LARS ULRICH: DAVE MUSTAINE’s Early-METALLICA Lyrics Were Full Of Sexual Connotations

Early Metallica

While discussing METALICA‘s 1983 debut Kill ‘Em All with Metal Hammer, Lars Ulrich talked about Dave Mustaine‘s contributions to the band.

Focusing on “The Four Horsemen,” Ulrich said:

“Dave brought in some things he had from his old band, Panic – things he’d been jamming, bigger-picture ideas, stuff like that.

“The song ‘The Four Horsemen was,’ in its early version, called ‘Mechanix,’ and it was literally a song about sex. There were lyrics about taking the hose and sticking it in the tank – a gas-station stop disguised as sexual engagement.

“It didn’t make a lot of sense to me at the time, but we knew that was the sort of thing we wanted to move away from – the sexual stuff that hard rock bands were singing about at the time, which we thought was a little light and a little obvious.

“You didn’t find stuff like that on the first Witchfynde album [1980’s ‘Give ‘Em Hell’].”

When asked if the music they were making was a reaction to everything else that was happening in rock and metal at the time, Ulrich responded:

“When you talk about Metallica during that time period, you have to use the word ‘contrary.’ It’s not so much what turns you on as what turns you off. You often went: ‘We definitely don’t like that, so we’re gonna do this.’
“We didn’t want to be this, we didn’t want to do that, we didn’t want to do what the American bands were doing, we didn’t want to write this particular way. We were finding our own voice.”

Discussing “Phantom Lord,” another tune that features Mustaine‘s contributions, Lars said:

“That song was like ‘Mechanix,’ in that it originally had sexual connotations to it. But that’s who Dave Mustaine was. He was cool and confident, he had a cool haircut.

“When we went and hung out with him at his apartment, there were girls there. He was much more of a man of the world, where James and I were these weird little awkward, disenfranchised teenagers.”