This past spring marked the 30th anniversary of Metallica‘s first high-water mark, Master of Puppets. The band is commemorating that album with the release of a new book, Back to the Front: A Fully Authorized Visual History of the Master of Puppets Album and Tour, by author Matt Taylor that will come out in bookstores on September 13th.
In anticipation of the book, all four band members took a moment to parse what the album meant to their careers and to reflect on their original bassist, Cliff Burton, who died while on tour promoting the LP.
“That album, it’s interesting, because from the moment it was released, it never went away,” Kirk Hammett says in the clip. “It still has not and there are no signs of it going away at all.”
“It was still rebellious,” James Hetfield says. “Back then it was still the four of us in a van out to conquer the world.”
“I really feel that a lot of the music on Master of Puppets, we pulled it out of a deep place,” Hammett adds. “A lot of it, it’s just so emotional, from the music to the lyrics to the guitar solos to even the arrangements. It’s so dramatic.”
The book will be available in two editions, a regular version and a deluxe collector’s edition. Both will contain 276 pages with interviews with all of the band members and people from the group’s history, as well as never-before-seen images, a foreword by Hetfield and an afterword by Burton’s father Ray. The collector’s edition, which is available via Moonrise Media, features a clothbound cover, a piece of one of the band’s road cases from the Master of Puppets tour and a clamshell case.
Earlier this year, Hammett, Ulrich and others spoke to Rolling Stone for an in-depth feature exploring the legacy of the album. “When I listen to Master of Puppets now, I just sit there and go, ‘What the fuck? How do you do that?'” Lars Ulrich said. “It’s very gutsy music.”
In other Metallica news, the band will issue its new album, Hardwired … to Self-Destruct in the fall. “Most of the songs are simpler [than those on previous LP Death Magnetic],” Ulrich told Rolling Stone of the LP. “We introduce a mood and we stick to it, rather than songs we’ve done where one riff happens and we go over here and then over there and it becomes a journey through all these different soundscapes.”