Venom‘s Cronos recalls backstage bust-up which stopped an out-of-control Metallica sabotaging their career before it started

Author Jad - 27.11.2021

After flunking their first European gig, Metallica smashed up their dressing room in frustration. Enter Venom’s Cronos with a lecture which stopped the furious four self-destructing on European soil

Venom frontman Cronos has very clear memories of his first impressions of Metallica:

They looked like Status Quo, but they sounded just like us, I heard “Whiplash” and thought, That’s fucking “Witching Hour“! (a Venom song)

Cronos, frontman of Venom

Brought together by a mutual friend, promoter/Megaforce Records boss Jonny Z, the two bands first played together at the Paramount Theater on Staten Island in April 1983. Such was the impression that Metallica made upon the English band that Venom agreed to Lars Ulrich’s plea to take them out as the support act on their Seven Dates Of Hell tour in Europe in February 1984. When the young Americans opened the tour in Zurich on February 3, however, Cronos could scarcely believe he was seeing the same band: “They were pretty lame onstage,” he recalls: “We thought, What the fuck happened to this band?”

Backstage at the Volkshaus venue, Metallica took out their frustration on the furniture and fittings in their dressing room, and “smashed the shit” out of the room as Cronos recalls. At which point, the older musician decided that metal’s latest angry young men needed a swift attitude adjustment

We had to kind of rein them in a bit, I said ‘If you’ve got the energy to smash your dressing room up, you didn’t put enough into the show. You need to come offstage so tired that the last thing you want to do is this – you need to have a drink, get stoned, get some girls in.’

Cronos, frontman of Venom

It seems time and time again the wise old European needs to calm down the rowdy youngster Americans.