Metallica’s ninth studio album, Death Magnetic, is officially out today (9/12) and is already a record setter in one aspect. Last week’s FMQB radio broadcast, The World Premiere of Death Magnetic, was heard on 175+ stations across the United States and Canada, setting a new bar for clearance levels of an FMQB Productions event. The program was broadcast live from Metallica HQ and featured all four members of Metallica – James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo – sitting down for a conversation with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and drummer Taylor Hawkins.
FMQB Productions Executive Producer Fred Deane commented, "This was truly a landmark event for the radio and music industries. The overwhelming response to a live show of this magnitude should restore everyone’s belief in the power of radio and revered artists of the caliber of Metallica. We’ve yet to have a broadcast event be received quite like this one and are proud to have played an integral role in this history making occasion."
Metallica on the air
"This was the best live broadcast of an event I have ever been involved with, and I’ve done some big ones," said Warner Bros. SVP of Promotion Ron Cerrito. "There were many elements that made this event so special. Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins did an excellent job. From a pure music level, nothing can take the place of an artist having a conversation with another artist. Any host, who is not a musician, can never have the conversation that Dave and Taylor had with Metallica!"
"[This broadcast was] professional all the way and as entertaining as it gets," said Entercom Sacramento KSEG/KWOD Station Manager Curtiss Johnson. "Whoever’s decision it was to get Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins from Foo Fighters to host, kudos. That was brilliant. They were funny, quick and obviously big fans. And talk about cred! As for James, Kirk, Lars and Robert, they were so open, relaxed, humble, genuine and downright funny. It was like sitting in room with a bunch of friends shooting the S@#t and listening to music… only your friends are some of the biggest rock stars on the planet. It doesn’t get much cooler for a rock fan than that. It was truly a musical event!"
Kudos must indeed go out to Ron Cerrito and the staff at WB for thinking of bringing in the Foo Fighters duo as hosts. You could feel the respect in the room that each of these guys had for each other, and it translated on-air during the program. Even with Grohl and Hawkins being in their own band, you could tell they were diehard Metallica fans as well. I saw evidence of this as I was working in the master control room when they initially arrived at HQ. They quickly walked through the room on their way to the outdoor BBQ that was set up for everyone attending the event. It probably took them 5 seconds to walk through the room, but in that time Grohl noticed and pointed at some guitars stacked in the corner. Later during the show, he brought them up, to which James revealed they dated back to the “pre-Kill 'Em All” era of Metallica. And it was with that kind of reverence that everyone who attended the broadcast possessed throughout the whole event as they breathed in the minutia of the HQ setting.
Dave & Taylor asking the tough questions
"Last night may have been one of the coolest experiences in my entire radio career," admitted Clear Channel KIOZ-FM Program/Music Director Shauna Moran. "Getting a tour of Metallica's HQ, seeing a bit of their rehearsal, watching them be so gracious to their fans, seeing them interact with their families, watching Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins get to be fans, and then to be a part of one of the most hilariously amazing radio broadcasts was truly an experience I will never forget! The broadcast itself was one of the coolest broadcasts I have heard. The bands were so comfortable with each other, and it gave a listener a chance to hear them interact with one another in a way the majority of us never get to see. KIOZ was very proud to be a part of such a historic rock event!"
"It was very cool to be in Metallica’s house," commented 107.7 The Bone (KSAN) Program Director Larry Sharp. "I thought the show was spectacular. Dave Grohl was absolutely the perfect host for the show. He is as big a Metallica fan as any of the other people that were there and a natural host. The show was spontaneous, funny and informative without being too inside. Good mix of music and talk. The live audience really helped keep the vibe going. Nothing beats live radio!"
James Hetfield shaves a fan's beard on live radio!
Putting the enormity of the event in perspective, we were scheduled for a 90 minute broadcast, but at about 70 minutes into the show, Q Prime SVP/ Promotion Warren Christensen and I realized this show wasn’t ready to end. Calls were made to the satellite companies to confirm extra time and we decided to go to two hours. This was about the same time Dave Grohl started singing the Love Boat theme as James and Robert were shaving the beards off two audience members. Nothing beats live radio!
And this was amazing live radio. The feedback has been tremendous from the participating stations to the band members themselves. Consider Q Prime's Cliff Bernstein, who sat in his car, in his driveway, listening to the show on the XM 51 Mandatory Metallicachannel, and said afterwards we just didn’t hit it out of the park; we hit it out of the stadium.
Thanks go out to Vickie Strate and everyone at Metallica HQ for letting us into their home for this event.