Lars Ulrich Responds To Metallica’s Death Magnetic Loudness

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Follow up to the earlier story on the criticism that the new Metallica album Death Magnetic has received.

So far, more than 12,500 Metallica fans have signed an online petition requesting that Metallica release a newly remixed or remastered version of the new Metallica album Death Magnetic.

Drummer Lars Ulrich, the first member of Metallica to comment publicly on the Death Magnetic controversy. Here, in his own words, is the talkative Metallica drummer’s take on the issue:

“Listen, there’s nothing up with the audio quality. It’s 2008, and that’s how we make records. [Producer] Rick Rubin’s whole thing is to try and get it to sound lively, to get it to sound loud, to get it to sound exciting, to get it to jump out of the speakers. Of course, I’ve heard that there are a few people complaining. But I’ve been listening to it the last couple of days in my car, and it sounds fuckin’ smokin’.

“Somebody told me about [people complaining that the Guitar Hero version of Metallica's Death Magnetic sounds better]. Listen, what are you going to do? A lot of people say [the Metallica CD] sounds great, and a few people say it doesn’t, and that’s OK. You gotta remember, when we put out …And Justice for All, people were going, ‘What happened to these guys, this record? There’s no bass on it. It sounds like it was recorded in a fuckin’ garage on an eight-track.’ And now …And Justice for All is sort of the seminal Metallica record that supposedly influenced a whole generation of death-metal bands. The difference between back then and now is the Internet.

“The Internet gives everybody a voice, and the Internet has a tendency to give the complainers a louder voice. Listen, I can’t keep up with this shit. Part of being in Metallica is that there’s always somebody who’s got a problem with something that you’re doing: ‘James Hetfield had something for breakfast that I don’t like.’ That’s part of the ride.

“I will say that the overwhelming response to this new record has exceeded even our expectations as far as how positive it is. So I’m not gonna sit here and get caught up in whether [the Metallica's Death Magnetic sound] ‘clips’ or it doesn’t ‘clip.’ I don’t know what kind of stereos these people listen on. Me and James [Hetfield] made a deal that we would hang back a little and not get in the way of whatever Rick’s vision was. That’s not to put it on him - it’s our record, I’ll take the hit, but we wanted to roll with Rick’s vision of how Metallica would sound.”

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6 Responses to “Lars Ulrich Responds To Metallica’s Death Magnetic Loudness”

  1. 1 BloodNinja Sep 30th, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    It’s not they’ll ever come out and admit it sounds bad, it’s a very loud CD. If that is what they were shooting for well baby they got it.


    dani-vader Reply:

    @BloodNinja, bullshit, the album sounds great, awesome. They should remaster …And justice or KTA and RTL, but Death Magnetic sounds like it has to sound: immpresive.


  2. 2 victoria calcraft Oct 1st, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    to me it doesn’t matter, the guys have been together for almost 30 years and if people don’t like the new version of Metallica well then thats there problem!!!! i think the guys have come along way in regards to past to future perferences!!the reason i truely started to like Metallica is because James Hetfield took responsibility for his actions in realizing that he had a problem with alcohol and dealt with accordingly i myself as sober alcoholic for 3yrs congradulate james for taking the step forward to obtaining a better life for him self and his family!!! to the rest of the band i also congradulate you guys for being by james side through think and thin alot of bands would just give up and break down not you guys though it shows how much respect you have for one another


  3. 3 wow Oct 7th, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Now try this Mr Lars.


  4. 4 Huge Metallica fan Oct 10th, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    It’s sad that he compares the over-compression and dynamic limitation of DM with AJFA. Justice lacked bass, but bass is no key to get a record sounding good. I think AJFA sounds good, could be better, but still really good. I can sit down and enjoy the music of that album.
    This I can’t do with DM. I simply have to litsen to it on low volume, and not get the greatest out of it. Not to mention litsening on your iPod (or simply with earplugs), it sounds so bad it crushes you. This is a mixing issue, not an issue about the band having a bad relation with the bassist (Jason at the time).
    There is no-one in the world (who has so much of an ear to hear the difference in the sound between say two different albums by the same band), who could possibly claim that the retail version of DM sounds better than the GHIII version. And the last mentioned isn’t even mastered!
    Even the mastering engineer Ted Jensen approves on this one and says he’s ashamed to be connected with DM. And all over the internet (and from one personal friend) I’ve heard various masering engineers and such complain about the sound. In fact, I don’t even need to hear their opinions, since I KNOW it sounds bad, and I’m simply just a musician who knows how to create this kind of clipping with any music program.

    And for those of you who don’t understand anything about sound quality: don’t put yourselves in the discussion (sad to say, including Lars Ulrich)..

    I’d love to hear a reaction from James and Kirk.


  5. 5 All Smiles & Black Eyes 4 Miles Oct 11th, 2008 at 3:32 am

    Wahhh Wahhh!!! The only Cry Baby I want to hear more of is KIRK’S. This album just like ALL the rest took me a few listenings before I get used to it. Metallica has been my #1 favorite band for the last 20+ years and this “break-in” period has always been the case. Suck it up you snivelers, the FACT is that Death Magnetic HITS LIKE A MAN!!!…The Whole Damn Thing! So BOW DOWN all you glass jaws, you can’t take this PUNCH!!!


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