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Watch: METALLICA Goofs On The St. Anger Snare Tone Live

"Please, no more torture."

Even in 2023, Metallica is still getting some laughs out of the St. Anger snare drum tone. During a recent show, James Hetfield asked Lars Ulrich if he was all good with his snare. Ulrich responded by doing his band impression of the St. Anger tone, which prompted Hetfield to laugh and say "please, no more torture."

Is it goofy? Yes. Is it nice to see a band having some fun with a darker time in their career? Absolutely. And despite being widely hated, Ulrich has stated that he stands behind his tonal choice 100%.

"I stand behind it a hundred percent, because at that moment, that was the truth," he said. "Just my personality, I'm always just looking ahead, always thinking about the next thing. That's just how I'm wired. Whether it's Metallica always thinking ahead, or in my personal life, or in relationships, whatever I'm doing, I'm just always thinking ahead. Sometimes, arguably, I spent too much time in the future, but I rarely spend any time in the past. And so the only time this stuff really comes up is in interviews.

"I hear St. Anger. That's a pummeling and a half, and there's a lot of incredible, raw energy, and it's, like, 'Whoa!' It's been slapped around a little bit. But the snare thing, it was like a super-impulsive, momentary… We were working on a riff. [James] Hetfield was playing a riff in the control room. And I ran up. I was, like, 'I need to put a beat behind that.' I ran into the tracking room and sat down and played a couple of beats over this riff to not lose the energy of the moment, and I forgot to turn the snare on.

"And then we were listening back to it, and I was, like, 'Wow! That sound kind of fits that riff, and it sounds weirdly odd and kind of cool.' And then I just kind of left the snare off for the rest of the sessions, more or less. And then it was, like, 'Yeah, that's cool. That's different. That'll fuck some people up. That sounds like that's part of the pummeling,' or whatever. And then it becomes this huge, debated thing. And sometimes we'll kind of sit on the sidelines and go, like, 'Holy shit! We didn't see that one coming,' in terms of the issue that it turns into."

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