Metallica old producer Bob Rock recalls St. Anger drum snare sound
Lars Ulrich, Bob Rock, and James Hetfield

Metallica band’s old producer Bob Rock talks about St. Anger drum snare sound. He is behind one of the most controversial albums this century explains how it came like that.

The most know thrash metal legends 2003 album St. Anger is more controversial albums in the 2000s. The album popular producer Bob Rock has explained the story behind the snare sound style. Also, he essentially prompts the blame to Metallica band’s famous drummer Lars Ulrich, who also fell in love with the sound of Rock’s Plexi Ludwig snare style.

During a recent interview with Tone-Talk with Dave Friedman and Mark Huzansky, producer Bob Rock talks about Metallica band’s St. Anger snare style sound:

“We were looking for inspiration, let’s put it this way, because James [Hetfield, guitar/vocals] wasn’t there, so I said, ‘Pull off the drums, the double kick’ because we were fooling around with other drums. So he set up the drums in the rehearsal room, we were on our way, and Lars just kept staring at the drums.

“Finally, he sat behind and said, ‘Just give me a snare drum.’ I had bought a Plexi Ludwig snare because I wanted to try it, and he put it on the drum kit, and he said, ‘That’s the sound.’ And I said, ‘What?’…

“So basically, we did a demo, and I used two 58s, a 58 on the kick drum and a couple of whatever simple mics were around, and we did a demo, and that was the sound, and he just would not go back. I’m not blaming him, this was about, basically, if you can wrap around a concept, this was the sound of the drums when they were rehearsing the album, it’s basically the closest to them being in that clubhouse, and no matter what everybody says, it kept the band together, and that inspired them to go on.

“So I’m OK with all the flak I’ve taken. It’s a fucking snare-drum sound, give it a break.”

Then Bob Rock added:

“The thing that really made a change in my perspective, as an engineer and producer, was ‘Achtung Baby’ by U2, where they played with the perception of drums. Sometimes you barely hear the drums, sometimes the bass is the loudest thing; in other words, throwing away the rulebook. And part of ‘St. Anger’ is just throwing away the rulebook and saying, ‘Why do we have to set up the drums the same just because what it has to do with metal?’

“I was thinking more like [1973’s] ‘Raw Power,’ The Stooges album, and without the solos, there was a band from San Francisco called The Fucking Champs, all they played was riffs spun together like a punk/metal band. So Lars and I were talking, and it’s kind of a cool thing. And we just said if you can put a great solo with Kirk, go ahead, and it just never worked.”

You can listen to the Tone Talk episode 73 interview with Bob Rock below.

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