Metallica Impact on Popular Culture – Term Paper

Metallica Impact on Popular Culture


Metallica is considered as the band that was formed by a vocalist who acted as a result of a newspaper that was having the information about the band. The band comprised of the founding members who included Hetfield and Ulrich (McIver, 2014). It was founded in the year 1981 in Los Angeles California. It also consisted of the leading guitarist who was Kirk Hammett and bassists Ron McGovney. Other members were Jason Newsted and Cliff Burton. After the band was born, James Hetfield and Ulrich recruited their friends and housemates Ron McGovney, who was to play the bass and David Mustaine was to pay the leading guitar.

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The name Metallica came to be after there was a suggestion from the Bay Area Metal scene friend Ron Quintana.

They had an ascent which included being quick and was driven by their work-rate, effort and a rare of musical chemistry. They hit the openers circuit in Los Angeles, and they were able to record their first ever demo which was known as No Life Till Leather. It has recorded more volumes making them more attractive as the days progressed. It has graduated from being nice to being ultra-sized, all-consuming juggernaut, an inescapable, irrepressible rock entity which has got the ability to draw all the massive crowds all over the globe and they cannot relent to the invite.

 Something always makes James Hetfield and the band to draw the peoples attention since there has been no metal band that has stayed so prominently within the border of culture as the Metallica. It has influence culture in a great way as the band is more than 30 years old. It is often considered tough to put ones finger on the cultural significance and associate it with the band, but it causes impacts like a shift of the psychedelic era to the sexually driven rock music that is usually based on the masculinity and more centralized movement.

Roles of the Metallica

There have been a lot of controversies arising due to the role of Metallica. The band is usually in the genre called the thrash metal whereby it involves loud music which sounds like bells in the ears of a person. Although Metallica is a useful band, its songs are too loud, and they sound the same. The topics addressed by the Metallica band included the mental illness, suicide and the dangers of drug abuse which were more precisely targeting the adults more. Even though those were the themes that the Metallica addressed, they behaved contrary to the image dimension of the Metal (McIver, 2014). Their sound to start with was more of a breaking grungy sophisticated and which went beyond the expectation of their predecessor.

With that, they were able to distinguish themselves and thus taking over the popular culture that was well known. The members of the Metallica band are not well-behaved, though, and they portray rude and cheeky behaviors. In their famous piece known as the Metal Up Your Ass indicates the impact their songs was having on the popular culture. The influence goes beyond to imitation of the hair style by the audience who are listening and looking up to the celebrities in the Metallica (McIver, 2014). People copied the haircuts, the wearing of the long bangs that covered the forehead, the clothing style, and the speech mannerism together with the overall demeanor of the people who were in the band.

The new way of life has caused the popular culture to seem so odd and even boring such that people prefer to be involved in the songs that are loud like the Metallicas. The popular culture has now been considered tiresome and tedious as people adapt the Metallica. The popular culture has found the fact that their past is their future since they are losing the life and the fame that used to make them rock. On the other hand, the Metallica, who gains fame every day and they have taken more than 30 years in the field have taken up and replaced the popular music, and it is feared that the culture might fade away with years. It, therefore, means that that Icon, who are considered to have made a meaningless contribution towards humanity and they stand up on the stage, they end up to be empty. Metallica, however, seems to be more pessimistic than another band, and it is portrayed in their selection of (songsPopoff & Bienstock, 2013). Their songs are full of the preoccupation of failures of the religion and also the inability of a person to resist it.

The reason why the Metallica is more dominated with writing negative thought could be because their predecessors were the Germans and the people had high hopes of the revolution that was against the religious, economic and the political institutions that used to dominate the contemporary world which was already forgotten and discredited. The religion at that time and the revolution seemed to fail humanity, and the Metallica found itself in the midst of despair, and they could find no comfort in the religion (songsPopoff & Bienstock, 2013). Some people were left deaf, some were blind, and the others were without their limbs due to the effects of the landmines. They could have nothing but pain and the loss of faith, and when there was a band that saw that pain and represented it in a song, there were more followers that one could imagine.

The leader and the founder of the Metallica, who was James Hetfield were in the world of pain because his father left for the war at the age of thirteen and his mother who was a devoted Christian Scientist died of cancer when James was sixteen. He, therefore, was very bitter, and the songs that the band composed were full of pessimism. Although Metallica was build by pain, their songs were more of rebellion as their provocative lyrics indicated the fact. There was something more to the defeatism and the desperation that they claimed. Their lyrics affirmed the Christian point of view whereby they claimed that the young men were supposed to rise and join the sticking down of the wrongdoers whom God had come to punish and judge. Even though they never supported the religion, one could see a more suggestive approach in their songs which indicated that one might not even know the wrong doers and the people who do the right thing. Their songs are persuasive, intimidating and insisting. They claim in their lyrics that one was better dead than live on the knees. The Metallica main agenda was to confront Christianity with their nightmares. They denounced the freedom of Christianitys control as they proclaimed the successful establishment of the life that is beyond the reach of anybody (Irwin & Johnson, 2011). They used to dismantle Christianity through their songs, and instead they replaced them with the smooth establishment of life beyond the reach. They compared Christianity as space where there is no fear of Christianity, the terrifying threats of damnation, the cruel judgment and the retribution of disobedience.

The Metallica had an inversion of what was wrong or right as they wanted to achieve the transvaluation of all the values by establishing the Nietzschean transvaluation. Although this is so, the Metallica is said to suffer from what is known as the incomplete nihilism which means that they make attempts to escape Christianity without having to transvalue the values that are involved(Irwin & Johnson, 2011). At the end of the day, the Metallica can be seen as the Christian rock band. Nihilism can be defined as a culture or even the condition that people are not able to value anything and where nothing seems to be right or wrong, beautiful or ugly. Whereas Christianity devalues the world that people live in, it means that the general features that characterize our existence is considered as wrong. According to Christianity, it is wrong that everything changes and that people do not live forever but dies. The world of Christianity is decorated with promises, perfections, and absolutes. The heavenly world is full of peace, tranquility, pleasure, love and immortality (Irwin & Johnson, 2011). In both ways the religion values death and therefore being unable to value life, their fascination crosses the border to suffering, explosion, war, suicide, and crucifixion. Metallica was aware of the fact that the society was full of lies, injustice, exploitation, and suffering. Their critics and rejection of Christianity did not come as a result of the rejection of the religion but more to the fact that they were disappointed with their absence to the world.

They used to complain and lament more on Gods failure and would wish that God would never have failed. It was more to what each of every individual had gone through in life, and it was not encouraging. In their songs which were called To live is To Die describes the nature that the band was in. Sick of living in the world full of lies, one could not have the strength to bear all that was happening, and instead, they longed for death. Their songs played a great role in discouraging people from having faith in religion, but they were also aware that the religion could have served salutary functions as well.

The impact of Metallica to popular culture.

In a life of a young person who is studying, there are two different types of worlds when it comes to music. The first one is the world of the classroom and the second one is considered as the world of outside music classroom. The world of music inside the classrooms include the folk songs, the choral anthems; concerts band overturns and others that are well disciplined and follow a particular protocol. The other world outside the classrooms involves the Metallica, hammer, guns, roses two live crew and so on (Danesi, 2012). The world radio is what provides the people with the first curriculum while the classroom provides them with their second curriculum. Most of the people find that they become attached to the first curriculum, and they discard the classroom one. More typical students might spend most of their time studying the music from the first curriculum but gives less time to the curriculum from the classroom.

Most people especially the teacher ignore the fact that the changing of the pop culture since they are either too busy to get involved in the music. Music and other arts only reflect the society, and it can also influence and modify the culture of the community too. It is music that builds up the characteristic of the culture and extorts some of the virtues. For instance, when a singer writes a song from a drug oriented subculture it might reflect his or her society.

 Popular songs are so much disoriented, and the pro-drug message can be spread and cause different reactions to the worlds censorship (Danesi, 2012). The difference comes in when people confuse between choice and censorship. Art tends to appeal across continents and even centuries. It does not give up and therefore the fact that Metallica grew to be famous over the years only prove that art dominates an individual culture and in this sense it dominated the popular culture. One can never recognize an art by its creation but with the duration of which it has covered. Considering its longevity, it can become an art of its own.

Today, the students of music love to lump their contemporary critics of rock music with the antirock protestors. The fact also remains that the nature of rock has changed over the years and therefore the nature of its critics has also changed along with it. Popular rock song of the 1950s and even in the early 1960s did not extol the virtues of things like drug abuse and alcohol. They also could not mention on frequent occasion about suicide. When the songs talked about love, it was about the innocent boy-girl romance (Danesi, 2012). Sex was referred to in a more hidden manner and implicitly. Since the year 1960, Rock songs have been more explicit on the issue of these sensitive topics. Due to these changes that have happened over the years, the popular culture has also changed due to the various approaches that have emerged.

The analysis of the Metallica revealed that the band had a tendency of conjuring the timeless grandiosity of myth whereby it placed the object of a line before its subject. Their thrashes were short, but they were not sweet. It indicated how they delivered with grim, minimum emotion and intense expressions.

By drawing more examples from the philosophy of the popular culture such as the TV sitcoms and the blockbusters, movies indicates that there is a difference between the people who opt to spend most of their time watching television and reading books. The book also explains the fact that people need to be persuaded on the issue being media phobic and that significant content and the history of good ideas might be found in the products of the popular culture and are worth being taken as the pedagogical utility. The Metallica band had different volumes that made it stand on the threshold of Thrash metal genre (Danesi, 2012). One of the additions that were done in the 1980s, which were known as the Blackwell series was a devotion to the band and an excerpt of their whole career. The band earned themselves a group and a cult that grew from greatness to fame.

 Although the Metallica band had made a lot of progress in the music industry and had more fans, other people could have opted that the band is given some academic assistance.

It was not just about the music, but the old Metallica had the world that was old, innovative thrash metal, detailed storyline and illustrations that were supporting the bands up and downs and the easily digestible popular music. The recent Metallica though, is a kind of monster through their song which was known as A Year and a Half-Life of Metallica. The bands are neither educators of nature and philosophy, but their songs have got a great deal of a lot of life aspects and society. It, therefore, makes the band be a phenomenon of popular culture making the band suitable for the anthology of that sort.

With years of fame, Metallica crept out of the system of the progressive metals and instead preferred to make music which carried emotion and personal depths. Metallica had meant a lot to many listeners and not only with the lyrics but by the different approaches they use. Their songs are considered to be a collection of the philosophical problems which are accessible to only those people who are familiar with the band and their lyrics.

One cannot afford to ignore the today popular music as the style that is used cannot be overlooked. Popular cultures should be used to teach the students about the relationship between music and society. Metallica has influenced popular culture such that even the students prefer to learn the lyrics from the radio to the classrooms making the music teacher to be an irrelevant museum like entry. Music educators are faced with these problems when their pronounced efforts are considered as junk, and therefore, the influence of the rock music could be beyond repair to the youth especially the students.

The students would prefer to listen to the Metallica on the media devices rather than staying in a classroom to study and be guided by the music teacher. The current students are very unfamiliar with the non-rock styles in music since they are more occupied on listening to the Metallica due to their style of singing, their ascent, and their language and dressing styles (Danesi, 2012). Many young people find themselves emulating their behavior, and before it is too late, they discover that they have already adopted that practice entirely.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Metallica

At first, the aim of the Metallica was to earn money just like any musician who tries to stand up. The people grew a lot of faith in Metallica and believed that it was the type of band that the people would go for. The Metallica decided to do what they thought was best for them, and they could not care less about what the people thought. After beginning in 1983, having a new bass player, they were able to increase their stability only after four months. They had a manager and a recording company that was mainly prepared to fund the recordings of the debut album and the talented guitarists (Santana & Erickson, 2008). The Metallica were strong, decided and decisive. They were able to stand up even if the company was against their efforts to record one of its songs which had a weird topic like Metal up your Ass. The distribution was on the cover page of the band which involved a guy sitting on the toilet with a sword that was coming out and cutting his buttocks. The band selected another title which was Kill Em All which became so much popular that it resulted in ten complete songs that were performed live. Their songs were classical, and they made their songs memorable.

 Their song which considered of the chorus So Come On gave the band an almost mainstream rock quality. Their composition was complicated as the centerpiece that was a solo talking about anesthesia assessed many experts and it remained to be a startling fusion of the classical triads, and it became progressive(Santana & Erickson, 2008). It was characterized by an infused session and a blast of pure distortion accompanied by the great beat of the drum. Even after people thinking that the band had collapsed as they stopped singing abruptly; James Hetfield gave the audience what is believed to kick three times before being popular. All the songs of the Metallica became well known since they involved the interaction between the band and the audience. For instance in the one line chorus, James would be found encouraging his audience to roar along with him as he sang his famous song and destroy. The band did not care about what the people said and even in the production when the producer was given the song in a notepad; he could not have given any opinion as the band would not give a damn on what the recorder thought as that was their music.

The producer never helped them with their sound as they were egoistic and therefore they had a bad image on what the producer was (Santana & Erickson, 2008). The band did their activities as they were afraid that the people were going to be hesitant since they did their songs differently and they speeded up as they sang.

The Metallica had remarkable features that kept on building. As a result o the building up and the energy that was needed to add on to the excitement. There have been queries arising to the fact that James had used harsher, barked tone to deliver the music would match what the market required was expected but James stated that that was how he lived his life. The rawness of the style was the most suitable for that type of music, and it suited it perfectly.

The band was branded as the Armored Saint play, and they were given the ultimate compliment. They were the crews who did something similar but sounded very different. The founder James Hetfield was someone who never gave up, and he passed the slogan on to his colleagues (Santana & Erickson, 2008).The Metallica extended to a whole metal scene, and everyone was aware that the band was enormously different, and it established a precision of extremely new approaches and professional production though in a different way altogether.

Their fame covered the nations like the US and the UK, and they went all over to Japan and France. They were involved in various kind of tours which made them establish more fans at a significant length. Their profile was that of the respected fans, and they made an important influence on the bands in the eighties changing the pop culture. Their influence was also felt in America although they stayed there for a while and that indicated that the band was popular, and it had established an excellent foundation.

The Metallica band was full of different sets of music and with time, it was created as the cult rather than with one which had a widespread appeal as people could not categorize their music. The Metallica has significantly influenced the thrash band as it never adapted the rock and roll style before (Santana & Erickson, 2008). The combination of the musician in Metallica band was well organized, and they worked in unity since they were putting a lot of efforts to make their band sound as good as possible. They were all driven by the desire to make things better and as a result, they retained their fan image but concentrated much on the substantial power and the aggression. Their concert was very popular as the Metallica members gripped the audience as they headbanged and gripped their crowds. Their behavior involved partying instincts with massive drinking sessions that were destructive to the package.

Their crafted songs were not what distinguished them however as their emotions also led them. It was known that as James was rehearsing while playing his guitar, some new minor chords developed into a song almost with an effect of melancholy. The band was entirely different from the other Thrash metals. Every member of the band was dealing with their issues and therefore their lives were full of disappointment.

They were dedicating their entire lives to the success of the band and could not hear of something that was pulling them down (Santana & Erickson, 2008). When dealing with the Metallica, one could not have considered the issues of melodies and sing- along choruses as the Metallica could do a masterpiece which was massive as one could be mentally exhausted by the time they could get at the end of the performance. Their combination is such a rock such that they keep on proving that they are the beyond doubts the most live bands on the planet.

There has been no band that has worked so hard and long in making their bands look and sound as rough as possible, but the Metallica has proved beyond reasonable doubt that their production is muddier than any other Metallica that was there after them. What will be more on the mind of the fans is the original guitar and the bass melodies underneath which defined the two masterpieces and the loud noise that the band made (Santana & Erickson, 2008). Even if the band playing is an ungodly mess at a time the passion that the musicians put in the work wins someone over and without realizing it, one becomes a lifelong fan of the great Metallica.

Metallica has been a band that has been fighting everything that comes on their way as they believed in success and not a failure. Even when one of their colleagues had quitted, they still replaced him, and they continued to be more popular.


When popular culture is mentioned, one relates it to music. Music has reached out the world today, and it has influenced a lot of people. They do so because they feel like it was the only way that they should use so that they express themselves and associate themselves with a certain genre of music. People are influenced by the slang and the language that they use to address the other individuals. Music has got the influence with the way people act and how they carry themselves around. Loud music like the Metallicas can damage the ear drums and changes the way people think and also create a different personality for them. Some of the music played does not consider the barrier, and the topics discussed influences the mind on the issues like sex and violence especially in adolescent development.

Popular culture has been on the lookout for different styles of music have influenced the way music used to be viewed and the danger it has to the youth when the wrong music is released out to the audience. Throughout the history of the popular culture, an influence that has been, there is more than it can be accounted for as. Rock and roll music has changed the popular culture in different areas since the ancient times. The music is not only common in America, but also in Britain. Behaviors like notoriety have had a lot of influence in the music today especially to the youths who adopt the culture in the assumption that it is cool. The influence is seen through individuals copying their hair cuts and formation of groups that resembles the one they are emulating. The popular culture is at the risk due to the emergence of music like Metallica whose fame has not been on the edges.


Danesi, M. (2012). Popular Culture: Introductory Perspectives. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Irwin, W., & Johnson, D. K. (2011). Introducing Philosophy Through Pop Culture: From Socrates to South Park, Hume to House. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

McIver, J. (2014). Justice for all: The truth about Metallica.

Popoff, M., & Bienstock, R. (2013). Metallica: The complete illustrated history

Santana, R. W., & Erickson, G. (2008). Religion and popular culture: Rescripting the Sacred. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland.