Obituary’s Donald Tardy Defends James Hetfield And Lars Ulrich

‘…And Justice for All’ was a turning point for Metallica, as it marked the band’s first album released after the tragic death of bassist Cliff Burton, who was replaced by the new member Jason Newsted. The album received mixed reviews from critics and fans for the almost inaudible bass parts and dry mix. Yet, Obituary’s Donald Tardy sees things differently, as he thinks the album is just different but not bad. In an interview with Speak N’ Destroy, Tardy stood up for James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich for trying new things and pushing their boundaries.

“When there’s conversations with my friends,” Tardy said, referring to Metallica’s first album after Burton’s death, “we all agree the songs are killer; you can’t deny those songs. I like the drum production, and some of my friends absolutely hate it. And there is something weird about it; it makes you feel like you just got out of a swimming pool, and your ears are a little bit off.”

The drummer continued, “And I get that. But maybe because I loved the record, maybe because I loved the drumming on it, and maybe because it fit the production of the guitars and stuff, I just thought it was killer. I had no problem with that. I’m not a dude to argue with friends again and again, night after night about production.”

Further reflecting on the Metallic album’s production quality, Donald Tardy explained, “Trust me — I’ve heard the reviews of our productions over the years. You can disagree or agree or agree to disagree. But I liked it. And it’s funny that some people just thought it was a bad production. It was a different production, but there’s nothing bad about it.”

It’s no secret that the loss of Cliff Burton was a huge blow to Metallica. Not only was he an incredibly talented musician, but he was also a vital member of the band both on and off stage. His replacement, Jason Newsted, had big shoes to fill and had a difficult time adjusting to Metallica. In spite of the challenges, the band was able to push through and continue making music.

Despite the weight of expectations and the daunting task of filling the shoes of a revered band member, Jason Newsted’s arrival to Metallica was not just a replacement but an addition to the band’s sound. He swiftly displayed his musicianship and dedication, becoming an integral force in the band’s continued trajectory of success. You know what they say: ‘The show must go on,’ and it did.