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Hey, this is Brian Slagel from Metal Blade Records again, so here is now part 2 of my talk with Lars. You can hear some more stuff about the early days and, of course, all you need to know about "Kill 'Em All". Early May, something like that, we went up to Rochester, and the studio was called Barrett Alley. We were psyched. It was a cool studio. We felt pretty good, and also it wasn't like, as has happened on every record since then... Even "Ride the Lightning", the next record a year later, we wrote two of the songs in the studio, "Master of Puppets" we wrote songs... We walked into Barrett Alley in May of '83 with all the songs just ready to go. It became about executing and it became about capturing. It wasn't necessarily super-creative sessions like, "What are we doing?", it was just like go in and fucking play and nail it. When you got there, did you guys feel you were ready to record? Or did you feel you needed more time to play out? What was the mindset when you got there? There was one speed bump along the way, which was... - A little minor speed bump... - A minor speed bump, there. That was the first thing that had to be dealt with when we got there, because when we left San Francisco everything was fine, when we got to New York 10 days later things were less hunky-dory in the band and obviously it was the first time we had all lived together, been locked in sharing a very small amount of space and we realised unfortunately that things were probably not going to work out with Dave, and literally we walked into Johnny Z's place, we got to his house and we all crashed on his couch and blah, blah, blah, we walked in, and basically the first thing was like... "We've just got to tell you something", "Hi, nice to meet you." "Nice family, nice kids." And Johnny Z was like... Whoa, that was a big shock. So, we dealt with that for the first couple of weeks and then fortunately things worked out well with Kirk. And he got everything quickly and learned it quickly. We ended up living in Jamaica, Queens in an old furniture warehouse. So basically, I think through the month of April, we were hanging in Jamaica, practicing, and working with Kirk and playing gigs on the weekends. You got to remember that... Johnny Z, God bless him, he didn't have... I don't mean this disrespectively whatsover, He didn't have a lot of experience in doing what he was doing, and so there was an element which we liked, it was appealing, that kind of make it up as you go along element. It wasn't like there was a plan. It wan't like, "Here's this, come out, and you're going in to a studio on this date." No, it was very haphazardly, just sort of making it up as we were going along. It was a new experience for all of us. That was part of the reason we really got on so well with him. We were in this together. It wasn't like him and us. It was like we're all doing this together and we sort of believed in each other and it was a pretty cool shared experience. We get into the studio, recording. What I remember of the place, we were on different levels. I don't know if that's exactly accurate, but I remember not being able to see Lars while I'm playing. And that was a little frustrating. The drum room was somewhere else and we're obviously used to being in each other's faces. I remember going to... We didn't know the producer, we didn't know anyone there, and the guy's clean-cut and we're going, "Does he really know what he's in for?, "Does he know how to get the sounds we want?" Because we had had Mark Whitaker, the guy who was our early manager, in the place we lived at in El Ceritto. He was doing engineering school. So he was helping with the sounds, and he helped with... There was a demo after the "No Life 'Til Leather" that had... "Whiplash" and three other songs and the sound was pertty darned good. And I remember driving around, and this guy Bob who we had befriended up there, who was a complete nutcase, he was our shuttle service. He'd hang out, he'd take us to go get wings, or go drinking. He was our ride-around. I remember we were listening to stuff in his car going... A/B-ing it with the old demo. That was our first experience with demo-itis. "My God, the guitars don't have it," or "The vocals are...". Kind of freaking out about it. Maybe this isn't the right guy. The other thing I really remember, I had to go in, we were short on funds, and do vocals and I had two days to do all the vocals. I was probably the most hungover I'd ever been in my life. I woke up... I think I'd smoked pot for the second time in my life too. I had woken up on the floor of the kitchen, and my head was resting on a wooden chair and I remember Johnny Z being on the phone, "You got to do vocals today", I was like, "Fuck you, I am not doing any vocals today." "I'm going to throw up on the mic". "You got to." And I just completely hung up and stayed. But I got all the vocals done in one or two days. How did you feel when it was finished, when you heard the finished product? I was psyched. I thought that the record obviously sounded good. It was a big thing about the... This Barrett Alley place had these big rooms, and we thought that the record was really nice and ampy and that whole thing, which, of course, was nothing compared to the "Ride the Lightning" record, which was really next level up in terms of production. James and me were talking a couple of days ago about how it was such a thing back then, and you probably remember, "production". "We got to do this, or Martin Birch". It's always production, production. The sound! Now you just fucking go in and play. It's almost like you're trying to play it down now. You just want it to sound garage-y and you don't want to fuck with it too much. Back then, Def Leppard was on the radio every half hour - "Ooh, listen to the kick drum." I remember sitting there being super-psyched about the way it sounded. "Oh, fuck". And obviously it was a big step up from the demos in terms of sound. And I remember the first time we held the record - it was down in Jersey, right before the Raven tour started, early/mid July, it was like, "Fuck", it was like you're holding a record, your own record. That was a pretty big moment. I listen back to those vocals, and go "Who is that?" "Who is that? Who is she?" Some of that high screaming stuff, it's like "Wow!" Whether my balls hadn't dropped completely by then, I don't know, but when you first start... I was really thrown into the singing part I wanted to be a singer really bad, growing up. My poster was Steven Tyler and Joe Perry together in this one picture. And I wanted to be both of them, and thinking that playing guitar and singing, thinking that playing guitar and singing, no band has made it like that. You got to have a front man, and growing up in LA, I always wanted to be in a band. And everyone was looking for singers, so, I put the guitar down and start singing. And I had to go back and forth with it. "OK, I'm going to sing, it's going to be awesome." I'm going, "I miss playing guitar and we need another guitar", so I'll pick the guitar up, and, man, I feel the riff. "OK, we're looking for a singer now." And we look for a singer, and it's like, "Dude, the guy's a poser," and I go back and forth. And I end up doing the rhythms because he's not as good and it's like "All right, I'm going to attempt to do both, and if a singer comes along, OK." And I was not taking lessons, I was not... I was listening to Lemmy. Lemmy was, as long as you got attitude you don't need to be able to sing. And that was kind of the attitude around those days. I did what I could. My extent of singing was a "ye-ah" like that, at the end. I'd do a little bump at the end, that's singing, that's my vibrato. And slowly over time, obviously being on tour and things, you just get better, the more you sing, you're going to develop a style. METALLICA: KILL 'EM ALL

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 19 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Views: 326
Posted by: brynarth on Jul 24, 2008

Metallica Music Interview

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