Metallica's Lars Ulrich Defends 'St. Anger' Snare Sound
"I stand behind it a hundred percent, because at that moment, that was the truth"
Published Jul 30, 2020It's been 17 years since Metallica released St. Anger, but the album continues to haunt the band. In addition to the absurdities on display in Some Kind of Monster, people continue to take umbrage with Lars Ulrich's drum sound. Producer Bob Rock recently came to its defence, and now Ulrich himself is doing the same.
Sure, the snare sounds like pure shit when held up against all of the snare sounds before and after it was recorded. But Ulrich has suggested that's not the point, because it was "the truth" at the time.
Speaking with the "Trunk Nation" show on SiriusXM [via Blabbermouth], Lars had a very zen explanation for why he backs that pinging, tinny mess of a sound.
"I stand behind it a hundred percent, because at that moment, that was the truth," he said.
"I hear St. Anger, that's a pummelling and a half, and there's a lot of incredible, raw energy, and it's, like, 'Woah!' It's been slapped around a little bit," he continued. "But the snare thing, it was like a super-impulsive, momentary… We were working on a riff. [James] Hetfield was playing a riff in the control room. And I ran up. I was, like, 'I need to put a beat behind that.' I ran into the tracking room and sat down and played a couple of beats over this riff to not lose the energy of the moment, and I forgot to turn the snare on.
"And then I just kind of left the snare off for the rest of the sessions, more or less. And then it was, like, 'Yeah, that's cool. That's different. That'll fuck some people up. That sounds like that's part of the pummeling,' or whatever.
He concluded: "And then it becomes this huge, debated thing. And sometimes we'll kind of sit on the sidelines and go, like, 'Holy shit! We didn't see that one coming,' in terms of the issue that it turns into."
Ulrich's comments echo those of Bob Rock, who recently told Tone Talk,
"I'm okay with all the flak I've taken.... It's a fucking snare drum sound, give it a break."
As of press time, Metallica have yet to apologize for St. Anger's lyrics.