When it comes to thrash in America, the Bay Area of San Francisco is seen as the epicenter of the genre, producing iconic acts like Metallica, Exodus, Testament, Forbidden and so many more. But let's not forget about the early Los Angeles scene! That's just what the latest Inside Metal DVD film does, documenting The Rise of L.A. Thrash Metal. In this exclusive clip, Testament and Dark Angel drummer Gene Hoglan recalls meeting a young James Hetfield for the first time back in 1981.

The skinsman begins describing June 27 of 1981 where he attended a backyard party with a couple bands ripping through covers. A blonde dude (Hetfield) with an Iron Maiden shirt caught Hoglan's eye and he ran up to the then stranger and exclaimed, "Dude! Where did you get that shirt?! Oh my god!" He describes the shirt as a black and white rendering of Maiden's debut album cover, which Hetfield had custom made.

Hoglan presented Hetfield with $10, which he says was more than the going rate for concert shirts, and asked him to make another custom Maiden shirt. Hetfield declined and Hoglan scrounged up more cash to pad the offer, but the result was still a hard no. Fast forward to a Saxon concert eight months later and Hoglan walks in during the opening band, recognizing Hetfield who was now gigging with Metallica. Eventually, he relayed the story to Papa Het, who said refusing to make the shirt sounded like something he would do.

Director Bob Nalbandian commented on the film, stating, “The Rise of L.A. Thrash Metal is the third installment in the Inside Metal series and perhaps the most compelling, as this title delves deep into the dark history of thrash metal with the birth of Metallica and Slayer and ensuing Los Angeles thrash bands Megadeth, Suicidal Tendencies, and Dark Angel, as well as many others that are documented in this two-part film. We at MetalRock Films felt it was important to uncover this rich history of underground thrash metal told from the eyes of some of the biggest metal artists today!”

The Rise of L.A. Thrash Metal will be released on Jan. 19 through MetalRock Films and pre-orders can be placed here. The film also features interviews with members of Metallica, Megadeth, Dark Angel, Testament, Suicidal Tendencies, Armored Saint, Agent Steel and many more, so it's certifiably metal.

Inside Metal: The Rise of L.A. Thrash Metal DVD Artwork

The Rise of L.A. Thrash Metal