James Hetfield on Whether or Not Metallica ‘Invented’ Thrash Metal

James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for P+ and MTV
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While Metallica is one of the greatest thrash metal bands to ever exist, would you go as far as to say they “invented” thrash metal?

This is a question brought up to Metallica singer and guitarist James Hetfield during an interview with The Project. Along with the other Big Four thrash metal bands being mentioned in the feature, the interviewer asks Hetfield what it is like to have “invented” a “whole new genre.”

The interviewer is obviously referring to thrash metal, and in response to this, the Metallica singer replies with the following (which was transcribed by Blabbermouth):

“I’d love to take credit for it, but it was just how it worked out. We were playing music that we wanted to hear. [It’s] as simple as that. People don’t understand how important things are in the moment, when you’re doing them, until later on, which is great.

“‘Cause if we thought it was that important, we would have screwed it up, probably. [Laughs]”

While many would say that Metallica helped to elevate the popularity of thrash, there are probably many who would disagree that they “invented” the genre and that there are other bands who deserve credit for doing that.

One of those bands being Exodus, with several metalhead celebrities pointing to the band’s debut LP Bonded by Blood as one of the most important thrash metal albums of all time. But with that said, what do you think? Do you think Metallica deserves credit for “inventing” thrash metal?

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