Ice Nine Kills On Supporting Metallica: “We Are Learning As Much From Them As We Can”

Ice Nine Kills frontman Spencer Charnas has told us about his experience playing in huge stadiums with Metallica earlier this year.

Spencer is featured in the 2023 Rock Sound Awards Issue as INK pick up the title of Best Live Act.

When asked about his experience of playing these huge dates on the M72 Tour, Spencer spoke about what a full-circle moment it was on his musical journey.

He said “You know, I get goosebumps every time that I talk about this. It’s still just so amazing…We got a call from our booking agent asking if we wanted to open for Metallica at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. I thought we must have had a bad connection, but Metallica really had handpicked us to open up for them at this one-off show alongside Greta van Fleet. It was one of the most amazing calls I have ever received. I thought they were joking. So that was in of itself an incredible experience. The show was awesome. Even if it had ended there, we would have been happy. We got to open to for Metallica; you can’t take that away. Then, a month later, we got another call saying they wanted us to open up two more shows in the Summer. So I checked my calendar, you know. We played at Buffalo Stadium, which was a huge deal for our drummer Pat [Galante], a huge Buffalo Bills fan. Then we played in Pittsburgh at PNC Park, where the Pirates play. Those shows, again, were incredible. You can’t put into words what an honour it was. If it ended there, it is still a story of a lifetime.

“Then, a few months later, we got the biggest call of our career: Metallica wanted us on their entire world tour. It shot me right back to 1996 when my Dad took me to see them play in Boston right around when ‘Load’ came out. I remember that concert so vividly. That was the first time I saw them live, and it was the first time that I thought of metal music as a sport. It was like an athletic performance with how fast and hard they were playing. It stuck with me. Part of the reason that I started learning metal guitar was to play ‘Enter Sandman’ and ‘Master Of Puppets’. They have always had such an influence on me, even when we were a punk band more than a metal band. To get that honour to open for a band that has been so influential in me personally becoming a musician is indescribable.”

On interacting with the band themselves, he said “I’ll never forget them coming into our dressing room to say, ‘What’s up’. They invited us to parties after the show, checking in with us. They are all just human and all very normal and nice and down to earth. Rob would tell me that his son was a fan of our band as well. It’s crazy they even know who we are. I can’t say enough nice things about them. Also, I was recently with Jack Osbourne at a convention in Kentucky called Scarefest. We were talking, and he was asking how the Metallica tour was going, and famously, Ozzy took Metallica out on the road early on. Ozzy was so nice to Metallica and treated them so well, so I feel as though that feeling must have trickled down. They treat their opening bands like gold. They are showing us the way now and how we should be treating our opening bands. We are learning as much from them as we can.”

You can read the full interview inside the Rock Sound Awards Issue. It is available to order here alongside a giant double-sided poster and an A4 photo print.

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