SOME diehard heavy metal fans may think Edinburgh rock legends Holocaust aren’t a patch on American giants Metallica – but they’d be wrong.
For we can reveal that the Los Angeles-based stadium fillers have been in touch with Holocaust’s line-up to ask if they can feature the band’s BADGES in their new 3D film, Through the Never, which is set to be shown worldwide in cinemas this August.
The film shows lead singer James Hetfield, 49, sporting three Holocaust badges on his jacket in homage to the fact the US rockers once covered a track by the Capital musicians.
Official permission to screen the Holocaust patches was sought so as not to infringe any copyright laws.
But the contact has helped spark fresh interest in the city outfit, who are about to play Edinburgh for the first time in decades.
Bass player Mark McGrath, who lives in Musselburgh and joined the current line up of original singer John Mortimer and drummer Scott Wallace ten years ago, said: “John started the band in 1977 with some guys he knew from school and since then he has never really stopped. The line-up may have changed, but John has always kept plugging away and making music, though he’s never had any major success in the conventional sense.
“However, he’s certainly made his mark on the music scene. Metallica have always said that Holocaust were one of their early influences.
“In 1987, they even covered one of Holocaust’s tracks, The Small Hours, which they first released on an EP. It was then included on Garage Inc, an album of covers they released in 1998.
“John’s met them a few times and says they are great guys. We’ve just about completed an album we’ve been working on for about ten years now and they’ve agreed to have a listen to it once it’s finished, which is pretty exciting.”
Mark, who at 46 is the youngest of the group, said their badge cameo in Through the Never is already airing in an online taster, sparking interest from metal fans who otherwise may not have heard of Holocaust.
“There’s clips of the film up on YouTube and the response has been amazing. It’s like a whole new generation are discovering the band. I think one of the things they like so much is that the tracks aren’t as polished as the songs being put out by more modern metal bands.”
Holocaust are about to embark on a European tour, taking in Germany, Spain, England, Belgium and France, but kicks off right here in the Capital.
Mark said: “We’re really looking forward to playing Bannermans. I don’t think Holocaust has actually played in Edinburgh for 15 or 20 years.”
The gig takes place this Saturday.
For the record
Biggest gig: 1991, Tushino Airfield, Moscow – 500,000
Breakthrough album: 1991, Metallica, 15x platinum in US
Members: James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo
Biggest gig: 2013, Keep it True festival, Germany – 4000
Breakthrough album: 1981, The Nightcomers
Members: John Moritimer, Scott Wallace, Mark McGrath