Metallica frontman James Hetfield spoke in an interview by Newsweek. James was asked about his favorite Metallica album, he said:
“I like ‘Ride the Lightning’ a lot because I think that was the first time we got to be a part of it. ‘Kill ‘Em All,’ obviously we recorded and wrote all the songs for it, and they were basically songs from the first couple of years we had been playing in the clubs.
So we just went in and recorded them, but we weren’t allowed to be in there for the mix or anything. With ‘Ride the Lightning,’ there was no manager telling us, ‘Stay away from this studio’ [laughs]. We were really integrated into it, and we were able to help with the sounds, help with the ideas and all that stuff.”
He also talked about some of his influences as a guitarist. He said:
So guitar influences for me—really percussive. As I mentioned earlier, I’d love to play drums too [laughs], you know? What I do is play drums on the guitar. I’m very rhythmic, and obviously I’m a rhythm guitar player, so there’s some great rhythm guitar players out there: Malcolm Young [of AC/DC] obviously. [Scorpions founding member] Rudolf Schenker and I would say Johnny Ramone had just a great right hand: a lot of down picking, da-da-da-da [he sings a guitar down-picking part], really machine-like. I just gravitated toward that. And obviously the musicality of a riff: Somebody like a Tony Iommi, who is the ultimate riff master in my opinion—so a combination of heavy and great melodies within the riffs.