Producer Bob Rock Resembles James Hetfield And Lars Ulrich To Mick Jagger And Keith Richards
The producer of Metallica’s ‘The Black Album,’ Bob Rock, recently spoke to Metal Hammer about the difficulties of working with Metallica. Although there was a lot of resistance from the band, he stated that all big names have done the same, which makes the job fun.
It has been almost 40 years since the world heard of Metallica and 30 years since they released their iconic album ‘Metallica’ or ‘The Black Album.’ As the band has been in the music industry for so long, they have gone down several roads to find their original sound. While they were known as one of the big four in the thrash metal genre, their style changed to a more refined and clear sound with 1991’s ‘The Black Album.’
Their previous album ‘…And Justice For All’ was not that fun for the audience during their concerts. The band could see the crowd getting bored because of the long riffs and solos. Thus, they wanted to create shorter and more catchy songs. That is when Metallica decided to change producers and hired Bob Rock, known for his work with Mötley Crüe.
Rock recently revealed some details about his challenging relationship with Metallica. Even though they produced an iconic album, it was challenging to get the band to change at the time. They didn’t trust Rock, challenged him, and were stubborn with their ideas. Although the producer was sick of these dynamics, he thought it was normal and resembled James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich’s attitudes to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
Here is what he stated about working with Metallica:
“Metallica didn’t trust outsiders. Not just me; they were suspicious of everybody. I can say that I’d never been involved with people who were as intense as them.
The tensions came when I challenged them, or they challenged me. Making an album can be an intense experience. You’re thrown into a room with other strong-willed, creative people for months and months, and you have to find a way to listen to each other and make it work. I never said, ‘No, you’re wrong.’ I just showed them other ways to potentially get what they wanted.”
Here is how he resembled Hetfield and Ulrich to Jagger and Richards:
“It’s well known that by the end, both [engineer] Randy Staub and I said we didn’t want to work with them again. But that’s because we were so beat: eight months in that environment would test anyone. But some of the best work comes out of tension: with all the great bands… Jagger and Richards in the Stones, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry in Aerosmith… there’s friction. It’d be kinda boring if everyone did everything you suggested!”
It was a hard time for Metallica as they were at the peak of their career, and changing their sound was a risky move. Any wrong move could have caused their tragic downfall. Hence, they weren’t comfortable with trusting an outsider. However, in the end, Rock became a huge contributor to their long-lasting success and blessed the world with ‘The Black Album.’