“Back in ’91, on the Black Album tour, I saw Metallica three times in two weeks!” enthuses Stone Sour guitarist Josh Rand, who cites the group as his favorite band. At the first of those shows, Rand’s Cliff Burton T-shirt scored him a pass to the infamous “Snake Pit,” a large diamond-shaped area cut out in the middle of the stage where a few lucky fans got to stand with Metallica moving above and around them. “The next two shows I would use the same pass by bleaching out the date and writing in the new date,” Rand recalls. “I got in the Snake Pit for all three shows!”
Being such an avid Metallica fan, Rand of course demanded that Stone Sour take on one of the band’s songs when they decided to release an EP of covers for Record Store Day. Vocalist Corey Taylor, also of chart-topping metal nontet Slipknot, seconded that opinion; the singer grew up with Rand in Iowa and the two have been going to Metallica shows together since they were kids. “We wanted to show our respect for our influences with these covers,” Taylor says of the five-track Meanwhile in Burbank…, “and it wouldn’t be complete without Metallica.”
The only question for Stone Sour was, which song to cover? “The hardest part about making this EP for me was picking a Metallica song,” admits Rand, who originally played bass, modeling himself after Jason Newsted to point of getting the Metallica bassist’s signature Skrillex-predating side-shaved hair cut. “When I switched to guitar,” he says, “I learned every song that they had written at that point.”
Stone Sour finally settled on the classic “Creeping Death,” a standout cut from 1984’s Ride the Lightning that has become a staple of Metallica’s live show. “‘Creeping Death’ is an absolute crusher!” Taylor says. “I hope we did it justice.”
You can be the judge of that by listening to the band’s rendition below.