Megaforce Records has released the following statement:
"Megaforce Records congratulates METALLICA on their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. It's astoundingly poignant that this band that crossed our path in 1983, and in many ways was the impetus for Megaforce even starting as a label, would reach such importance. It's probably safe to say METALLICA are the most important American rock band in the history of music.
"The genesis of METALLICA's growth and independence is important in these tempestuous days in the music industry. When pretty much nobody would sign METALLICA, we kicked and scratched to raise money. We had no idea what we were doing and we had little funds, but it was something we believed in. Megaforce had the wherewithal of releasing both 'Kill 'Em All' and 'Ride The Lightning'. Looking back, METALLICA gave us more than the leverage and stature to release more artists — they raised the bar for everyone."
Jonny and Marsha Zazula, Megaforce Records co-founders, stated: "We always believed in METALLICA from their very first krunch. It's no surprise to us that we are all gathered in Cleveland for this well-deserved amazing Metallibash! Keep bangin' that head."
Alan Becker, SVP of RED Distribution (formerly Important Distribution): "Jonny Z would come to our warehouse looking for import vinyl. One day he walked into our office and said he wanted to start a rock label and release this band METALLICA. From that day, METALLICA and Megaforce Records forever changed our lives, the music community, and set the stage for other underground artists and labels.
"We shipped a few thousand units of 'Kill Em All'. I still remember the catalog number Megaforce MRI 069. I had never seen anything like it. METALLICA's fans had amazing ears and word of mouth was crazy. Stores we never knew existed were calling us out of nowhere.
"Because of 'Kill 'Em All', we went from local to national distributor. Everyone who worked on behalf of METALLICA and Megaforce, both then and now, owe them and Jonny and Marsha Zazula and later on, Missi Callazzo, a debt of gratitude; and if not for them, this would be a very different company and music world today."
Charlie Benante, ANTHRAX drummer, on METALLICA: "I've been around since the beginning of the METALLICA/Megaforce days. I saw Kirk's first show, bottles of booze being emptied, food fights, and much more. The one thing that was always evident was the music, it made you want to get out of your seat and act out. Who would've thought that all of these years later it would come to this? The Hall Of Fame! Congrats to the boys! Let's empty some bottles in Cleveland! Whooo hooo!"
Missi Callazzo, Megaforce co-President: "METALLICA's ethos of doing it themselves became Megaforce's ethos as well. "Still today, most everything we do comes from those beginning days and the attitude that we can do anything, with or without money — it's a great lesson for any new artist just beginning. On behalf of Megaforce, may METALLICA celebrate this tremendous honor of being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame."
History of Megaforce: Started in 1982 as the home of METALLICA, this little label in New Jersey named Megaforce started for the right reason — to release great music, period. Megaforce has gone on to sell over 25 million albums and continues its search for unique artists.
Originally issued on July 25, 1983 through Megaforce Records, "Kill 'Em All" was recorded in two weeks on a miniscule budget in upstate New York. Although only 1,500 copies were initially pressed, the album was reissued by Elektra Records after the band signed to that label in 1984 and has since been certified triple platinum for sales of more than three million copies.
The original title of "Kill 'Em All" was "Metal Up Your Ass".
The album's opening cut, "Hit the Lights", was the first song that frontman James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich wrote together after forming METALLICA. An early version of the track appeared on the 1982 compilation "Metal Massacre".
Lead guitarist Dave Mustaine was replaced by Kirk Hammett shortly before recording commenced, although Mustaine still has several writing credits on the disc and went on to form MEGADETH.
A number of songs from the album are still part of METALLICA's set list to this day, including "The Four Horsemen", "Seek and Destroy" and "No Remorse".
METALLICA has since gone on to become one of the biggest rock bands in the world, selling tens of millions of copies of its eight studio albums, including 15 million alone of 1991's self-titled "black album." The band's ninth effort, "Death Magnetic", was released in September 2008.
Metal Blade Records owner and CEO Brian Slagel conducted interviews with James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich of METALLICA to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the band's debut album, "Kill 'Em All". Watch the interview in two parts below.