Q&A med författaren Mick Wall!
Mick wall tillhör det gamla engelska rock and roll-gardet och började sin karriär på tidningarna Sounds och Kerrang.
En lysande skribent och författare som sett, hört och gjort det mesta inom rock and roll. Han kom nyligen ut med den alldeles förträffliga Metallicabiografin "Enter night" (recenserad här) och har sedan tidigare en hel drös med välskrivna biografier på sitt samvete, bl a om Axl Rose, Iron Maiden och Led Zeppelin.
Wall är en ganska upptagen man, men tog sig tid för att besvara mina frågor.
When did you start working on the book and how long did it take to put together?
Mick Wall: I started the actual writing of it at the beginning of 2010, but there had been a long period before that where I was researching, gathering info. You start by taking everything that everybody else has ever written, reading it and filtering it through your mind and your own opinions and experiences, melding it with your own interviews with the band and all the dozens of other people you speak to, then dilute it down, drop by drop. Like drawing blood.
When you write a book like this one, do you write it chronologally or just different chapters as you go and then put it all together?
Mick Wall: I write chronologically, in that I start with chapter one and go from there to two, three, four etc. But the story jumps around in time, as you can see in the book with the intros.
Were there a lot of stuff that didn´t make the cut in the book?
Mick Wall: Yes, all the stuff that the lawyers forced me to take out. The situation in the UK is very drastic now with privacy laws almost preventing you from saying anything bad about anybody in a book. Other sections I had to tone down. Ultimately, though. I got my meaning across. The truth is the truth whatever way you tell it, for those that have eyes to see, not just blinkered fans who see only what they want to..
How did you go about picking photos for the book and which one is your favorite?
Mick Wall: Just went through everything I could get my hands on and tried to choose ones that told as many aspects of the story as possible. My favourites are probably from their very early days. I love the geeky one of Kirk as a kid and I like the nerdy early ones of the original line-up goofing around. From the days before they tried to look cool in all their pictures.
Did you have any other titles for the book floating around and what made you go with "Enter night"?
Mick Wall: Loads. None of which really turned me on. I thought I'd cracked it one day when I came up with Gods And Monsters, until someone pointed out it was already a film. Doh! When I finally came up with Enter Night, it felt right immediately. It isn't a direct statement but it somehow sums up my feeling of where Metallica came into the story of rock and what they brought with them.
Do you remember the first time you met a member of the band? Do tell!
Mick Wall: I think it must have been when Lars just turned up at the Kerrang office one day in 1984. The first time we got drunk together was at Donington 1985. At about 3.00a.m. we came across Cronos from Venom face down unconscious at a table in the bar so we both took our dicks out and had our pictures taken sticking them in his ears as he snored, big silly grins on our faces.
When was the last time you met a member of the band and where was it?
Mick Wall: I spoke to Lars, Kirk and James on the Magnetic UK tour in 2009. That was on the phone. They invited me down to hang out backstage at one of the O2 shows in London but there was a train strike in London that day and the only way to get to and from the venue was by boat! As I don't live in London the trip would have been hellish so I passed. Hoping to maybe see them again when they do Knebworth later this year.
Who would you say is the main man in Metallica, Lars or James, and why so?
Mick Wall: Both. Lars was the instigator but it soon became equal. It's very chicken and egg now.
What´s your take on Jason? I recently talked to Ross Halfin who said he was "a dick" from the get go.
Mick Wall: Jason was always going to be the odd man out. Never going to win. As the book reveals, they decided they didn't like him after a few weeks and tried to fire him but their manager very astutely advised against it, so he became like a glorified hired hand instead. A shame but, hey, he could have left a lot earlier than he did. Instead he hung around, put up with all their shit and became a millionaire several times over, poor guy.
What would you say is the biggest difference between Jason and Rob?
Mick Wall: One gets respect and one didn't.
What´s your take on Mustaine these days saying that the beef between him and Metallica is mainly the media to blame?
Mick Wall: There is no beef, there never was. They wanted to get rid of him cos he was a dick to have around, so they fired him. End of. It's Dave who keeps the whole thing going because he's never been able to get over it. Shame cos he is a wonderfully talented, smart, funny guy. Brilliant guitarist too.
What will be your next book project?
Mick Wall: It's being discussed right now so I don't really know yet. There's going to be a big AC/DC book in 2012 but maybe something else first, later this year.
Other than your own books, which one would you say is the ultimate rock biography?
Mick Wall: I like Barney Hoskyns. He's a great rock storyteller. I love his books Hotel California and Waiting For The Sun. He's also working on a Zeppelin book right now so that should be something special too.