Arts & Entertainment, Music

The Fifth Member of the Band


Lesson time 08:05 min

Metallica sees fans as the fifth member of the band. In this lesson, the band teaches how to connect with fans, and shares tips for elements such as stage design and ticket pricing to help develop and nurture a lifelong relationship with them.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Get Close to Your Audience · Surprise Your Audience · Be True to Yourself


[CROWD ROARS] [MUSIC PLAYING] [INTERPOSING VOICES] - Are you ready? [MUSIC PLAYING] JAMES HETFIELD: We've played live more than probably a lot of other bands to help create that connection going into B and C and D markets where no one would play. But that's where our fans were or our potential fans. So going to those places, those misfits of the world like we feel we are, those people that don't feel like they fit in. They don't fit into whatever's being played on the radio. They feel terminally unique, but they're not. They're not alone in that. And we feel the same. And so when we go play live, and I say, you know, do you feel it? Do you feel like I do? And they say yes because they do. And that makes me feel good. It makes me feel so good. It makes me feel a part of, makes me feel like I'm doing the next right thing here. So I love the fact that we have a fan base that has continued to grow. And-- you know, they've morphed with us. We've morphed with what it means to have a certain fan base, you know. Obviously, when we were young, most of our fans were young males like we were, pissed off and hating the system. And as we grow older and older, we understand that, you know, there's no dress code. There's no-- you know, you have to have this kind of job. You have to look a certain way. You have to feel a certain way. No, you don't. You get to come in and experience. So another big part of what I think, you know, the fifth member that is a Metallica fan. When we're on stage doing what we're doing, we're just the ones up there doing it. We're like everybody else. They could have been doing what we're doing, but we're the ones that have gone through that journey. So when I hear people that show up at the show, and they say afterwards, you know, yeah, the songs were awesome, but man, there was a group of five people down in front of me that were so into it. They were going nuts. And they were singing every single word and all of this. They were more infatuated with the crowd than with us. And that to me is the fifth member right there, you know. You're moving another person with your music. And you're influencing another person that's watching them. So it's so multi-layered. And when we play live, we've got as many lights on the crowd as we have on us because they are a part of it. They are the energy that drives us as well. So without each other, it's not as fun. [MUSIC PLAYING] LARS ULRICH: The snake pit started off, I guess, in '91 where we played an evening with Metallica for the first time and played 360, played to the whole venue, and then had fans in the middle of the stage and kind of had the stage built around that fan pit, that snake pit. We loved playing 360 so much that every indoor tour we've ever done since then, and I think pretty much every show we've ever played of our own when we've played indoors, has been in 360. It's how we're comfortable. It brings e...

About the Instructor

With 28 albums, 8 Grammy Awards, and a home in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Metallica have been creating iconic music together for over 40 years. Now, they’re teaching what it takes to build and sustain success as a group. Get an exclusive look into their process for songwriting, building an album, and performing, and how they took charge of their creative destiny so you can do the same.

Featured Masterclass Instructor


8x Grammy Award–winning rock band Metallica teaches you the keys to communicating, collaborating, and successfully creating as a group.

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