Five Times Fire and Metal Went Wrong

These bands weren’t just lit, they were literally lit

Inspired by Fia Kempe of The Great Discord partying too hard in a sauna and ending up with severe burns, here are five other rock stars who ended up suffering a bit too much for their art.

5. Till Lindemann of Rammstein is Regularly Burned

Rammstein are well known for their pyrotechnics at their show but what isn’t quite as well known is that they have the fire in the shows partially because front man Till Lindemann doesn’t like people looking at him. Lindemann was injured a number of times in the early days of the band by poorly set up pyrotechnics so became a qualified pyrotechnician and oversees the bands pyros himself. Despite this, he still regularly gets singed.

4. James Hetfield Fades to Black

During a show in Montreal in 1992, James Hetfield lost track of where he was supposed to be standing during the introduction of Fade to Black and a pyro went off under him. Hetfield suffered second and third degree burns to his left arm and hand resulting in Metallica ending their set as he was rushed to hospital for immediate treatment. Thankfully gig headliners Guns N Roses were on hand to make the situation worse by cutting their set short by an hour resulting in the crowd rioting. 17 days later Hetfield was able to sing live again while John Marshall of Metal Church took over on guitar.

3. Bob Bryar Nearly Becomes a Real Life Spinal Tap Drummer

When My Chemical Romance begun shooting of the video for Famous Last Words, no one seemed to consider that a burning pile of props with jets of flaming flaring behind the drummer could be a bad idea. Drummer Bob Bryar caught fire during filming and exacerbated his injuries when he decided that he’d finish the video shoot before going to hospital for treatment. His second and third degree burns required skin grafts which later developed a staph infection.  Moral of the story? Go straight to hospital.

2. Agalarieth Becomes Famous

Everyone in a band wants to be famous, even the most kvlt black metal bands. Unfortunately for Aldrin Montecinos AKA Agalarieth of Chilean black metal band Megiddo, he became famous for the wrong reasons on April 10th 2004 when a fire breathing stunt went wrong. Long beards and fire breathing aren’t a good mix which Aldrin discovered this the hard way as his beard burst into flames, followed by his hair. Luckily Megiddo’s bassist, Infest, came to the rescue along with some audience members and Aldrin suffered only minor burns. He ranks high on the list because the video is spectacular and terrifying, serving a very graphic reminder of why you shouldn’t mess with fire.

1. Blackie Lawless’ Balls Explode

Blackie Lawless Firework Codpiece
What could go wrong?

WASP were well known for their stage antics as singer/guitarist Blackie Lawless always felt that an audience could have more fun at home than at a show watching some guys in denim stand around playing. Their shows consisted of a semi-naked woman on a torture rack having her throat cut, raw meat being thrown into the crowd and a huge WASP sign that Lawless would light on fire during the set. Not content with accidentally lighting his hair on fire during one show, or with multiple lacerations caused by his circular saw blade codpiece and wrist bands, Blackie would take things a step further.

In 1986 WASP were doing pretty well for themselves; their Inside the Electric Circus Album peaked at number 60 on the US chart and it remained in the top 100 for 19 weeks. The album was a more commercial effort for the band and overhauled their image a little – gone were the severed heads, torture racks, fake blood and naked women, instead the live show was a set built like a circus big top. Also swept away by the changes were Blackie Lawless’ circular saw blade wrist bands and codpiece but a new codpiece was introduced, one that had a firework attached that shot fire about 9 feet. Obviously nothing could go wrong with having an explosive strapped to your crotch.

In fairness, the firework operated safely and as intended in months of practices until Lawless discovered the hard way that the altitude of an international flight compressed the gunpowder. At their first show of the tour which happened to be in Dublin, Ireland, the firework exploded setting Blackie’s legs and backside on fire resulting in some pretty serious burns. Backstage the band were pretty sombre as it looked like the tour was over on the first night but in an effort to cheer them up, Lawless infamously quipped, “If we wrote better songs, I wouldn’t have to do stuff like this!”.  The tour continued anyway and from October ’86 to March ’87 the band trekked around the world with Lawless continuing to use the firework codpiece without incident.

About Morg

Metal Report Editor. Ex guitarist in Zenopede, ex vocals for a goth covers band that was hailed as the future of Welsh music, former DJ, promoter and nightclub director. Writer for Gear4Geeks' Blog4Geeks and owner of Gear4Geeks ltd. First published music critique was Kerrang letter of the Week. Definitely has never been the future, present or past of Welsh music.

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