Cliff Burton to Kirk Hammett After Learning Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’ Went Gold: ‘I wanna buy a house where I can shoot my gun that shoots knives!’ – Interview

Goldmine Magazine: When Goldmine spoke to Metallica on the album anniversaries of both “Master of Puppets” and the The Black Album. An excerpt from the interview can be found below. You can read the entire feature @ this location.


Recording “Master of Puppets” at Sweet Silence studios in Copenhagen began Sept. 3, 1985. Unlike when Metallica recorded “Ride The Lightning” there, and slept on the floor upstairs, the band could now afford to stay at the luxury Scandinavia Hotel: Lars and James sharing one room; Kirk and Cliff another.

“For a bass player, he played a lot of guitar,” Kirk recalled of his room-sharing days with Cliff. “In fact, he would drive me crazy with it. We’d come back to the hotel, like totally wasted at three in the morning. But instead of crashing out, Cliff would immediately want to set up the electric guitars and start playing.”

They also played a lot of poker. “We’d go out and play poker for eight hours straight after being up for 24 hours,” said Kirk. “We’d find a seafood restaurant that was open, eat raw oysters and drink beer, scream at the natives while we were drunk.” They were, “some of my best memories” from that time.

Though it was always “Lars and James that were more or less in charge,” in terms of pure musical vision, “From an artistic point of view, it would probably be Cliff. We were pretty pleased with ‘Ride.’ But with ‘Master,’ we really tried to make everything actually better than we were capable of. We knew we had a bunch of really good songs, so we put the bar up really high.”

“I never expected it to be the success it turned out to be,” said Kirk. He recalled being on the tour bus when they found out it’d gone gold. “The first thing Cliff said was, ‘I wanna buy a house where I can shoot my gun that shoots knives!’ That was a typical Cliff thing to say.”

The question hardcore fans continue to ask to this day is: What would Cliff Burton have thought of the Black Album? Prophetically, however, in what proved to be his final interview, less than 48 hours before his death, Cliff told Swedish writer Jorgen Holmstedt he thought Metallica would become more “mellow and melodic” as time went by, speculating that they would work with “some big-name producer.” Adding, “If we get our wish, we’ll probably record in Los Angeles.”

Cliff’s musical tastes were certainly broad enough to encompass the 360-degree turn The Black Album had made. As Kirk told me, “If we’d made another album with Cliff, I think it would have been extremely melodic.” Cliff had begun listening to the Eagles, R.E.M and Kate Bush. “Cliff was the most open-minded musically of us all,” said Kirk. “He’d have dug it.”

You can read the entire feature @ this location.


Master of Puppets is the third studio album by the American heavy metal band Metallica, released on March 3, 1986, by Elektra Records. The album peaked at number 29 on the Billboard 200 and received widespread acclaim from critics, who praised its music and political lyrics. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential thrash metal albums of all time and is credited with consolidating the American thrash metal scene.

It was certified six times platinum by the RIAA in 2003 for shipping six million copies in the United States and was later certified six times platinum by Music Canada and platinum by the BPI. In 2015, Master of Puppets became the first metal recording to be selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”