EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MAY 14: Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield of Metallica In Concert - East Rutherford, NJ on May 14, 2017 in East Rutherford City.

It’s been a good first half of the year for Metallica and its latest album, Hardwired…To Self-Destruct.

The quartet’s first set of new material in eight years, which came out last November, was the most popular rock album for the first half of 2017 according to Nielsen Music, selling 540,000 “equivalent album units,” of which 487,000 were “traditional album sales” — i.e. physical copies or full-album downloads.

Hardwirded debuted atop the Billboard 200 after its release — its sixth consecutive No. 1 bow — but guitarist Kirk Hammett tells us that the group doesn’t take that kind of reception for granted:

“Just because we’re an immensely successful metal band, that doesn’t guarantee that everyone’s gonna like everything we record, and we’ve experienced great success in the past with stuff we’ve recorded and not so great success in the past with stuff we’ve recorded. So our attitude going into a new release is hope for the best, expect the worst. Just because we’re one of the biggest bands in the world doesn’t mean we’re gonna sell biggest band in the world record numbers…At the end of the day you just have to live with…knowing you’ve done the best you possibly could and it’s good enough. That’s good enough for me, at least, knowing that.”


Metallica is currently in the midst of the North American leg of its WorldWired Tour, which has dates booked into the spring of 2018.


Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well-versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice. #TransRightsAreHumanRights