Metallica’s Lars Ulrich On The St. Anger Snare Drum Sound: “I Stand Behind It One Hundred Per Cent”
Only last week, St. Anger producer Bob Rock defended Lars Ulrich’s controversial snare drum sound on Metallica’s divisive eighth album. And now, a whopping 17 years after the record was released, Lars is also still backing the decision to go with that tinny noise.
“I stand behind it a hundred per cent, because at that moment, that was the truth,” he asserts in a new interview on SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk (via Blabbermouth). “Just my personality, I’m always just looking ahead, always thinking about the next thing. That’s just how I’m wired.”
Lars continues that when he hears St. Anger, “That’s a pummelling and a half, and there’s a lot of incredible, raw energy, and it’s, like, ‘Woah!’ It’s been slapped around a little bit.”
Discussing the snare specifically, the drummer then recalls a “super-impulsive” moment from the studio.
“We were working on a riff,” he remembers. “[Frontman James] Hetfield was playing a riff in the control room. And I ran up. I was, like, ‘I need to put a beat behind that.’ I ran into the tracking room and sat down and played a couple of beats over this riff to not lose the energy of the moment, and I forgot to turn the snare on. And then we were listening back to it, and I was, like, ‘Wow! That sound kind of fits that riff, and it sounds weirdly odd and kind of cool.’ And then I just kind of left the snare off for the rest of the sessions, more or less. And then it was, like, ‘Yeah, that’s cool. That’s different. That’ll fuck some people up. That sounds like that’s part of the pummelling,’ or whatever.
“And then it becomes this huge, debated thing. And sometimes we’ll kind of sit on the sidelines and go, like, ‘Holy shit! We didn’t see that one coming,’ in terms of the issue that it turns into.”
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