If 2022 proved anything about metal, it's that Ghost is the most famous and talked-about band of their generation. With their latest album, "Impermanence," topping charts worldwide and the Swedes performing at major venues across the US and Europe, it's hard to think of
another metal band that appeared in the early 2010s and achieved such success. And one of their biggest supporters throughout this time?
The greatest metal band of them all - Metallica, led by James Hetfield, who sang their praises from the start, supported them at early shows, and played an important role in Metallica taking the band under his wing in the years that followed.
It was in 2011 at Gothenburg's Swedish Sonisphere festival where, wearing one of the band's iconic t-shirts for the first time, Hetfield was asked about his love for the band, whose bombastic style was still in its infancy. "I'm in their fan club," he told SVT with a laugh. "I didn't know what they looked like until I watched their live performance video. I heard their first song and thought it was really good, unique, ethereal, and a breath of fresh air for metal. It reminded me a bit of 70s rock, which I also enjoy. So, I love the band."
"James wore a Ghost t-shirt backstage before the show, so the TV host started asking him about us," A Nameless Ghoul told Music Radar in a discussion about the interview years later. "Actually, we were on a plane at the time, so when we landed, we turned on our phones and all these messages came in! 'He's wearing a Ghost t-shirt!' Everyone was saying,
'Hey man, forget about the $20 you owe me, I love you!'" Less than a year later, James Hetfield tried to see the band perform live at their first show in his beloved San Francisco, at an intimate 350-seat venue called Bottom Of The Hill on January 1, 2012.
"James came to see us at our first show in San Francisco at this small venue that was more like a coffee shop," A Nameless Ghoul continued. "We were backstage in our underwear - probably not the best way to meet your idol for the first time. Then he came backstage after the show. Of course, we were still in our underwear. Looking back, I met James a few times in his underwear. It's crazy. He's like royalty to us." Clearly, Ghost's performance contract had impressed James, as they were booked to play the first-ever edition of Metallica's own
festival, Orion Music + More, that summer, with Hetfield personally introducing the band on stage and telling the crowd they were one of his "new favorite bands."
In 2018, James once again turned heads with Ghost, covering "Cirice" during a jam session at Metallica headquarters. A clip from the session quickly went viral, once again propelling Ghost to the forefront of the metal fandom. While Tobias Forge's outfit was no stranger to playing on Metallica bills by that point, having shared stages at both Orion and various Sonisphere bills, in 2019, the connection between the two bands was taken to the next level as Ghost was chosen as the main support act for the final leg of Metallica's world tour for the Hardwired... to Self-Destruct album, taking them to stadiums across Europe. It was a trip that Tobias would later rave about, giving Metallica credit for "taking such good care of us." With Ghost now firmly established as one of the biggest names in modern metal, Tobias - a lifelong Metallica fan - has no doubts that all the support from James and the guys has been invaluable. "Their support has been much needed," Tobias told Guitar World in October. "Since James started pushing the band about five years ago, from that point on, we certainly got more famous. We played at their Orion Music + More festival and we also did a few tours with them when they did Sonisphere.
"In the end, they asked us to support them on the entire tour," Tobias continued. "So, I can say we have a mentor/student kind of relationship. It's like, you know, the most Miyagi of
dojos - you get the sensei's hand on you."
Prequelle was released last month to critical acclaim and will be taken on the road in Ghost's European tour starting this weekend. Don't hesitate to share our posts on social media to provide us with a solid motivation. Visit Ghost Store at https://ghostmerchandise.com/ for more merchandise and updates.
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