Interview by Harald O. first published in Thrash Metal (US)
and Rock Hard (Germany)
The heavy metal world was shaken by the tragic loss of Metallica bassist Cliff Burton when their tour bus skidded on ice while the band was on tour in Scandinavia, and Cliff was thrown out the window and crushed. He had been an important element in Metallica’s success by contributing his virtuoso musicianship, streetwise attitude and totally over-the-top stage presence.
He helped bring the bass guitar out of the closet with his unique lead bass playing, which incorporated harmonics, classical fills, heavy distortion and thick wahwah effects: “Anaesthesia” and “Orion” are a couple of the best examples of his incredible technique. Thank God that James, Kirk and Lars were open minded enough to let him go off totally on stuff he wanted to play. Unlike most metal mavens, Cliff had come up with his own bass lines rather than just follow along with the rhythm. (more…)