The Metallica Report review
Metallica’s influence on metalheads of a certain age (read my age) is undeniable. My friends and I listened to the albums non stop, learned the songs (apart from the solos), and doodled the logo in our books. I even used to write endorser thanks lists mentioning Tama drums and Zildjian cymbals etc just like Lars. They were absolutely instrumental in turning me into a proper metaller (alongside Anthrax, Testament and Pantera).
At this point I’d like to give a shout out to Imran at GreatPods for putting this series on my radar. It’s always nice to get told about something that would have potentially slipped by unnoticed!
So what’s it about?
This podcast purports to offer all the insider news from the Metallica camp. From news and interviews with band members and fans, to roadcrew and techs letting you in on all the little secrets of what goes into making the concerts run smoothly. This is a one stop shop for any Metallica superfan.
Presented by self-confessed superfans Steffan Chirazi and Renée Richardson. I recognised Steffan’s name immediately from many years dutifully reading Kerrang! Magazine, but he also runs “So What”, Metallica’s fanclub zine. Renée was a radio presenter, but now oversees Metallica’s charity All Within My Hands. Their love of the band is immediately apparent, and somewhat contagious.
Is it any good?
As I mentioned in the previous section, this podcast offers the inside line on all things Metallica related. Except it doesn’t. Not really. When a band gets to the real top tier (like Metallica), it stops being a band and becomes a business. A corporation. So this podcast is in truth nothing more than an advert for “Metallicorp”. The tone is similar to half time gossip in a basketball match with all the adverts from the sponsors. It lacks the cosiness or the inclusive feeling of a fan based show, and just comes across as one massive marketing strategy.
I haven’t checked to see if this is also on YouTube, but if it is, I will bet that each section is accompanied by slick animated cgi elements and video clips of the interviewees superimposed over swirling, dynamic looking backgrounds.
I was really hoping for more than this podcast delivers. It’s still relatively new (only 3 episodes so far), so maybe it will change. I really, REALLY hope it does. After all, Metallica are on an epic tour, so there is only really talk about that with some fan interviews thrown in.
This is a band who are no strangers to controversy, from not mixing (then bassist) Jason Newstead’s bass into the …And Justice For All album, to recent concern over the pricing of their VIP ticket packages. Lars’ public outcry against Napster and P2P sharing in general, to the St. Anger snare sound, and his ability as a drummer in general. All this just washes over them, and despite what the public may think about their metal credentials nowadays, their DGAF attitude has remained (something I suppose that is easy to do when you are coining it in no matter what you do).
Truth be told, despite having a huge influence on me back in the mid 90s, they haven’t actually made an album that I liked since 91. Hell, they haven’t released 10 songs I’ve liked in that time. So, four entire albums in 7 years (I didn’t really like Kill Em All), to less than 10 SONGS in 32 years is not a great streak. And yes, the thought that 1991 was 32 years ago does make my brain feel weird and old.
Maybe this show isn’t aimed at me then, as there are many many superfans who will lap up any release by their favourite acts no matter how shonky they may be to other, less die hard fans. I guess the opinion of whether this is a good podcast is “all within your hands” (see what I did there?)
You can get The Metallica Report here: