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Metallica is an American rock group from Los Angeles, California, founded in 1981 with lead singer James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich. Accredited as one of the most influential heavy metal bands of the modern day, with their fast-beat tempos, instrumental riffs, and aggressive showmanship, Metallica is recognized as one of the founders of Thrash with similar bands like Slayer, Megadeath, and Anthrax. Their fan-base exploded when their third album, Master of Puppets (1986) debuted on the Billboards 200 with critical acclaim and the band went mainstream. They have since gone on to produce nine studio albums, three live albums, five extended plays, twenty-four music videos, and forty-five singles. The band has been the headliner for several music events, including the legendary Woodstock ’94 and the Lollapalooza rock festival in ’96. On April 21-22, 1999, Metallica recorded with the San Francisco Symphony orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen with a live concert audience for their second live album, S&M. The band made headlines again in 2000 when Lars Ulrich advocated as a spokesman against the Napster file sharing company. Members of the band have fluctuated over the years. The original bassist, Cliff Burton was killed in a tour bus accident in 1986. Since then, they have gone through two more bassists: Jason Newsted (1986-2001) and Robert Trujillo (2003-present). They are currently in the studio recording their latest album, Lulu, due out in November 2011.

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