James Hetfield Says METALLICA's ...And Justice For All Had No Bass Because The Band Was Burnt Out
Metallica's 1988 record …And Justice For All famously has zero bass on it. Some speculate that this is because it's the band's first record with Jason Newsted after the death of Cliff Burton, but who really knows. Metallica is currently remastering all their albums and didn't boost the low end at all, even though at one point it seemed like they might due to a comment by James Hetfield. Drummer Lars Ulrich defended the bass-lessness of …And Justice For All, and that seems to be that.
Now in a new interview with Metallica fan magazine So What!, Hetfield says that Newsted probably did approach he and Ulrich about the lack of bass at some point. Hetfield adds that it wasn't a shot at Newsted either, but the result of the band being genuinely burnt out.
"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, 'Fuck 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."
Look, all I'm saying is that Metallica could make an unreal amount of money on a box set that has …And Justice For All with bass, St. Anger with the snare track entirely replace, and Death Magnetic that isn't brickwalled to the point of distortion.