Longtime METALLICA producer Bob Rock recently spoke to Guitar World magazine about the making of the group's new album, "St. Anger". "[METALLICA] have made records only with one another — I've been making records with lots of people," he said. "I went through the process of learning how to make records for 20 years, and for the last 10 years I've been disregarding my craft more and more. 'St. Anger' is where it's been the best — it's about as close to a bare wire as I think I can be, and I ultimately think that's the best kind of production. It's more about what's not there than what's there, and that's a hard thing to do. I've kind of made a career out of fixing stuff that shouldn't even be on a record. I made it sounds good — that's part of what my craft has been. But it's so much easier when there's a great piece of music. So we tried to have every little bit of music and lyric on the album be great. When you do that, you don't have to pretty it up or glaze it over.
"I would say I've only [done something] this brutal [sounding] when I've done demos. It probably sounds heavier because it's METALLICA, but really this was a 15-minutes-on-the-drum-sound type of thing. In some case there were only two dynamic mics on the cymbals because I had to run out and play bass, so I didn't have time to set up other mics. It was just so guerilla. But we embraced that approach right away.
"When we started the first part of the sessions at the Presidio, we decided not to approach anything the way we had in the past, which was fine with me, because I couldn't work with them again if we were going to do things the same way. So I just went opposite of how I've gone with these guys in the past. As a matter of fact, on a couple of songs, there's no bass mic or DI on the bass — the bass is leaking through the drum mics. It was a great sound, too, because we were all so close together and so loud. It worked, so we kept with that, and it really developed over all the songs we did. Some songs have more mics, some don't, but it really was all done very quickly."