METALLICA's ULRICH Defends Snare-Drum Sound On 'St. Anger'

August 22, 2003

METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich called into "The Cane Show" on 92.3 K-Rock on Wednesday (August 20) to announce the band's upcoming club gig at New York's 500-capacity Bowery Ballroom on Aug. 29. During the conversation, Ulrich was asked to comment on the incessant criticism leveled at the group over the sound of their latest CD, "St. Anger".

"If that's what it's about to you… Like, people sit there and go, 'I can't listen to the record because of the way it sounds.' It's like, 'Peace'. [laughing] It's fine," he said. "It sounds fine to me, and when I hear it, I love, and I know Kirk [Hammett] and James [Hetfield] feel pretty much the same way. And it's sort of like, there's four million people around the world that have bought this thing, and if nobody can listen to it, then there's four million copies of it sitting around… I don't know. It's just kind of so weird to me… Especially, we were in Germany over the weekend… [imitating the German accent] 'Vat's this the snare sound?' and 'It's very difficult to listen to the record with the snare sound.' I go, 'You know what? Let me paint a picture for you, OK?! Let's flip this one around. Let's say every hard rock record that came out had a snare sound like 'St. Anger', right? Then all of a sudden, METALLICA would put a record out that had a snare sound like, say, I don't know, 'The Black Album', everybody would sit there and go, 'What the fuck are they doing?' 'What's with this fuckin' 'Black Album' snare sound?' 'Why doesn't it sound like the 'St. Anger'…?'' You know what I mean?! As soon as you do something that people are not quite used to… that's the one thing about, like, hard rock audiences, especially over in Europe and stuff, they're very, very conservative — everything has to be a specific way, and the minute you change on iota of it, it's like, 'Oh, my God. I can't deal with it. My hard rock world is crumbling.' OK, you can't listen to the record because of the snare sound?' You know what? Then don't listen to the fuckin' record. That's the nature of being in METALLICA — we just sort of seem to get a reaction out of everything we do, but we're pretty used to it. I'm fuckin' psyched about the record, and so are a bunch of other people, so it's all good." Listen to the five-minute interview here.

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