Video footage available of Metallica playing “Am I Evil?” with Diamond Head guitarist

Author Benedetta Baldin - 4.7.2024

On June 26th during the Tons Of Rock festival in Oslo, Norway, guitarist Brian Tatler of Diamond Head joined Metallica on stage to perform the Diamond Head classic “Am I Evil?

Tatler is quite proud of this track.

I suppose musically ‘Am I Evil?’, ’cause it’s such a big song and it’s just got a life of its own. So a song that was written in my bedroom in 1979 that’s gone around the world and is on millions of records and things like that. So the songs, really, the fact that they’re out there and people still wanna hear them and still get played on radio and stuff like that. And the fact that it brings in money, so it’s royalties. It means I’ve got a standard of living to become a musician, really. It’s kind of a dream when you’re a teenager, but I’ve actually done it. And yeah, I’m not the biggest star in the world or anything, but it’s brilliant that you can have a career in music for 40-odd years and not necessarily be a household name.

Many early 1980s thrash metal bands were influenced by Diamond Head, most notably Metallica, who recorded “Am I Evil?” as a B-side to their 1984 single “Creeping Death” and again featured it on their multi-platinum 1998 covers album “Garage Inc.” Three more Diamond Head songs would be recorded by Metallica:Helpless” (from “Garage Days”, 1987), “The Prince” (from “One” single B-side, 1989), and “It’s Electric” (from “Garage Inc.”, 1998).

Tatler admits that Metallica recording this track was a huge help.

I think if Metallica hadn’t covered Diamond Head — the first cover was ’84 when they did ‘Am I Evil?’ on the B-side of ‘Creeping Death’ — so I think if they hadn’t, I may have looked elsewhere for employment. I think it would have been harder to keep Diamond Head going without that introduction to their fanbase. ‘Cause that record sold millions of copies — versions of ‘Am I Evil?’ have sold millions of copies through Metallica — and so so many more people know Diamond Head thanks to Lars [Ulrich] and Co. And it may be that a lot of the opportunities that we get now would not be there without that Metallica connection. So I’m eternally grateful. Obviously, myself and Sean still get writers’ royalties, but even so, I just think it’s helped Diamond Head as a name and a brand to get on more and more opportunities — get festivals and supports. Because they link it with Metallica; they think, ‘Okay, well, you’re potentially tapping into a huge market.’