Mark Eglinton speaking to Harvester of Sofia: It’s you – the fans, who keep this music alive after all


There’s no real reason why Metallica wouldn’t be happy with my book, says the author of  “James Hetfield: The Wolf At Metallica’s Door”

It is a great honor for us, the Bulgarian Metclub chapter Harvester of Sofia, to share with you the interview we made with Mark Eglinton – the author of the “James Hetfield: The Wolf At Metallica’s Door” book.

1. Mark, tell us more about yourself ‚do you have a family, what else you‚are doing except writing, where do you live and who is your favorite band?
Well. I’m Scottish, forty years old and I spend my time between Edinburgh and Seattle right now. I have two sons who are 14 and 10 and both of them dislike my taste in music, despite my best efforts to convert them. I spend most of my time working just now but when I’m not, I like to travel and do adventure sports. I have many favourite bands – both metal and non-metal – but on balance, Slayer are the band that I have liked continuously since my teenage years.

2. Do you remember you’re first Metallica show and what impression they left in you after that? Have you ever thought that after more that 30 years; Metallica will be one of the biggest bands in the music scene ever and they will go beyond every boundary of the heavy metal music?
I’ll never forget my first Metallica show. It was 1986 ; I was sixteen and Metallica came to play the Edinburgh Playhouse with Anthrax on the ‘Damage Inc.’ tour. James had his arm in a plaster bandage that night so it was kinda weird in the respect but the combination of Anthrax and Metallica that night – both arguably in their respective primes – was the best concert I had ever seen. Having said all that, Metallica were still no where near being considered a ‘mainstream’ band at that time, so to suggest they’d become the band they are now, might have sounded a little ambitious back in 1986. But they did., so what did I know!

3. Have you met the band in person? What was the conversation about, except the regular things that fans say?
By pure chance, I met James and the late Cliff Burton after that Edinburgh show and from what I can remember, I was unable to form any coherent words!

4. Do you know what does James think about the book you wrote about him?
I have no idea. I know the band are aware of the book and can only hope that they are happy with what’s on it. There’s no real reason why they wouldn’t be!

5. Are you familiar whit Joel McIver, who already gave two interviews for HOS? Share with us something wild you have experienced with him, something you’ll never tell your children?
Yes I know Joel, and he has been one of the biggest influences on my writing career. Unfortunately, due to the fact that we have mostly lived at opposite ends of the country, opportunities to get together have been few and far between. That said, when we do meet up, we always have a good time. As far as wild stories, I can’t help you there, and in reality you would all be surprised by how maturely we behave, ha ha!

6. It’s Metallica’s 30th anniversary this year, do you think that they are planning something special to celebrate it?
Personally I would be surprised. Metallica have rarely done what people expect and for that reason I would doubt that they would make a big deal of that anniversary. I could be wrong though but with the ongoing Big 4 tour and plans to get back in the studio, there won’t be much of 2011 left.

7. In the past few years a lot have been said and wrote about those turns Metallica have made during the years, reading all comments you can come to the conclusion that they are rejected from all of their fans, but when you go to Metallica concert the picture is very different ! The vibe is unique and you can feel the connection between the band and the fans. What do you think causes that?
They’ll never please all their fans and for every fan they lose with an album like ‘Load’ or ‘Re-Load’ they probably gain a few too, so there will always be a strong live following. Even throughout the years where they supposedly alienated some fans with some indifferent ( in my opinion ) studio albums, the live shows were always fantastic. Add to that the fact that Metallica are a visually great live experience.

8. Last year THE BIG 4 made their first concerts together at one stage and the show from Bulgaria was streamed live all over the world. What do you think about the show, did you like it? Do you think the commercial aspect is a strong motivator for the bands more that the fact that they play together for the first time?
I enjoyed the Big 4 show and I think all the bands – particularly Megadeth in Sofia – delievered a set worthy of such an historic event. As far as the commercial angle is concerned, I would guess that the other three bands probably needed it more than Metallica did. Personally I don’t see the fact that they played together as being that significant for anyone other than the fans.

9. This summer the BIG 4 will play at the Sonisper in Knebworth, are you exited about the show and do you expect something special?
Knebworth will be a great show as it’s a historic venue. It does not however boast the best sound compared to other venues but the fact that it is the only UK Big 4 show should make it a special day.

10. How did you felt when your very first published book was finally in your arms?
A combination of fatigue and relief! I had a very short deadline so I had to work some crazy hours to get it all finished. To get that first copy in your hands is a great feeling, but what is even better is to hear good comments and see it on the shelves in bookshops.

11. Tell us more about your future plans for new books?
I’m writing a more general Metallica book for a U.S publisher – a bit of a compilation of information- and that should be finished and out in 2012 sometime. I’m also working with a member of the most famous metal band to come out of Texas on his biography ( apologies to all the other good bands from Texas) and finally, I’m working with a member of the Slayer close family on a book project too. I might even have time to eat and sleep sometime too…

12. Bulgaria is a small country, is there a Bulgarian publishing that made connection whit you about your book?
I have heard from many fans about where and when the book will be published – Bulgaria included, but most of the genuine enquiries go through my publisher. We have already sold foreign publishing rights to other European countries and I would be delighted if Bulgaria happened too.

13. Do you know something for Bulgaria?
Bulgaria is one of the few countries in Europe that I haven’t been to and I would certainly like to visit one day. If my book is published there, I would be very happy to come over and meet the fan club and sign a few copies – in return for a few Bulgarian beers of course!

14. Would you say something special то the members of HOS and all the fans of Metallica in Bulgaria?
I would like to say thanks for showing an interest in the book. It’s the fans who keep this music alive after all – by buying the albums, the books and attending the shows. I have the best job in the world as far as I am concerned and it means a lot that people in other countries take an interest in what I am doing. Thanks very much and let’s hope we can get a Bulgarian version soon!

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