Bob Nalbandian: Nobody from Metallica even thought they would become one of the most influential bands in the history


An iconic figure that was present at the first concert of the band in an interview for Harvester of Sofia

Harvester of Sofia continues its new section for interviews with popular people that are first-hand witnesses to the first steps and further development of Metallica. We give to you Bob Nalbandian who is called the official historian of the band by many. He was an iconic figure in the early days of Thrash in Bay Area. He now works as a journalist and owns Shockwaves Skullsessions Podcast – a part of Roadrunner Records, an editor for different magazines and writes books among other things. He and Bill Hale recently published the Metallica: The Club Dayz 1982-82 photo album, where Bill was in charge of photography and Bob took care of the texts.  He should also be given credit for the the popular guitarist Marty Freedman joining Megadeth in the early 90s of the past century. After that he has worked with bands like Seplutura, Type-O Negative, Last Crack, etc.

What was the first Metallica song you heard and when? What did you think?
First song i heard was “Hit the Lights” which was their first ever recording of an original, this was the version w/ Lloyd Grant on guitar that was featured on the original Metal Massacre record. I was probably one of the first 10 people to actually hear this song. This was just after they recorded the demo of this track so it had to be early 1982. At the time I loved it, even though the production was very poor.

Do you remember your first time when you saw the band live and hоw was concert?
Of course I remember. I saw the very first ever Metallica show, it was at a small club called Radio City in Anaheim, CA. I believe it was March 1982.

Have you ever thought in 82-84, that Metallica will become one of the most influential bands in the history of rock music?
I would have never thought that. I don’t think anyone in the band would have thought that either at the time!

Do you still keep in touch with the boys from the band?
Yes, I actually saw Lars and James on their Death Magnetic shows at Orange County and Las Vegas.

Do you keep anything valuable from those first concerts – flayer, poster,Lars’s sticks, underwear …?
Underwear?? No, I don’t have much of that old stuff, I got rid of most my collection years ago.

Do you think that rock and metal word would be so popular nowadays without the appearance of Metallica? Would the heavy music ever become mainstream without them?
Oh yeah, I don’t think it would have changed the popularity of metal but Metallica certainly took metal to a whole new level.

What the band owes its huge succes over the years. The talent of the musicians, the sense of music, Lars’s management or something else?
I think it’s a combination of all that that earned Metallica their huge success. Not to mention they wrote incredible metal songs!

What is Metallica personally for you? Did Metallica change your life in some way?
Absolutely, being a part of that whole metal movement in the early ’80s (publising my fanzine Headbanger and being involved in the whole tape-trading movement. So Metallica definitely had an impact on my life from the early years on through today.

Do you know something about Bulgaria? Would you say something special to the members of HOS?
I don’t know much at all as i’ve never traveled to Bulgaria, but i did see the Big 4 show that was filmed in Sofia so I kind of have a feel for the city just from watching that concert. I would just like to say to all the members of HOS to keep the Metal Spirit alive!

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