Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich recently shared a video in which he named the new wave of British heavy metal bands that inspired and greatly influenced Metallica when he and Hetfield had first founded the band.
As you might know, the new wave of British heavy metal can be defined as a movement that emerged in the late 1970s. The genre dominated the music industry during punk rock’s decline. The wave produced many iconic metal bands such as Def Leppard, Diamond Head, Iron Maiden, Saxon, etc.
In his recent IG video, Ulrich highlighted that he was obsessed with these bands and was encouraged to form his own band, which is why he released an advertisement in a Los Angeles newspaper, The Recycler. In the ad, he stated that he was looking for musicians who were listening to the new wave of British heavy metal bands.
Then, James Hetfield called him when he saw Ulrich’s advertisement, and they formed Metallica, which would become one of the most popular and commercially successful heavy metal bands. Therefore, Ulrich credited Iron Maiden, Saxon, and Def Leppard as the secret forces behind the band’s existence.
Ulrich’s IG post read as follows:
“Wednesday night babble…”
In Ulrich’s words, he said:
“The new wave of British heavy metal is the main reason that there is Metallica. I was completely immersed and obsessed with this wave 79-81. When I met James, we connected on that, shared some of these songs, played them.
To James, he loved them and then we started Metallica and I’m talking to you. That’s the short version of that story. Anyway, you know about Iron Maiden, Saxon, Def Leppard…”
Therefore it can be said that the new wave of British heavy metal had a great influence on both James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich at the beginning of their professional musical career.