Metallica draws in permanent fans

DOWNEY - Every band dreams of not only being successful and having a hit album, but resonating with their fans for years to come and truly making an everlasting impact on their listeners' lives.Metallica, an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, was formed in 1981 by Downey native James Hetfield. The band is highly successful, having put out nine studio albums, three live albums, over 24 music videos, and more, while also attaining nine Grammy Awards. While none of this is an easy feat, even more difficult is to keep relating to your fans through your music, and also being able to reach out to new generations, which they have done. Among the fans asked, they couldn't help but divulge how young they were when they received their first dose of Metallica, and how it truly cemented them as fans for a lifetime. "I've been a Metallica fan since I was about eight years old," said Warren High School alum Ashley Long-Labaar. "That was when my mother introduced me to their music. The first song I ever heard was Enter Sandman, and after that I was hooked. I've seen them in concert twice now, and can't wait to go again." Isaac Morales, a Cal State Los Angeles alum and Florida Marlins minor league pitcher, felt similar. "I started listening when I was about 12," he said. "I started playing the guitar at that age, and when I heard a song of theirs, For Whom the Bell Tolls, I fell in love with the sound of the guitar. It was a very crunchy sound, like something I hadn't heard before." While fans were introduced often at a very young age, they stay hooked for specific reasons. While everyone has their own unique music tastes, Metallica fans can't help but stay loyal because of the strong messages and meaningful lyrics that the band never fails to produce. For many fans, it's a lot more than just loud music. "The music is definitely what keeps me hooked," said John Santos, a Downey High School alum. "From Kirk and James' heavy thrash riffs, to the captain of the rhythm in Lars - I'm hooked. With Metallica, a lot of people think they are just yelling and screaming nonsense, but if you digest the lyrics, they included a lot of good stories of troubling times, included political messages, fights against drugs, etc. I am a sucker for lyrics, and James definitely gets me hooked." Morales felt likewise. "Something I really like about them is the fact that they have never gone to the love side in music," said Morales. "They've always had some rough stories to talk about, and I appreciate that." Metallica continues to tour and resonate with fans all over the world, for various reasons. Their music is timeless, and fans everywhere hope that their influence never stops. "I hope they continue to stay relevant, because it is important for future generations to digest music that broke barriers and inspired many artists after them," said Santos.

********** Published: June 2, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 7