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Metallica’s manager Peter Mensch: ‘There’s nobody even close to them’

Metallica performing in 2016 © PA Images

Metallica’s long-term manager Peter Mensch has insisted there is “nobody even close to them” in music today.

Q Prime, Mensch’s management company he formed with Cliff Burnstein in the early eighties, has looked after Metallica since 1984 and Mensch believes there are a number of factors why the band are currently enjoying a rich vein of form.

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” Mensch explained to Music Week. “They put out a great record (2016’s ‘Hardwired… To Self-Destruct’). They hadn’t put out a record in eight years, it was quality music and then they went and played a bunch of quality shows.

“It got bigger because I believe they maintained the quality of their product, so music is No. 1. No. 2, there’s no question about the quality of their performance. No. 3, they were out of the (US) marketplace with a new record for years. They played Europe and stuff like that, but in America where they just completed an absolutely sold-out stadium tour, they hadn’t played in eight years.

“And No. 4, guess what? There’s nobody even close to them. Look, you can make the point that Stone Roses begat Oasis and Pulp and Blur who begat Radiohead, Coldplay, Muse even. We’re still waiting for the next Metallica. I get plenty of emails saying, ‘We’re the next Metallica,’ and then they send me s****y music. But there’s nobody else.”

Peter Mensch © Getty Images

Reflecting upon Metallica’s incredible 2017, Mensch added: “If you’re Metallica and you tour around and killed it at The O2, and broke the house record, and you got more shows to play and more plans and more music to make and James Hetfield writes a riff every time he picks up a guitar, you’ve got to feel pretty good about yourself.

“And you survived it, you’re looking around and you’re on the top of your mountain. There’s nobody else up there, you’re up there with the U2s of the world or whatever. You may not be The Rolling Stones yet, but you’ve got 20 more years to get there.”

Mensch also revealed the secret of his 33-year working relationship with the heavy metal icons: “It’s really simple. We like each other and we respect each other. That’s the bottom line. My partner and I have a line: ‘You get the acts, as a manager, you deserve.’ There are acts that could be as smart as Metallica or likeable but don’t respect what we have to say.

“We have a peculiar bunch of acts that we all like talking to, that we think are smart, they think we’re smart, we give them advice, they comment on our advice, we go back and forth, and we come up with a plan.”

Mensch began his managerial career in 1979 managing a certain band called AC/DC before forming Q Prime where he snapped up Def Leppard as his first client.

Other acts on their roster past and present include Led Zeppelin (for their 2007 reunion show), Scorpions, Dokken, Tesla, Suicidal Tendencies, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queensrÿche and The Smashing Pumpkins.

You can find out more about the Music Week interview here.

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