- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Hall-of-Fame rock band Metallica has acquired the majority interest in a Northern Virginia company that presses vinyl records, the manufacturer and the band announced this week.

The Alexandria facility for Furnace Record Pressing spans 70,000 square feet and contains 14 presses for manufacturing vinyl records.
The takeover is the capstone of a nearly decadelong relationship between the band and the manufacturer.

Since 2014, Furnace has pressed over 5 million pieces of Metallica vinyl, including the deluxe box sets of the albums “Kill ‘Em All,” “Ride The Lightning,” “Master Of Puppets,” “… And Justice For All,” and “Metallica.”

The “Metallica” album, due to its name, is commonly referred to as “The Black Album.”

Furnace was founded in 1996 by Eric Astor, who is also the CEO of the company. Mr. Astor, along with COO Ali Miller and Vice President of Operations Mark Reiter, will stay on at Furnace. The plant will also continue to work on vinyl for acts other than Metallica.

“They want to keep the quality and service the whole industry. It will give us the opportunity to invest more,” Mr. Astor told Billboard.
Metallica co-founder Lars Ulrich was effusive about the acquisition.

“We couldn’t be more happy to take our partnership with Furnace — and Eric, Ali and Mark specifically — to the next level. Their indie spirit, the passion they have for their craft - culturally we’re kindred souls,” Mr. Ulrich said.

Fellow co-founder James Hetfield noted that fans of the band and vinyl in general would benefit.

“This deepened relationship between Metallica and Furnace ensures that fans of vinyl everywhere, particularly our Fifth Members, will have continued access to high quality records in the future,” he said.

Fellow rocker and vinyl advocate Jack White also cheered the decision.

“Welcome to the cause gents! And thank you for putting your money to amazing creative use! Here’s hoping the major labels will also see this as further proof, and finally start investing in themselves,” the White Stripes frontman wrote in an Instagram post.

• Brad Matthews can be reached at bmatthews@washingtontimes.com.

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