Over the years, there have been a number of good Metallica cover bands. The Bay Area legends themselves introduced Battery to the world in 1998 at select shows they did to support to support their own covers album ‘Garage Inc.’ Finnish cello band Apocalyptica started our their career in 1996 playing just Metallica covers before expanding their repertoire. But only Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Beatallica combines the vocal styles and riffs of Metallica with the melodies of the Fab Four.
And while they started out in a bit rough around the edges with a pair of EPs, ‘A Garage Dayz Night’ and ‘Beatallica (The Grey Album),’ over their next two full-lengths they honed their parody to a razor-edged, pop-tinged science.
The band’s latest release, ‘Masterful Mystery Tour’ spans much of Metallica’s career from the ‘Master of Puppets’ spoof of the title track to ‘Tomorrow Never Comes,’ a hybrid of ‘The Day That Never Comes’ from 2008’s ‘Death Magnetic’ to the Beatles’ psychedelic classic ‘Tomorrow Never Knows.’
We recently talked to Beatallica frontman James Lennfield about the longevity of the group, the complexity of merging disparate styles of music, how he manages to avoid lawsuits and how he’s been embraced by the Metallica camp, but not so much by the Beatles.