Metallica Fridays (no. 2): Jonny Z And First Plays

So here we go… As promised, since Metallica/Lars was the inspiration to get me back here on these drums, i wanted to have a specific day where i just posted playing to their songs. How i play is very basic, so in a way i was scared to even cover their material- i don’t play double kick, and i don’t do complex rhythms, at least at this stage. But still… how you do things is to just do them, and get better despite whatever limitations. i have one leg (which, even though i have accepted it still bugs me out to say), and the foot on the existing leg (which permanently has pins and rods) isn’t the strongest. So every time i play i am surprised! Whatever mistakes or hits i make, i’m still happy i am alive and get to bang on stuff.

As i was figuring out what songs to do for this post i heard that Jon Zazula (the co-founder of Megaforce Records, along with wife Marsha) passed. Jonny Z was the one who championed for Metallica when other labels weren’t into them. So of course, ‘Hit The Lights’, the first song Metallica ever recorded (for the Metal Massacre compilation); and the first song released on the first album (Kill ‘Em All) was the first choice to play to. It’s actually one of my favorite songs to play drums to.

i wanted to play another Megaforce track, and at the same time challenge myself- so i said… ‘Creeping Death’! No, it is not the most complex song on Ride The Lightning; however, i had never practiced or played it in its entirety before. i’m just doing a lot of experimenting. What you are seeing here is me playing it through in a first take for the first time, warts and all.

Interestingly, the ‘Guitar Hero’ versions to some of these songs are a bit different than the album versions, in terms of arrangement…

‘Fuel’ is a perfect example of where my limitations lie, and how i work around them. No wait… that’s ALL the songs!

Honestly, even though i love them all (and i say that unironically), the Load/ReLoad/St. Anger period is some of my favorite drumming from Lars. Load is actually my favorite Metallica album. The musicality, the lyricism, the production- they are all on point.

This is an incredibly fun song to play, and it’s even more fun to see it live! ‘Fuel’ to me is like, the Metallica version of Michael Jackson’s ‘Speed Demon’. Both awesome songs.

And of course, being a St. Anger fanboi, i wanted to do a song from it. Lars was putting in work on that album- don’t sleep. Should Kirk have had solos on it? Yes. Absolutely. Does the snare sound bother me? Not as much as it does other people. Should Bob Rock be considered a ‘hero of the day’ for his work on that album? Indeed. He stepped back in his primary role as producer, and became a member of Metallica, even if for an album (as well as some other sessions, and live performances). The whole album tells a specific story (some of which ‘invisible kids’ like me can identify with), and i appreciate that.

Honestly, it’s one of the Metallica albums i listen to the most. And again, i love all their albums.

Hopefully down the line- sooner than later, the album will be seen for the greatness it actually is.

Wherever you go Mr. Zazula, say hi to Cliff for us.