New Wave Of British Heavy Metal legends DIAMOND HEAD played one of the biggest shows of their career in early July at the U.K. installment of the Sonisphere festival at Knebworth House. The band opened for the so-called “Big Four” of 1980s thrash metal — METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX — who had been paying tribute to DIAMOND HEAD at previous “Big Four” shows by performing “Am I Evil?”, a DIAMOND HEAD track METALLICA made famous by covering it on the B-side of its 1984 single “Creeping Death”.
A three-and-a-half-minute video report from Midlands Today in which DIAMOND HEAD mainman Brian Tatler and METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich are interviewed at the Sonisphere festival can be seen below.
In a recent interview with Radio Metal, Tatler was asked if it’s fair to say that without METALLICA, DIAMOND HEAD might not be as well-known today as it is. “Yes, absolutely. Since they’ve started covering songs in 1984. And of course, if METALLICA hadn’t had made it big, it wouldn’t have made any difference, but the fact that DIAMOND HEAD had been covered by such a huge and important band has just reflected the glory onto DIAMOND HEAD, hasn’t it? It’s just made the DIAMOND HEAD legacy seem much more cool and credible and important, because we’ve influenced the major metal band in the world. . . Obviously, DIAMOND HEAD were going before METALLICA, but yes, I think we would’ve faded away in the late ’80s without METALLICA. If they hadn’t have done covers — because a lot of bands don’t do covers, do they? They just do their own material, but METALLICA decided to do covers for B-sides and things and that has just been fantastic for bands like DIAMOND HEAD, and BUDGIE, and MOTÖRHEAD, and MERCYFUL FATE, or whoever they’ve chosen to cover.”
When asked if he gets tired when people talk about “Am I Evil?” and confuse it with a METALLICA song, Tatler said, “I don’t mind, because I get the royalties! [laughs] I think we’ve all done that, we’ve all listened to an artist and thought, ‘That’s a good song,’ and then later realized they didn’t write it, they just did a good version of it. . . I’ve had [people not believe me when I told them who originally wrote the track]. I said, ‘It’s a DIAMOND HEAD song,’ and people answered, ‘No, it’s METALLICA!’ You have to tell them to look at the small print on the record where it says, ‘Written by Tatler/Harris in 1980.'”