Anthrax rhythm guitarist Scott Ian spoke to Metal Hammer about his time with Metallica. He remembered when he was with frontman James Hetfield after the band’s bassist Cliff Burton passed away in a tragic accident.
Metallica released their third studio album entitled ‘Master of Puppets’ on March 3, 1986. Although it was one of the band’s most known and critically acclaimed albums, their longtime fans and band members will always define it as a painful memory as Burton’s last album.
The band started their Damage, Inc. Tour on March 27, 1986, in Valley Center Unite and ended on February 13, 1987, in Gothenburg. The tour turned into a complete disaster after Burton died in a bus accident on September 27, 1986. His untimely and unexpected death devastated everyone around him.
During the tour, Anthrax performed as the supporting act. So the band members tried to comfort the remaining Metallica members mourning after the bassist. Scott Ian stated that Benante and Bello were with Hetfield while talking with Kirk Hammett all night. Then, he stayed with Hetfield to support him, and they spent days at the guitarist’s mother’s house.
Ian recalled that time saying:
“I remember Charlie and Frankie taking James outside to walk him around the block a few hundred times to try and clear his head, while I stayed up all night talking to Kirk. They flew home, and we flew back a few days later, then got another flight straight to San Francisco.
I stayed with James in his tiny little apartment in the city for a couple of days, and we just spent every day out at Kirk’s mom’s house. I was with James, Lars and Kirk and a lot of their friends from other bands. I met Mike Borden from Faith No More because he was super close with Cliff.
We spent like a week just literally sitting around Kirk’s mom’s house, drinking beer and telling stories. It was one of the deepest, most powerful experiences humans can go through together.”
Scott Ian highlighted that musicians from other bands came to Kirk Hammet’s house to support Metallica during those hard times, and he met with Faith No More’s Mike Borden, who was Burton’s close friend. He described it as one of the most devastating experiences of his life.