By Barry Janoff
October 29, 2015: Metallica knows how to hit the stage, shred guitars and bring the noise, earning Grammy Awards, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees and countless other accolades.
Now, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Rob Trujillo and Kirk Hammett are hitting mountains, shredding slopes and making noise on skis.
The legendary group has signed a deal with Armada Skis, to design and create a limited-edition signature line for the 2015-16 ski season.
According to Park City, Utah-based Armada, the Armada x Metallica line will include two models of skis (the Invictus 95Ti all-mountain ski and the JJ 2.0 powder ski) and special issues of Armada's Hans windbreaker jacket and Decker gloves, all of which will feature graphics "adapted from Metallica's iconic Master of Puppets album cover."
The alliance brings together Hetfield and Ulrich's passion for skiing and Trujillo's devotion to snowboarding with the music of Metallica and the experience of Armada.
Sales of snow sports-related equipment and apparel topped $4.5 billion during the 2014-15 season, according to SnowSports Industries America, McLean, Va.
"If you told me when I was 12, listening to 'Kill 'Em All' at the skate ramp in the woods in Virginia, that we'd be working with Metallica someday, I would have told you to get lost," Armada co-founder Chris O'Connell said in a statement. "It's insane to be able to introduce new people to Armada through the machine that is Metallica. They're the biggest rock band in the world."
Marketing support includes a spot that juxtaposes the band in action on-stage and with their new ski eqipment and apparel, with the backdrop of intense action on the slopes; Internet, social media and POP in retailers that carry Armada products. (See the full spot here.)
The group, currently on tour and working on its first release since 2008's Death Magnet, will release in November a limited-edition four-CD set recorded during the 2014 Metallica By Request tour.
Metallica was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.
Founded in 2002, Armada Skis, founded in 2002, distributes skis, outerwear and accessories in more than 40 countries. The Armada x Metallica line is available online and at select ski retail shops.
According to Ulrich, "Getting into the mountains has always been important to us. Armada is the most creative company in the ski industry, making them the perfect fit for this collaboration."
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