Longtime METALLICA front-of-house (FOH) engineer "Big Mick" Hughes and monitor engineer Paul Owen were interviewed by Entech TV during the band's just-completed Australian tour. You can now watch the chat below.
Big Mick has mixed METALLICA at every one of the more than 1,600 shows they have performed since their November 1984 tour of Europe. In 2007, he was asked to mix the FOH sound for the LED ZEPPELIN reunion concert at London's O2 Arena in conjunction with Robert Plant's personal vocal mixer Roy Williams.
Paul Owen, a 24-year METALLICA crew veteran who has worked on more than 1,300 shows for the band, talked in a 2003 interview with Mix magazine about how METALLICA's sound has evolved during the time he has worked with the group. "We've become older and wiser over the years," he said. "METALLICA is a really different entity than any other bands. When they do tour, they probably tour in a harder fashion than anybody else does. I mean, within any given week, you could be doing a stadium, a club date, a TV show and back into a stadium, and you have to be prepared to change with all of those different aspects of live venues.
"METALLICA is pretty unique in the point that instead of just your average format of a four-piece band — drums, guitars and a bass — they actually push the envelope quite a bit in what can be done with a band, with regards to configuration of where they play. They've probably done the most unique stage sets — arenas in the round — and even just playing with an orchestera. Just stepping up and giving you those challenges straightaway.
"The orchestra was an idea in the making for a long time. It was an interesting project to be involved with: from the recording to the two live shows we did in Madison Square Gardens and Berlin. That was the first time that Thunder Audio got involved — the first time I supplied a system — and now I've been involved all the way through.