Metallica Fridays (no. 14): Staying Out Of The Comfort Zone

i’m gonna be honest. i have been feeling pretty uninspired this past week, with a few mental bumps in the road- things i usually don’t talk about, unless asked. i’ve been getting better at doing some physical therapy and using the prosthetic, which is wonderful since it’s getting me one step closer to being more mobile. That said, i have these particular feelings and mental blocks that come and go… fortunately not transforming into the ‘unnamed feeling’ (which i HAVE experienced on this journey, and wish upon no one.

i didn’t really feel like playing music at all, but i wanted to do a ‘Metallica Fridays’ post. And i’m glad i did, because it actually helped me to get out of that space i was experiencing. (And of course as i go to post, tech issues ensued. So this post is late. What is new?)

i also kept focusing on how many mistakes i make. Even though i say ‘yes, this is a journey and mistakes are made and you learn from them’, i still cringe at them.

Then a thing happened. i saw MelSickScreamoAnnie (or Meliani) do a performance of ‘Fade To Black’ (a song that is difficult for me to listen to, for obvious reasons). This is a person whose skills on the guitar are phenomenal, and in this reading of the song she made massive mistakes. That was her first time performing outside of Indonesia, and to the performance, she said she didn’t “want to share at first because i made many mistakes… but i guess i shouldn’t really overthink about it.”

That put things in perspective. She is a far superior musician than i.


As i was thinking about what songs to do for this post, i (again) went through a concentrated listening cycle, and it really did assist in lifting my mood. Metallica’s music on one end, helps me to make sense of death (as i’ve stated in other posts) and speaks to mental health struggles i experience; listening to them though, doesn’t always necessarily make me happy. Sometimes it does though, and this week it happened to.

The longer i’ve returned to the drums (and playing instruments in general), the less i understand why people attack Lars. Is he the most technical? Of course not. And that’s okay. Dude ‘s penchant for arranging deserves way more credit. Also, the way he plays, very few people can capture his nuances. i know i certainly can’t, despite doing fills inspired by him, sometimes subconsciously.

i don’t care what anyone says. Lars is dope.

‘Atlas Rise’ is one of my favorite songs from the band; it is also my favorite song on Hardwired… To Self Destruct. At this point, you see how Lars combined the best of the ‘thrash’ and TBA/Load/ReLoad periods. The working title of this song was ‘N.W.O.B.H.M. A.T.M.’, and the influence of ‘New Wave of British Heavy Metal’ bands is clear here. Thematically, the song (along with songs such as ‘Dirty Window’ and ‘Holier Than Thou’) is a continuation of addressing (inter)personal contradictions. The reading of the lyrics may not have the same youthful anger as ‘Dyers Eve’, but age and life’s experience give it a similar grit and rage.

And the harmony to the final ‘RIIIIIIIIIIIIIISE’, i love it so much. This is such a perfect Metallica song.

Every time i do these posts, i have to keep saying it- Metallica can write dope songs in their sleep. There is a reason why they are my favorite metal band. Welllll… several reasons. i know it gets heard by everybody and their mama, but ‘Sad But True’ goes hard. Tell me that song isn’t a head nodder.

Go ahead. tell me.

It’s another well-written track that has dope riffs and pensive lyrics that have been interpreted in various ways, from the narrator being personal demons (or the devil himself) to addiction. This is also the first song i ever heard, where i truly began to understand what people meant when they were talking about music production. Bob Rock did the thing. Cassettes are not known for having the greatest sound quality (and i wore out all my Metallica tapes); however, even on cassette this song stood out to me.

The Alesis obviously doesn’t do justice to the Tama Artstar II (my dream drum set), and i haven’t messed around with the midi enough yet to separate the drums to make, for instance, the kick louder. That said, i am not going to complain one bit. i’m playing drums, and it’s a great outlet and mental balancer.

Thanks Clyde, and thanks Lars.

Aaaaaaaand we have another music video, featuring Touré and Blue! These videos are always fun to make, and they lift my spirits. And i know y’all don’t wanna sit there and watch me play bass for 6 or 7 minutes… i hope you enjoy them as well!

i also hope i didn’t disrespect Cliff at all, with my bass playing. i didn’t do any of the runs he did in the song- i’m not that great of a player!!! ‘Seek And Destroy’ is a really fun song to play though! Doing these ‘Metallica Friday’ posts have also challenged me to do what i’ve never done before- play to Metallica songs. Even with this, i am out of my comfort zone. As with many other of their songs (not just the Justice album) the bass is mixed way low, so i did mix it a bit higher, but not enough to overpower the rest of the instruments.

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