In the recent episode of a metal podcast called ‘Speaky N’ Destroy,’ Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti talked about his first meeting with each Metallica member.
In the statement, Mark also revealed a little-known side of Metallica frontman James Hetfield while telling his conversation with him.
Here’s the story:
“The first time I met James [Hetfield, vocals/guitar] I was in LA at The Whisky. Sunset Marquee was the hotel, and there’s a bar there called The Whisky where a lot of celebrities and band people would hang out.
And my security guy Aaron, we were hanging out, he had known James, and he went over to James and introduced me to him, and then kind of walked off and left me and James there.
I was very nervous, it’s probably my biggest hero at the time, and we just talked a little bit, I talked to him about King Diamond, how they covered some King Diamond tunes, and I left them alone, I didn’t want to bother them.
But after that, I met Kirk [Hammett, guitar] a bunch of times, and he was always really nice, easy-going. We were in a bar somewhere and Rob [Trujillo, bass] came in, he’s like, ‘Yeah man, I’ll use your wah pedal on stage [the Morley Mark Tremonti Wah].’ That was pretty killer.
After that, I met them a bunch of times. Some of my best memories of playing festivals with them, my good friend Tom Robb worked security for them, and he used to do security for us back in the day.
On James Hetfield’s attitude, Mark said:
“He -security guy- came over after our show, and he’s like, ‘James doesn’t often spend a lot of time watching, you know, they’ll check out one or two songs of all these bands, but you’ll never see them watch the whole set, and he just watched your entire set,’ at Download.
So I was really excited about that, and then he’s like, ‘Kirk wants to say hi to you, why don’t you come over to the dressing room? I’ll leave your name, walk you in.’
So I walk over, he walks me in, and he had to go somewhere and he kind of left me standing on this balcony, and up comes Lars [Ulrich, drums], he’s like, ‘Hey Mark.’ He knew my name, and he asked me about how cool was it that Myles got to play with the guys from Led Zeppelin, how cool that must’ve been.
So we had a little conversation; we did a show with them a long time ago, and he had invited us all to the afterparty and he was a gentleman, we had a good time.
I was watching Metallica onstage, and the security guys were like, ‘Yeah, you’re part of the family up here, you can go wherever you want, let us know if we can do anything.’ I’ve been watching the show, Kirk comes out from behind the curtain at the beginning of ‘Fade to Black,’ and he’s like, ‘Hey man, how’s your show?’”
“And he’s explaining to me his rig, and I could hear his solos coming up in like three seconds, he’s like, ‘Oh sh*t, gotta go,’ he jumps on stage to play his solo, and then later in the night, you know, they have their fan group, like, the fan-club people on both sides of the stage during the set, and I was kind of standing about 30 feet away from them on the side stage.
And James comes over, I think it was [1984’s] ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ or something, and he’s rocking out, he looks to the fans, and he kind of gives them the ‘rock’ face, then he sees me side stage, and he kind of stops picking and kind of gives me a wave and smiles – takes off the ‘rock’ face and just smiles. And that was probably one of the coolest moments, being recognized by your hero.”