Lars Ulrich says that Metallica's openness to mixing their style of music with classical began long before the band recorded their original S&M album, in fact, it was late bassist Cliff Burton who opened the door.
Metallica revealed earlier this week that their "Metallica And San Francisco Symphony: S&M2" concert film had broken the record for the largest world wide rock cinema release and announced that the film will be returning to theaters for an additional night on October 30th.
Two special concerts was staged at the Chase Center in San Francisco to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original S&M performance, but Lars told Rolling Stone recently that the band's ties to classical music began long before that with Cliff Burton, who tragically died in a tour bus crash in 1986.
Lars told the publication, "Cliff was definitely the gateway to a lot of that classical stuff.
"When he started talking about classical music in '83, '84, James [Hetfield] and I weren't - or at least maybe I, I don't want to speak for James - we weren't maybe ready to sort of receive that stuff, but slowly his persistence got things like classical music or Simon And Garfunkel, on our radar. It took a little longer for us to open up.
"But I now see an intersection between some of the darker, more dissonant, and more minor stuff we play. S&M2 conductor Michael Tilson Thomas] sometimes calls up and says, 'You gotta check out this performance,' and he'll invite me to some stuff like Mahler or Bach or pieces on the darker side.
"I appreciate a lot of the orchestral stuff but, over the last 20 years, I've figured out how to navigate toward the stuff I'm leaning more towards."