Andreas Kisser’s 1992 Audition for Metallica

In 1992, Andreas Kisser of Sepultura auditioned for Metallica, filling in for an injured James Hetfield. His remarkable performance, friendships formed, and the impact on his career highlight this unique moment.

A live performance photo of Andreas Kisser, the guitarist from Sepultura, intensely playing his guitar on stage. His expression is focused and energetic, indicative of the passion and power typical of a metal concert.
Andreas Kisser
Key Takeaways
  • Andreas Kisser of Sepultura auditioned for Metallica in 1992, replacing James Hetfield temporarily due to injury.
  • His audition included Metallica’s hits like “Enter Sandman,” showcasing his talent and compatibility with the band’s style.
  • Despite not being selected, the audition strengthened Kisser’s ties with Metallica, particularly with Jason Newsted, leading to future collaborations.

The year 1992 witnessed a interesting event in the world of metal, as Andreas Kisser, guitarist of the Brazilian band Sepultura, stepped into audition for one of the genre’s most influential bands, Metallica. This opportunity arose following a mishap involving James Hetfield, who suffered severe burns during a performance, necessitating a temporary replacement for the remainder of the tour.

Phil Rind of Sacred Reich, a friend of Metallica’s bassist Jason Newsted, played a key role in this process. He recommended Kisser for the audition, leading to Newsted’s invitation to Kisser to join them in Denver, Colorado. Kisser, seizing this unexpected chance, traveled to Denver with his Charvel guitar, ready to step into the shoes of a metal legend.

Upon arriving in Denver, Kisser was met with a grand reception, including limousine service, underscoring the prestige associated with Metallica. His first encounter was with Kirk Hammett, followed by an observation period where he listened to other guitarists audition before it was his turn. Kisser’s performance, starting with “Enter Sandman,” was so precise that it left the impression among the crew that Metallica themselves were practicing. His skillful play, coupled with a composed attitude, caught the attention of both the crew and the band members.

Kisser’s first day at the audition involved playing alongside Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Jason Newsted, but without Hetfield. His renditions of “The Shortest Straw,” “One,” and “Enter Sandman” garnered praise, showcasing his expertise with Metallica’s repertoire. However, the audition also presented its challenges. Kisser, alongside John Marshall from Metal Church, emerged as the leading candidates. In the presence of Hetfield, Kisser performed several tracks but found himself less prepared for songs like “The Unforgiven” and “Nothing Else Matters.”

Andreas Kisser’s meticulous rendition of “Enter Sandman” during his Metallica audition was so convincing, it was mistaken for the band’s own rehearsal.

Ultimately, Metallica chose John Marshall for the role, favoring his extensive familiarity with the band’s history and music. Despite not being selected, Kisser reflects on the audition with positivity, valuing the experience as a remarkable chapter in his career. He appreciated the chance to play alongside Metallica, an opportunity that deepened his connection with the band.

Post-audition, Kisser developed a strong friendship with Metallica, particularly with Jason Newsted. They frequently met after the audition, engaging in collaborative music ventures, including demos and jams. This episode in Kisser’s career, while not leading to a permanent position with Metallica, nonetheless stands as a testament to his skill and versatility as a musician, and his ability to rise to the occasion in extraordinary circumstances.