, before the drums come back in full force and back to that original reprise of reprise of the original heavier rhythm. There's just these few melodic moments where it's like there's this little you're holding this in till they're smiling at you. I don't know where that comes from, but that's been with me since the age of nine. I'm like picturing your vision in a you like the animated kiss stuff from back in the day. Yeah, especially the space traveling on a guitar. I think now they found a baby and they're on an escort mission for the rest of the song, right. To Laura Danan or something. It's like anyone, I don't know, but exactly like, oh, here's this precious little yeah, this is why we're marching back off into the galaxy. Exactly. Something like that. Because it definitely marches back off into the galaxy and that's the rest of it. Need to see a mandalorian, montage set to Orion. Do you have somebody out there needs to do that? There we go. I'll have to tell them the specific part where I picture somebody holding that it fits in. Those Disney owes us 15% for that. They'll sue us for just having all the drogu on something else. Right, there you go. It goes back into that rhythm and you're back on that journey. But now the reprise, to me is like you are definitely floating through the galaxy. And the way that it fades out, always invokes for me, those initial feelings of seeing the Star Wars scrolls at the beginning when the words start to fade out. And to me, they always look like the engines of spaceships receding in Gastons. And it's that kind of fade out. The stellar fleet is moving off, getting ready to jump to hyperspace or something. No, that's a really cool visualization, and honestly, any great instrumental allows you to do that. Oh, yeah, exactly. That's perfect for this. Yes. Is there anything more you want to say? Better, right. No, I think we pretty much covered it all because there's Damage, Incorporated. There is the finale. Yes. Which I only heard the intro right up to dying, all our bodies work as one. And then it would cut off in my original tape. That's what it was. So luckily they didn't hear the great, possibly the greatest line in all of Metal fucking all the fucking no regrets. I never heard that line until four or five years later. Did you get the weird whispers, though? You got to the damage, incorporated. No. You didn't get to those. No. And I remember seeing people with the T shirts that said Honesty is my only excuse. Damage Incorporated on and remember seeing people with those T shirts back then and being like, Damn it, that must be in the part that's cut off. But like, I didn't get it at first. I got some metallic alert. Oh, but the intrude is those those volume swells. You listen carefully to that. That's the three of them swell. It riding the volume knobs in their instruments. Oh, really? I always thought it was keyboards. And the weird thing is, me, as a nine year old kid, I hated keyboards. I don't know why, but I couldn't deal with things that I thought were, like, computer generated or artificial. I'll blame George Lucas for that one where it's like you've turned off your target computer. Right. And I've got to use the force. It's got to be natural and organic. It's got to be real. Right? Exactly. I was like, I hear Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden saying you can't play heavy metal music on a synthesizer. Then they did in the next album. That's another story. All those early Queen albums, they put it on the liner notes. No, synthesizers. Big capital letters on the liner notes. There was a part of me now I'm okay with it, but I remember thinking, like, even though this is keyboards, I still like it. But what it really is, is they're riding the volume dubs on the instruments and they've got these lovely delay effects after it. To me, other people are going to get their own images, of course, but to me does evoke sunrise big time. And it's like if Orion, if the sun set and we blast it off into the galaxy. Beginning of this, the sun is rising. It's this kind of cold morning, and there's these little pockets of warmth that are popping up as the mist is melting off. And it's just like this great image of just like, for whatever reason, being out in nature, mist burning off in the morning. It's very tranquil. It's like one of the most relaxing things in the entire world. And then, of course, the hard left turn yes. By the hardest left turn there is on that album, for sure. It's


Participant #1:

a punch in the face, that first heavy. It's like there's they give you a fair warning because it fades into that oh, crap. You know, that that, to me, is the fight. That that song is the final battle. Metallica does that well. They have those classical style intros, probably influenced by some classical piece that I don't even know. No, cliff Burt died with him. Right? Yeah. I just love those hard left turns where it just comes out of nowhere and it hits you. I love that. Yeah. Like I said, those were the big things for me, was that progressive, which it was better if the progressive was well versed in classical and. That's what made a good thrash album for me, and still does in many ways. But that the thing about the intro to Damage is that it's almost ambient. It's really not that melodic like, there's harmonies, there's a certain melodic structure to it, but it's more just about, like these sort of growing noises and things. It's certainly not a riff, the way that, say, the intro to welcome Home Sanitarium is right. Yeah. And then just that to me, is that where it comes in with that punch in the face is probably the hardest moment in the album for me. I can see that. Yeah, definitely. Then that one doesn't let up after that. It is just brutality. It is a fight. It is freaking no holds barred, bare knuckles, like, people picking up body parts and beating people to death with them.


Participant #1:

I always thought that the whispers were weird. They always threw me. They just kind of come out of nowhere because, like I say, the rest of the song is hard. True. Yeah.


Participant #1:

To me, that's even more menacing. It's like we have just pounded you into a bloody pulp. And now if you say it in a taunting manner to someone who you've just taken down, I could see that. Yeah. I guess that's how I always pictured it. Yeah. To me, it's not letting up because it's no mercy. I literally just a few years later, of course, it's Mortal Kombat. I literally just ripped your spine out. And that's the last thing I say to your head as I'm holding it in my hands. There we go. Something like that. There you go. That makes sense. Yeah. There we go. But then just just those ugh. I mean, I'm envious that I I never got the full effect of that song until there was there was 7th grade when I when I got the copy of that, when I got an original of master Puppets. Final


Participant #1:

reason why is my parents gave us $2 allowances. Tapes in the mid to late 80s were $10. So it took me five weeks to save upgrade tape, and I had my dub of Master puppet. Some, like, got to get the rest of the Metallica catalog. My next one was Ride the Lightning, which for me was actually a letdown go ahead. Not a letdown, but I should say let down is maybe too strong, but to me, it never quite achieved the mastery of master Puppets. The production is rougher and gnarlier on it. The guitar tones are muddier. There's this kind of precision in Puppets that really characterizes more like we're transitioning into the later 80s now Ride is is more like, this is the last gasp of the early eighty s. And now we're transitioning into the later 80s. Things are crisper. Things are clearer. Here's some guitar geek stuff for you. They were using exclusively these older Marshall ABS, from what I understand on Lightning. And I go back and listen to your episode, too. Basically, Fleming Rasmussen was sourcing all of the Marshals he could find on the European subconscious. But they had some marshals, and they also had a Mesa Buggy Mark two C Plus, which had field inhabit dubbed Captain Crunch. That sound, to me, is the tone of thrash and the definitive tone for a metal sound. For me, it's interesting enough because my my uncle not on my daddy side. On my dad's side, he's also a guitarist. He was actually active in a number of more glam metal bands in the early 80s. Okay. He hated Metallica. He's like, I don't get this sound at all. Like, why do they want it to sound like they suck all the midrange out of it? There I don't like this. He's like, there's no body to them. Yeah. There's no body to the tones. And this kind of thing. I remember him complaining about it. It's interesting. Yeah. And then ten years later, he's like, yeah. I've tried to get that sound, like, Metallica gift. The one you ridiculed me for when I was done, that type of thing. So that mesis owned was something that I didn't realize what it was. Of course, at the time, thank God, it was probably took me 20 years because I had a divorce from Metallica. And that divorce came in the form of the Black albums. Okay. I was 14 when it came out. And I remember I was at a friend's house. Not the same friend that I swiped the puppet's tape first. I grew up in Waukeshaw, Wisconsin. That's where most of my growing up was. My parents moved there, and when I was in first grade, about halfway through first grade. But I was at a friend's house in Waukeshaw, and the entersome and video came on. This was the summer after 8th grade. For me, you could watch my heart ripping in half. They fucking stole out. Not the tout, not my heroes say it ain't so, Jojo it was like, what? Those moments, I can't believe. I mean, looking back on it, I can see it was pretty much inevitable. And I'm sure Cliff Burton was rolling over in his grave the moment they hired Bob Rock. But if not before. But it got him on MTV. Probably doubled their fan base. He probably couldn't topple their fan base. Yeah. And from a commercial and business standpoint, it took Metallica from a mom and pop shop into a Fortune 500 company. Blackab was what, 9192-9191? I didn't get MTV until late 1990. Okay. I was glued to MTV. Yeah. What year to be glued to it. Yeah. I mean, it was it was great. And but that's where I was like, who are these guys? I hadn't heard Metallica at all. It wasn't part of my musical. I came from rural Illinois, and there was a lot of John Mellencamp, a lot of Eagles, which is all great music. I've seen him on the porch in Spring Valley. John Melle that's what I always thought about. I was like, yeah, this is the Tasty freeze. Yeah, exactly. But that was most of the music that I heard. So it wasn't until MTV that was like, okay, who are these guys? And and it was, it was I'll say it was tame enough to lure me in and I liked it. And then my musical taste grew from that. Had I at the time, probably heard if I had heard lightning or, or Puppets at the time, I probably wouldn't have gravitated towards it. It was, it was too much for my eleven year old mind at the time. The blackout was perfect for me as my gateway drug into Metallica. So Load and Reload were my let down. Don't worry, they'll disappoint you, too. But yeah, that's how it was when I construct the narrative in my head now, knowing what I know, I probably didn't realize that they had a bass player that died until I finally saw something about it in a Metal Edge magazine in like 88. So did you notice the difference between Puppets and and Justice For All? I did. But I liked justice. I still like justice. Yeah, it's a great album to me. Yes, I agree, it's a great album. I still I would put Puppets as the pinnacle, personally, and I think justice, especially nowadays, I see as a step down in 88. When I was eleven, when justice came out, though, it was like, okay, this is what I'm looking for. They've got these when now we're talking about justice, basically, but they've, they've got, you know, the great classically fade in stuff at the beginning. They've got all the complex melodies and all that aggression. It's all in there. But basically to me, in 88, it sounded like an updated version of the band. I was like, yeah, this is, this is great. Didn't take me to the same places that Puppets did, but I was ready for it. I was was ready for justice. And that was actually in a gateway for one of my best friends to this day. That's how I got him into Metallica. That was 6th grade. This is a whole other story. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden. We haven't seen each other since in person since the Black Album came out. But we came regularly. Yeah, that's another story for another time. Basically, Puppets was my gateway drug to everything. Initially, when I heard it, I wanted to be a drummer. I was that inspired by the rhythms, just the aggression, just kind of pounding everything up. So I didn't even know who Lars Lauren was because I just had my dumps. I remember there's these guys, I think I got their apes together. It took me probably until 6th grade to piece that together. And maybe fifth grade, I Hades, but I pieced together at first I wanted to be a drummer, I was like, yeah, and then I saw more pictures of Kirk Him, and I was like, I really like the melody, too. And I was starting to change more towards guitar. And then I saw Slash, and I was like, that's when I want to be right there. Man of mystery hiding in the corner. He had the sound and the image all packaged into one. Well, he does. Still does. Yeah. Even in a fucking Capital One commercial. He's in a Capital One commercial. Everybody's got to pay the bill. Yeah. You come to realize that, but when you're 14, you don't have those critical sensibilities. It's like, wait a minute. This was the band this is back to the Black Album in Metallica. This was the band who literally had killed Bon Jovi on the headstock of one of their guitars, and now they're working with Bon Jovi's producer. Yeah, that was my experience of it. It's really funny. The drummer in my band has a much more similar are you 818-08-2808? Those your mike's? Yeah. Okay. Mike's Age. Yeah. So the drum, our drummer is Danny's Age, 81, and he has the same experience in the Black Elbows, basically. Like he said, there was a day when he went and he's ten years old, he went to a record shop and he got a copy of Nevermind and the Black Owls. That was it for him. There you go. That's pretty awesome. So Master Puppets made the top of your list. What would be on your short list? Okay. So appetite for destruction. Matthew sweet girlfriend. Okay. Yeah. That was another hugely transformative album. It's hard to piece together all of everything, but probably asked if he ages by Sonny Shirak. I don't know if he knows that. I have no idea what that is. Sunny Sherock was a great jazz musician. His greatest claim to fame was that he did the intro music for Space Ghost Coast To Coast on Cartoon Network. And I think he died shortly before that was released. Like, he recorded it he died that year in 94. Yeah. Shirak is the only jazz guitarist that has ever been listed in heavy metal lists and Top Tens and stuff like that. Okay. Sonny Sherrock. Oh, my God. My three biggest influence as a team, I would say Metallica is just my general influence as a musician and probably as a bass player. But my three top three influences as a guitarist are Robert Klein, Sonny Sherak and Slash. Interesting. I don't know if you know Robert Coin. Yeah. Forgive my ignorance. Who's that? Robert Klein played on. Matthew sweet's girlfriend. He's responsible for the leads on the title track. For example, the famous song Girlfriend. All that crazy out there lead work. That's Robert Clyde. I know that song, but I couldn't name you another one. Don't worry about it. Not well versed in his catalog. Yeah, he played with Lou Reed quite a bit. He played on the Blue Mask, played with a whole bunch of people. He was in the Cpgbc. He got brought up at our classic rock roundtable that we did during season one. So yeah, he got mentioned. Yeah. It's like Danny betterdon. Mike likes Pearl Jams. That's enough. We're going to be at loggerheads about that one. No matter what we'll get you going on in some of our livestreams. Yeah, I'd love that. Yeah, they get a bit rowdy at times with some conflicting music. Tastes awesome. That's the best. But yeah, there's so much stuff it's hard to sift through. But I mean, those are very much top albums. I'm going to have to go with 7th Son of a 7th Son by Iron Maiden. Yeah. Another one. That Mike. Danny and I are our Uncle Joe. My parents requested you might know Joe Proko. He had an electronics repair thing in the Valley for 20 years or something, but he's still there. My mother's brother. But Joe is a very cool guy, but he had to read through the lyrics of 7th Son of a 7th Son because I bought it at the at the Peru Mall when I was down visiting for a week. And I was like, yeah, get this. And my mom's like, you want a tape? She's talking to me on the phone and like, yeah, you got to have somebody look at it. My uncle's like, there's nothing bad news. Oh, my God, there better not be any bad lyrics in it. I guess this was before any parental labels. It was right around the time they were starting to come out because my dad, to bless my dad for this, he bought me Appetite for he let me buy Appetite for Destruction. I had to save up for it. It's like the third take I was able to save up. I remember very distinctly buying it in the Kmart and Wakashan. My dad saying, don't let your mom know I let you five. Oh, that's great. Yeah. And God, there's so good. 7th Son. You know, it's either going to be volume four or sabotage by Black Sabbath. It's hard for me to do between those. So it takes a nation of millions to hold us back by public enemy. Shortlist, too. Public Enemy is not one that I don't think anyone's mentioned on any short list so far, so yeah, that's a new one. Yeah. I hear that album in my head on a daily basis, I think almost. Rain and blood, Slayer. I had another roommate in the military that was a big in a Slayer. He was a bass player. Oh, yeah, awesome. Rain and Blood is I don't know if it's that or Seasons or the abyss. It's the peak of that baton firm. Okay, that's got to be one of those. I like south of Heaven a lot, but Rain and Blood is rain and Blood is like it's a non stop. It doesn't blow up. There's no breaks. There's no real sort of breakdowns. But not risk. Actually, my current band of the Night House, I originally joined them as a bass player. One of my favorite moments of my life as a musician was there was a moment in a practice there we were going to do a gig. It was the first gig I was going to do, playing bass with them. And they're like, oh, we need one more set for the song. And we were like, We've been fooling around, raiding blood. And we did it. And just like, playing that song for the first time, there's video of it somewhere. Just a smile on my face. This was kidding. Academy store stuff, right? Pure joy. Yes, exactly. That song rules so hard. Oh, my God. There's so many places where there's just pure aggression, but then there's just so many grooves in it. Like the sort of breakdown where it probably goes from 180 Beats per Minute to 160 /minute or something, the whole thing where he's going off about Souls from My Treasure has passed now there are ornaments dripping above and like, all that kind of sorry, I don't mean to keep now. We're way off Puppets. There's a lot of people out there that are heavy metal headbang. It's not my thing. It's all trash. There's a lot of technique and there's a lot of art in there that can go unappreciated if someone just doesn't listen to it. And that what goes with any genre of music. My recommendation, anyone out there is don't write off anything just because it has that label. Because Puppets in particular has that just the high level of technique that we've hammered in already on this podcast. But the Slayer and Iron Maiden, if you get past some of the lyrics, are nonsense. There yes, rain and Blood blow. Okay. Angel of Death? Sure. But when you that's about Joseph Mengeler. What's that? That's about the Nazi doctor. Joseph Mengeler. Angel of Death. And it is not an homage. It is the full horror of what that piece of shit did. Yeah, that's another level of the technique that some of the lyrics, if you can get past, if you're not into the delivery of them, if you actually get into the lyrical content, they can be deep, they can be meaningful, and you make them away with a new appreciation of it. Because it is definitely to me, it's a very specialized genre of music that is not easy to do. Completely agree. It requires absolute mastery of the instrument. For anybody that's getting guitar, that iconic riff in the title track, Master Puppet is all fucking downstrokes. James and Kirk have admitted to using up and down strokes when they've played it. And Dimebag Darrell actually chided them about that. He's like, Come on, got to stick with it. But the recorded things all downstrokes. If you can pull that off, you've got some serious speed and precision in your right hand. And then you get into the guitar harmonies. So you're playing that fast. Yeah. I mean, in harmony. That's I mean, wow. Yep. That is unparalleled musicianship and said metal musicians in general. I mean, just extremely high level. And there's a lot of CROSSDOG. I mean, for example, probably one of the greatest metal guitarists of all time is Alex Skolnick of Testament. Skolnick has a jazz trio that he tours with regularly. That's cool. Yeah. There's so much crosstalk between jazz, classical and metal, and it's unappreciated by people that are put off by the prima facie aesthetic of metal, the first phase, or an aesthetic of metal, if you will. Well, before we wrap this up, please tell our listers if you're working on anything, where they could find you or anything you'd like to pitch. Sure. Well, you can find me NightHowls, Wisconsin. There's two night howls. There's one that's in New Mexico, and then there's us, who are in Wisconsin. So it's knighthowls wi. We are working on some new material which will feature my guitar and vocals for the first time and, of course, the other guitar and vocals and absolutely fantastic metal inspired drumming. I wear many hats. I've realized that in my life. But I play bass, sing and do guitar in that band now. And I teach at UW Whitewater at Rock County. If anybody ever wants to come and learn philosophy or religious studies or women's and gender studies from the perspective of the metal head, I'd be interested to talk any of those things. It sounds like a fun class, actually. We got to title it that way, though. Nice to it metal Heads on Gender, things like that. You'd be surprised. Right. There will be some new night house stuff that we're hoping to have up by the summer. It's going to take us a while because we all got lives, I guess, but yeah. I don't know if there's anything that's not too academic that I can announce, but I don't know what else to say or rick, I'd like to thank you for your time today. It was a pleasure to sit and talk with you about Metallica's Master of Puppets. Pleasure was all mine. It's wonderful to meet you, and I'm so glad to talk about my favorite Metallica album. We'll have you on again. We'll get you on the live streams. And this was fun. A lot of fun. That was a lot of fun for me, too. Thank you so much. Someone may claim appetite for destruction, though you never know if that's in the works. That's okay. It's not currently, but season four is a long way off. This is the kicking off season three. If nobody's cleaned it, I'm going to stake mine. I'd like to thank you for listening to Music Rewind, a podcast from the Sidereal Media Group. If you enjoyed today's episode, there are many ways to help the show, such as our patreon or affiliate links to the show notes. The easiest way, though, is to give the show a rating or comment wherever you listen. We really do appreciate it. Thank you again. And as I always say, listen to the full album. Until next time.


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