Sure, even people who enjoy Metallica’s Death Magnetic have been quibbling about the sound quality on Metallica’s newest album, saying that it’s lacking in dynamics and that the version recorded for a freaking video game sounds better, but outspoken drummer Lars Ulrich is sticking his fingers in his ears and telling all the naysayers to shut up shut up shut shut shut up. “Listen,” Ulrich told Blender‘s blog, “there’s nothing up with the audio quality. It’s 2008, and that’s how we make records.” Oh, you bet he had more to say.
“[Producer] Rick Rubin’s whole thing is to try and get it to sound lively, to get it to sound loud, to get it to sound exciting, to get it to jump out of the speakers. Of course, I’ve heard that there are a few people complaining. But I’ve been listening to it the last couple of days in my car, and it sounds fuckin’ smokin’.
“Somebody told me about [people complaining that the Guitar Hero version of Death Magnetic sounds better]. Listen, what are you going to do? A lot of people say [the CD] sounds great, and a few people say it doesn’t, and that’s OK. You gotta remember, when we put out …And Justice for All, people were going, ‘What happened to these guys, this record? There’s no bass on it. It sounds like it was recorded in a fuckin’ garage on an eight-track.’ And now …And Justice for All is sort of the seminal Metallica record that supposedly influenced a whole generation of death-metal bands. The difference between back then and now is the Internet.
“The Internet gives everybody a voice, and the Internet has a tendency to give the complainers a louder voice. Listen, I can’t keep up with this shit. Part of being in Metallica is that there’s always somebody who’s got a problem with something that you’re doing: ‘James Hetfield had something for breakfast that I don’t like.’ That’s part of the ride.
“I will say that the overwhelming response to this new record has exceeded even our expectations as far as how positive it is. So I’m not gonna sit here and get caught up in whether [the sound] ‘clips’ or it doesn’t ‘clip.’ I don’t know what kind of stereos these people listen on. Me and James [Hetfield] made a deal that we would hang back a little and not get in the way of whatever Rick’s vision was. That’s not to put it on him – it’s our record, I’ll take the hit, but we wanted to roll with Rick’s vision of how Metallica would sound.”
“The difference between then and now is the Internet”??? Sounds like someone hasn’t been looking at the hard evidence. Lars, I know that things like “math” and “charts” and “dealing with the fact that you’ve been knocked down a peg by a kinda-scary mutation of how people congregate around bands they like, and are just as ready to knock them down as they are to build them up” are hard, but really.