During a recent appearance on the Howard Stern ShowLars Ulrich and James Hetfield made a surprising admit about playing obscure cover songs. We’ve never heard before.

Lars Ulrich said:

That first year in LA – ’81, ’82 – we were down in LA, playing songs by obscure bands from Europe that nobody had heard of. We didn’t say, ‘These are not our songs,’ but we just went up and played ’em.”

James Hetfield talked about it and explained:

“In the early days, like Lars was saying, no-one knew they were covers. We loved ’em, until it came time to record our demo. When we hooked up with our record guy – ‘OK, we’re goin’ in and we’re gonna make a demo’ and…’ ‘Well, we can’t play this song… and this song… and this song…’ ‘Whaddya mean?!’ Back then we had these really long drawn-out epics… ‘What happened to all the short songs?!’ ‘Well… they were covers…'”

Watch Metallica perform “Master of Puppets” (below).