MUDVAYNE singer Chad Gray says METALLICA’s James Hetfield is “The Godfather Of Metal”
Speaking with Detroit radio station WRIF, MUDVAYNE frontman Chad Gray discussed when he first discovered the music of METALLICA. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): ”I’m always gonna have a special kinship with [METALLICA‘s second album] ‘Ride The Lightning’, because I was fortunate enough to have older friends in high school or in whatever fucking grade I was in. I had a friend that was, like, two years older, and he comes up to me and he’s got the fucking cassette for fucking ‘Ride The Lighting’, and he’s, like, ‘Dude, take this shit home and listen to it. Bring it back to me tomorrow. And if anything happens to this, I will fucking kill you.’ I’m, like, okay. I took that fucking album home and listened to it and I’m, like, ‘Holy shit.’ The next day I bought ‘Ride The Lightning’. And then, dude, I was so fucking into it. And then I like start asking around. I’m, like, ‘Man, METALLICA rule.’ ‘Well, they got another album.’ ‘What?’ ‘They got an album called ‘Kill ‘Em All’. ‘Oh, fuck, yeah.’ … And when I got ‘Ride The Lightning’, it must have been closer to the end of the cycle [for that album]. So I got ‘Ride The Lightning’, I got ‘Kill ‘Em All’, and then not long after that, ‘Master [Of Puppets]’ was released. So it was a fucking pretty small fucking window of time I had three fucking METALLICA records and I was, like, the happiest motherfucker on the planet. So I always will have a connection with ‘Ride The Lightning’ over the other ones, even though maybe I technically like ‘Master Of Puppets’ better or ‘…[And] Justice [For All]’. But ‘Ride The Lightning’ was my first one.”
Gray went on to say that he had a chance to meet the members of METALLICA when MUDVAYNE opened for the James Hetfield-fronted outfit in 2003 as part of the “Summer Sanitarium” tour.
“METALLICA is literally — they’re the sweetest fucking people,” Chad said. “Dude, for being fucking a hundred-millionaires — like I’m sure they are — they are the most fucking down-to-earth dudes. James Hetfield, the king of fucking everything, is the nicest fucking guy. I remember one time I was in the hallway and he comes walking out of his dressing room. I just stand there, and we just start shooting the shit — you know, very small talk. I think it was the first time I talked to him. Next thing we’re talking vocals and shit like that. I’m talking fucking singing with James Hetfield — one of my biggest vocal influences, by the way.”
Chad continued: “What James did that I have — what a lot of us have that are under him — is what I call ‘yellody’. That’s what James did. He was a yellody guy. [Singing lyrics from METALLICA‘s ‘Master Of Puppets’ song] ‘End of passion play, crumbling away’ — that’s fucking full voice. He’s literally yelling those lyrics. I do that in a lot of my music or whatever. So that’s how he influenced me.
“But yeah, I’m sitting there talking shop with him, man, I’m talking vocals with James fucking Hetfield. Are you kidding me? And he gives me, he’s, like, ‘You know, man, I use these little things, these little Pastilles. You put ’em in your mouth and you suck on ’em and they stick to the back of your teeth.’ I’m, like, ‘Oh, wow, I’ve never heard of that.’ He’s, like, ‘Hold on a second.’ He goes in his room and he comes back out and he hands me a box of ’em. He’s like, ‘Yeah, just put ’em in your mouth. You just slide ’em up on the side of your teeth. They stick and it creates saliva for you while you’re singing.’
“He’s just a fucking great guy, man,” Gray added. “He’s a really cool dude. And not only just being insanely fucking loaded, he is like the godfather of metal — he really is. His fucking picking hand — all the great fucking guitar players have modeled their right hand from his right hand. He is the fastest down-picking motherfucker on the planet. Scott Ian [ANTHRAX], Dimebag [Darrell Abbott of PANTERA] — fucking, you name it. People literally [focused] on his right hand. And lyrics? Lyrically, he’s a fucking beast. He told stories about the fucking plague, about this, about that. And he’s the songwriter, man. I guarantee you all those riffs are his riffs. Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer] is, like, even with him because Lars kicks a beat to what he writes, but at the end of the day, Lars is a drummer and James Hetfield‘s James fucking Hetfield, and you can’t touch that shit. [Laughs]”
On July 20, MUDVAYNE set off on their eagerly awaited first headlining tour in over 14 years, aptly named “The Psychotherapy Sessions.” The tour commenced at the iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, Florida, promising an unforgettable experience for their fans. Live Nation is producing the 26-city trek, which features an impressive lineup of supporting acts, including COAL CHAMBER, GWAR, NONPOINT, and BUTCHER BABIES.
In 2022, MUDVAYNE made waves with the “Freaks On Parade” tour, a co-headlining venture alongside the renowned ROB ZOMBIE. However, the current 2023 tour holds special significance, as it marks MUDVAYNE‘s triumphant return to the spotlight for their first headlining endeavor since 2009.
Having formed in 1996, MUDVAYNE has established itself as a prominent force in the music scene, with over six million records sold worldwide. Their albums “L.D. 50,” “The End Of All Things To Come,” and “Lost And Found” achieved gold certification, showcasing the band’s immense popularity and success. MUDVAYNE is renowned for their sonic experimentation, striking album artwork, and unique stage presence, characterized by face and body paint, masks, and uniforms. The band’s lineup includes Gray on vocals, Greg Tribbett on guitar and backing vocals, Matthew McDonough on drums and synthesizer, and Ryan Martinie on bass.
As they embark on “The Psychotherapy Sessions,” MUDVAYNE continues to captivate audiences with their distinctive style and powerful performances, reaffirming their status as a pioneering force in the world of music.