Metallica Producer Flemming Rasmussen Contrasts Cliff Burton + Jason Newsted
Metallica fans often obsess over bass: whether it's the greatness of Cliff Burton's playing, the absence of any audible bass playing on ...And Justice for All, the rest of the Jason Newsted era and the following era, which featured his successor, Robert Trujillo. In a new interview, producer Flemming Rasmussen went in-depth about the recording process with the thrash legends and discussed working with both Burton and Newsted.
Rasmussen was at the helm of Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, Garage Days Re-Revisited and was called in mid-way through the recording of ...And Justice for All. Speaking with Songfacts, the producer described Newsted as a "fabulous bass player" and called his playing on Justice, "up there" regarding excellence, not the mix. "Jason was more of a really solid, steady bass player that you knew you would give a really good performance," he added.
"Cliff fits in his own category. He was like a musician's musician and he played by ear," the producer said of the late icon. "You could have something he played that you went, 'Eh,' and then the next time, it would be absolutely fantastic. So, with Cliff, it was waiting for him to get inspired and deliver. Everybody knew he could - especially everybody in the band - because we'd heard it so many times."
When discussing the infamously controversial production on Justice, Rasmussen pointed the finger at Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield, saying he was "as surprised as everybody else" when he heard the mix. Later in the interview, he recalls the nuances of recording songs like "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and goes deeper into how the band achieved certain sounds on Master of Puppets.
Read the full interview here.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of ...And Justice for All and the band have an anniversary release planned, but have said that they have no intentions on remixing the record. The next North American leg of Metallica's "WorldWired" tour starts up in September and you can see a list of stops here.
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