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Five Finger Death Punch + Sevendust Talk 30th Anniversary of Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’

Elektra
Elektra

On March 3, 1986, Metallica unleashed a slab of heaviness known as ‘Master of Puppets’ and the disc would go on to be one of the most acclaimed albums in the history of metal. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the disc, Loudwire spoke with members of Five Finger Death Punch and Sevendust about the album and learned a little about the influence and impact ‘Master of Puppets’ had on members of each band.

Five Finger Death Punch drummer Jeremy Spencer says, “That record definitely changed my life for sure. I was 14 when it came out and actually …  I went to Wal-Mart and I stole it on cassette. I ripped off Lars Ulrich before Napster. Sorry Lars, I love you man, but I love that record.”

Spencer goes on to share his admiration for Ulrich’s work, explaining, “It’s just the way he plays, that double bass, that opened my eyes to a whole new world of drumming. I just thought, what is this? This is my whole life now. I had to make it my mission, my focus to do all things Metallica in double bass at that point.”

Five Finger Death Punch bassist Chris Kael says Master of Puppets represented a turning point in his music tastes. He recalls, “I went to a place called Disc Jockey Records back in Lexington and I had in my hand Master of Puppets and Run-DMC Raising Hell and I had to make that decision. Which one? I’ve heard about this band Metallica through Circus magazine and whatnot, but I haven’t heard the music, but I know Run-DMC.”

The bassist continued, “I ended up picking up Metallica and Master of Puppets and right from the first notes of ‘Battery,’ hearing that beautiful guitar piece into crushing [makes sound] and everything that Cliff Burton did on that basically shaped me melodic wise on bass right from the very beginning. So that album is probably one of the most influential in terms of making me want to play bass. I’ll never be able to get to the same level talent-wise that Cliff Burton was, but it was a challenge.”

Sevendust’s Clint Lowery recalls, “That was a pioneering record. I remember as a kid Master of Puppets, I remember every house party going on, everyone was blasting that record … ‘The Things That Should Not Be,’ it’s one of my favorite songs ever, but ‘Master of Puppets,’ I mean that song, the guitar solo breakdown harmony thing, that was the thing to learn as a guitar player growing up. That was like the thing if you could play that opening riff.”

He continues, “We play ‘Master of Puppets’ a lot during our set, just kind of goofing around, but that riff is crazy. It’s one of the first times that [James] Hetfield was kind of noticed for that down picking style.”

Sevendust vocalist Lajon Witherspoon adds, “It’s funny, that album to me still sounds great. The production still sounds [great] to me even when you hear it on the radio now. It’s like, ‘Dang, they really took some time to do that song, to do that album.'” He also talks about Sevendust getting to share a stage with Metallica in the past and recalls how in awe they were of seeing the band pull off the songs from Master of Puppets live for the first time.

Check out our in-depth look back at Master of Puppets here.

See Where ‘Master of Puppets’ Ranks Among Our Top 50 Metal Albums of All Time

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30 Years Ago: Metallica Release 'Master of Puppets'

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