The album that made Metallica hate their producer: ‘I never wanted to see him again’

The album that made Metallica hate their producer: ‘I never wanted to see him again’

Metallica’s producer was so disliked after releasing this album that they vowed never to see him again. Any producer working with a major band has to be aware of the extent of their influence. While some musicians could look for mentorship to help them improve their blunders, others don’t have a clear path and need help all the way through the album-making process. Bob Rock wasn’t the first choice among thrash metal fans to collaborate with Metallica, but his work on The Black Album turned out to be a masterpiece, and the band triumphantly left the studio, raising their middle fingers in symbolic defiance.

When the band was recording And Justice For All, they were already searching for a new sound, having lost bassist Cliff Burton in a fatal bus аccident. The band relied on their own engineers and mixers after working with Mike Clink of Gu𝚗s N’ Roses, leading to one of the worst recording sessions in music history.

Rock also wasn’t afraid to admit when their music sounded monotonous. Lars Ulrich told Classic Albums that the producer was brutally honest with them about their earlier records when he first entered the room. “Listen, I’ve seen you guys play a bunch of times live and I’ve listened to your records, and you haven’t captured what you do live on a record yet,” Ulrich said of the producer. We were a little embarrassed. You are who the fucƙ are.

The album that made Metallica hate their producer: "I never wanted to see him again"

The band noticed Rock’s notoriety behind the scenes when he didn’t exactly break the ice. Having engineered albums for Aerosmith and overseen successes for groups such as Bon Jovi, they reasoned that he would be the most capable of taking them from global stadiums to global radio stations.

However, the method of recording was not going to be simple. During the record-making process, Rock experienced a lot of resistance from the other members of the band. He recalled that he would be disregarded if he offered a suggestion that deviated from James Hetfield’s trademark catchy songwriting.

Eventually, halfway through the song “The Unforgiven”‘s creation, this broke out into a brawl. Rock began to reprimand Kirk Hammett so much that he performed the renowned solo out of fury in order to get the solo heard on the album. Not all was amicable when The Black Album became one of the greatest-sounding metal LPs ever.

“It wasn’t a fun, easy record to make,” Rock said in an interview with MusicRadar, recalling how distant the band was from him for a few years following. Yes, we had a few good laughs, but it was challenging. After we were over, I vowed to never work with the me𝚗 again. They had the same thoughts about me.

Metallica's James Hetfield Admits He's Feeling Insecure During Concert

Ulrich said, “Bob Rock and I did not speak for years after the album was finished,” implying that it would take a few years before the band and Rock were on good enough terms to get back into the studio. I vowed never to see him again as soon as we left. Later on, once something occurred and we became friends, everything was good.

Rock would go on to play a significant role in Metallica’s subsequent phase, supporting the band from their Load heyday until the catastrophic collapse of St Anger. Rock may have been the perfect match for Metallica, but he wasn’t their producer until he put them to the test.