Classic Metallica Producer Defends ‘St. Anger’


Flemming Rasmussen, known for producing Metallica‘s iconic albums in the 1980s, recently shared his thoughts on Metallica’s album “St. Anger” and drummer Lars Ulrich in an interview.

Metallica producer defends St. Anger

Regarding “St. Anger,” Rasmussen revealed a complex view. At times, he appreciates its daring and innovative approach, seeing it as a departure from their usual style. However, there are moments when he finds it rough and unfinished, akin to a demo rather than a polished album.

“Every second time I hear it, I go, ‘Fuck, that’s so great,'” Flemming offered (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar). “They dare do something new, not just doing what they’ve always done. And then, the times in between, I go, ‘It sounds like the worst demo I’ve ever heard.’ So it’s, it’s kind of like that.”

“Sometimes, I take it off after the first ten seconds, and other times, I listen to it to the end. Because it’s pretty demanding listening to. That snare sound is fucking annoying as hell, right?”

When first hearing the snare drum sound on “St. Anger,” Rasmussen admitted he didn’t like it. He found it excessively loud and not to his personal taste, which was a departure from the crisp and controlled sounds he had worked on in earlier Metallica albums.

Regarding Lars Ulrich’s drumming, Rasmussen acknowledged the varying opinions. While some critics may not rank Ulrich as the world’s greatest drummer, Rasmussen emphasized his crucial role within Metallica. He noted Ulrich’s growth and improvement over the years, both musically and technically, pointing out how integral Ulrich has been to Metallica’s musical evolution and success.

“I hated it,” Flemming replied. “It’s probably one of those loud things that… You know, if you want it to be loud, that’s what you do. But it was like, nah. Didn’t like it.”

From Metallica’s self-titled album in 1991 to “St. Anger,” they worked with producer Bob Rock on every studio record. Rock not only helped with songwriting but also played bass on the 2003 album, his last with the band.

In the interview, Flemming was also asked about criticism of Lars Ulrich’s drumming. While acknowledging that Ulrich might not be seen as the best drummer globally, Flemming stressed Ulrich’s importance to Metallica. He noted Ulrich’s growth and improvement over the years, revealing his significant role in the band’s musical journey and overall success.

People can hate as much as they like. It’s become like a national sport for some. Yeah, he was not the world’s best drummer, but for Metallica, he is.”

“And he evolved. He’s gotten better and better, shit happened. From here to here, there was a huge development. Musically and technically, he’s really, really good.”

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