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Hetfield Addresses Metallica Album Mix Controversy


08-19-2019
Metallica

Metallica frontman James Hetfield has addressed the controversy surrounding the bass sound on the group's classic album "... And Justice For All" and explained the reasoning behind the mix.

The bass lines were a driving force on the band's early albums courtesy of the late Cliff Burton and fans noticed upon the release of "...And Justice" in 1988, that the bass was noticeably absent from the mix.

This lead to varied speculation that the band made the move because drummer Lars Ulrich wanted a certain drum sound, the group could not stand to hear music without Burton, or the band was simply hazing Jason "Newkid" as he was nicknamed at the time.

Vocalist and guitarist Hetfield was asked recently by Metallica fan magazine So What! if Newsted approached him and Lars about the bass lines being so low in the mix.

James responded, "He probably did. I don't know what my answer was then, but it was kinda done. I mean, I will say, it was not all about, 'F*** him. Let's turn him down.' That's for sure.

"We wanted the best-sounding record we could make. That was our goal. We were burnt. We were frigging fried. Going back and forth [between touring and mixing the album]. Playing a gig. No earplugs, no nothing.

"You go back into the studio, your hearing is shot. If your ears can't hear any high end anymore, you're gonna turn it up. So we're turning the high end up more and more and more and all of a sudden, low end's gone.

"So I know that played a bigger part than any hazing or any ill feelings towards Jason, for sure. We were fried. We were burnt."


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