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METALLICA Producer Called Lars Ulrich "Absolutely Useless" During Ride The Lightning Recording Sessions

"The very first thing I asked when he started playing was, 'Does everything start on an upbeat?' And he went, 'What's an upbeat?'"

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Photo: Chris Bubinas

One thing I admire about producer Flemming Rasmussen is he absolutely does not give a fuck. You might remember he previously apologized for how bad …And Justice For All sounds, among other quips. Rasmussen, who produced Metallica's Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets and the aforementioned …And Justice For All was recently asked about his production work on Lightning, and mentioned one member of the band in particular was a bit difficult to work with.

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Speaking to Metal Hammer, he said Lars' big issue was his impulse to speed up and slow down as songs progressed, a common critique of the legendary drummer.

"I thought he was absolutely useless. The very first thing I asked when he started playing was, 'Does everything start on an upbeat?' And he went, 'What's an upbeat?'

"We started telling him about beats. That they have to be an equal length of time between that hit, that hit, and that hit, and you have to be able to count to four before you come in again.

"Then he could play a really good fill that nobody else had thought of doing at that time."

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Another fun ancedote was about how he used an actual anvil for the intro to "For Whom The Bell Tolls," saying "We put it on a backstairs when we recorded it. That was ridiculous – it weighed a ton. But Lars hit it and it sounded really good. That was before samplers, so we had to make our own sounds."

Read the whole interview at Metal Hammer.

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