Rock Out With Metallica Every Monday During Quarantine — and Try Some of Their Whiskey While You're At It

They're also donating $350,000 to coronavirus relief efforts.

Metallica. Photo: Mauricio Santana/ Contributor/Getty Images

You may not think of legendary heavy metal band Metallica as the soothing anesthetic you need right now in this chaotic world, but pair it with a glass of whiskey and you've got a good night ahead of you. And if you can get your hands on it, make sure it is Blackened Whiskey, the band's own brand.

As quarantine restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic have us staying home, the Grammy winning band launched "Metallica Mondays" in March kicking off things with their 2019 concert in Ireland, Metallica: Live at Slane Castle stream.

"While we're all doing our part and staying home, we find ourselves missing live music," Metallica said in a statement of the concerts which are streaming on both Facebook and YouTube every Monday at 5 p.m. "So how about we dive back into a few of our favorite shows at a socially responsible distance? Not to sound too cheesy, but now more than ever, we're in this together, and staying connected is how we'll get through it. With that in mind, we're bringing a series of live Metallica shows right to your couch!"

Their most recent concert flashback was from 2009 in Copenhagen that was streamed on April 6.

Last month the band also announced they would be donating $350,000 through their nonprofit All Within My Hands Foundation to four COVID-19 relief efforts.

Music, after all, is the great human unifier and a great distraction. And, then again, so is whiskey, lending Metallica's brand — created in 2018 — to be the perfect combination.

But the way the whiskey was crafted is really what makes it unique.

To the tune of their own music, the whiskey was "shaped" through molecule manipulation. Basically, late master distiller Dave Pickerell strapped transponders to the barrels, turned on curated Metallica playlists, and looked at how this impacted the caramels and lactones after 10 weeks in a process known as "Black Noise."

They found these musically enhanced or subwoofed barrels produced a flavor like no other.

Metallica's Blackened Whiskey
Metallica's Blackened Whiskey. Courtesy of Lion & Lamb
Rob Dietrich
Rob Dietrich, the master distiller of Blackened Whiskey following the passing of Dave Pickerell. Courtesy of Lion & Lamb

Travel + Leisure spoke with the band's lead guitarist, Kirk Hammett, and bass guitarist, Robert Trujillo, about this very unique side gig (as well as some of their other side gigs, including their wedding cover band) in March.

Travel + Leisure: Why whiskey?

Hammett: It just seemed like the demand for whiskey is really high right now and really really popular. It's definitely had an upward trend in the last 10 years. The vodka market seems like a completely different market and the whiskey market is kind of more along the lines of how we think as a band. The opportunity came for us to put out a whiskey and we thought that's very cool. It was something we could shape and mold.

Trujillo: We had an opportunity to collaborate with Dave Pickerell, the godfather of whiskey and he also was a guy who was super passionate about music and the celebration of music of all styles. He was a drummer in his early years and it was just a great connection with him. Here's this guy, this master distiller, and here's this heavy metal band, masters of metal, you know, what the hell? We owe a lot of this to him. When I played in Ozzy Osbourne's band I was actually nicknamed "The Whiskey Warlord." It was kind of a rebirth for me.

T+L: Tell us about the "Black Noise" process for the whiskey barrels?

Hammett: Moving molecules is how I saw it. I went for the tuned down, a lot of low end with my playlist with the lowest thud to it. But then I had another playlist that was really fast so I thought maybe it would spin it in a different way.

Trujillo: For me being a base player and a fan of the rhythm section I made mine more fat and rhythmic. My batch was more tribal. There's only so many songs but it's fun more than anything. It's a way to connect with our fans. We move the molecules through our music.

Robert Trujillo (L) and Kirk Hammett
Robert Trujillo (L) and Kirk Hammett of Metallica performs at Granåsen on July 13, 2019 in Trondheim, Norway. Ole Hagen/Redferns

And when it comes to to their other gig of a wedding band, Trujillo tells us the idea was just as organic, following an impromptu jam session.

While Trujillo was attending a wedding in Hawaii (his favorite surfing spot) he thought it would be fun for some of his friends to come and play. What started as a one-time event has now become an actual band that tours the country featuring Hammett and Trujillo, Ugly Kid Joe singer Whitfield Crane, ex Queens of the Stone Age/Danzig drummer Joey Castillo and guitarist Doc Coyle of Bad Wolves.

They had their last concert in early March in Columbia, South Carolina at a small concert venue called The Senate.

They play songs that, well, you wouldn't always expect to hear at every wedding, but ones that definitely hold a special place in some people's hearts. Their repertoire includes everything from ACDC, Black Sabbath, Billy Idol to some real rock funk like Kool and the Gang's "Jungle Boogie."

T+L: Why did you decide to form The Wedding Band?

Hammett: We're just cut from the same musical roots. Very common ground there so we gravitate to the same kind of stuff. We like a lot of funk and so we want to play it.

Trujillo: We put our stamp on it and it gives us an opportunity to play with some of our favorite musicians and it challenges us.

T+L: Who are some of those favorite musicians you would want to play with?

Hammett: All the British guitar players, I love all those guys. I want to play with all of them! They influenced me a lot. Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, etc., If we did this in England we could invite all of them.

T+L: You've traveled the world for your work but do you have a favorite place? Perhaps for surfing?

Trujillo: Hawaii is the best place for sure. Portugal for the culture and the people.

Hammett: SoCal and Bali.

Trujillo: Aside from Hawaii the best waves I got, just over a year ago, was in New Jersey. We had the day off and my friend is a hardcore surfer and he said [fakes Jersey accent], "Get over here to Jersey." It was pumping and incredible.

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