Today, Metallica's S&M2 concert film, featuring the metal legends performing alongside the San Francisco Symphony, premieres in theaters. The special shows marked the 20th anniversary of Metallica's similarly orchestra-accompanied 1999 S&M live album. And if it wasn't for Cliff Burton, then perhaps Metallica wouldn't have played any of those shows.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, drummer Lars Ulrich credits the band's late bassist for being a "gateway" into introducing him to classical music.
"When [Burton] started talking about classical music in '83, '84...we weren't maybe ready to sort of receive that stuff," Ulrich explains. "But slowly his persistence got things like classical music or Simon and Garfunkel on our radar. It took a little longer for us to open up."
Ulrich adds that he now sees a similarity between classical music and Metallica's "darker, more dissonant, and more minor stuff."
"I appreciate a lot of the orchestral stuff but, over the last 20 years, I've figured out how to navigate toward the stuff I'm leaning more towards," Ulrich says.
S&M2 also pays tribute to Burton, who died in 1986, with a performance of his "(Anesthesia) -- Pulling Teeth" solo by Symphony bass player Scott Pingel.
For S&M2 screening info, visit Metallica.film.
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