METALLICA's Lars Ulrich Says Defends ...And Justice For All Production
Way back in 2015, Ultimate Guitar interviewed sound engineer Steve Thompson about the fragile and bass-less production of Metallica's 1988 album …And Justice For All. Thompson said the lack of bass was all Ulrich's fault, while James Hetfield has come out in recent years saying the album probably could use a little more bass than it has. Ultimately the band opted to remaster the record for the recent reissue and forgo any remixing.
Now in a brand new interview posted on the band's YouTube channel, Ulrich defends the album's production by saying it's "all about balances" and "the result of instinctive choices." Ulrich backs up the "balances" comment by saying the choice "was not necessarily about the big picture," which sounds accurate, but then adds that "it was about the way that it could all coexist without anybody having to take a back step." Which does not seem at all accurate.
"It's all about balances. So we found a way to get — I guess primarily James and I — to have our voices in the writing, in the parts, in the sonics. And it was not necessarily about the big picture, but it was about the way that it could all coexist without anybody having to take a back step, or it was like we were all chained together. And so we would move forward. This was the way it worked."
"We didn't sit there and go, 'A year from now, we're gonna have a record that sounds this particular way.' I don't know if the word 'accidental' [applies], but it's just the result of instinctive choices that were made along the way to make it work, to keep people at bay — all that kind of shit."
To be fair, and it's something even I overlooked, the reissue of …And Justice For All was always billed as a remaster. Not a remix. So here's hoping one day Lars realizes that …And Justice For All needs some bass and the snare track for every song on St. Anger needs to be replaced.