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So what was the final consensus on why Newstead was mixed out of AJFA??

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Holy War, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. Holy War

    Holy War

    Sep 18, 2008
    VA Beach
    Listening to the album right now and realized Ive never understood this (though I always knew it sounded the way it does). I know some say it was cause they were hazing him/upset about cliff etc etc. Did Metallica ever come up front and explain what happened with the mastering and the exclusion of bass?
  2. Alcyon


    Jan 15, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Lars and Kirk said in the Decibel Hall of Fame article that it was basically just a case of Lars and Hetfield doing the mixing and turning themselves up and a clash between the guitar tone Hetfield was looking for and the bass presence. So they basically denied that it was a hazing thing. Newstead said the same thing essentially:

    "Metallica has always recorded in a very different manner than any type of popular rock or country music, where the drums and bass are recorded first and you put the melodies and the guitars and all that stuff on afterwards. For the entire existence of Metallica-and the only band Lars has ever been in is Metallica-he has only had the rhythm guitar and the vocal coming out of his monitor at 130 decibels behind his head. There's no bass in his monitor at all, so it's not a situation where the drummer and the bass player go together on groove, like any other band I've ever listened to. So that was real different for me to get used to and for any bass player to deal with. And Robert [Trujillo] probably has to deal with it to this day. There's just no bass coming out of the drummer's monitor. So you have to think of that as part of the equation."
  3. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    I've never heard of that ever. That is so strange (about Ulrich's monitor mix)`
  4. KeithPas

    KeithPas Supporting Member

    May 16, 2000
    I read somewhere that even Cliff Burton hated the way he was buried in the mix in the albums he played on.
  5. Holy War

    Holy War

    Sep 18, 2008
    VA Beach
    now that i would love to see. ive never had a problem hearing him
  6. PBass101


    Jul 3, 2008
    Saw Metallica live and the bass was pathetic. You could barely hear it during the soundcheck when nothing else was playing...

    Saw an interview with Metallica's touring sound engineer. He drops everything below 65 Hz or something off of the bass in the PA so that it doesn't get in the way of the bass drum. Isn't is supposed to be the other way around?

    The guitar player in my band is obsessed with Metallica and wants us to be mixed just like them when we do our demo recordings to send to bars we want to play in.

    ..But we play The Who, Grand Funk and Cream covers.

    God help me.
  7. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I can totally believe that. Lars is a total a**hole. He may be a great drummer but he is a lousy musician. I've played with enough drummers that I can get a pretty good read on them by whether they ask for bass in their monitor or not. If they do, we're buds for life. If they don't, it's going to be a long gig.
  8. Im with that. The drummer in my band grew up with our guitarist so he isnt used to bearing a bass player who stands out but he has come around.
  9. Meh-he's not even a very good drummer. Whatever. The new album sounds great IMO.


    Dec 27, 2007
    Not even a great drummer IMHO, he and Hetfield are spoiled brats, little children who hit the jackpot one might say, poor Newsted, i pity him for all the CR@P he had to swallow, i mean, just for being around them.

    Their mixing criteria doesn´t surprise me at all. in fact if it wasn´t for Bob Rock the Black Album wouldn´t have had any bass.
  11. Qvist


    Jul 20, 2007
    It's true, check this out

    Said by the man himself. I agree!
  12. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    I don't have a problem with Metallica having bass so low in mix... I think AJFA did suffer a bit from having so little bass but the sound of Metallica is that massive and tight, machine-like rhythm guitar sound together with the drums... as a bass player it's not fulfilling to listen to from a bass point of view, but it has its own texture and should probably be listened to for what it is... an extrapolation of a certain style of music that over a period of years removed more and more 'blackness' (for want of a better term) from rock'n'roll and ramped up the orchestrated (small 'o') arrangements until you ended up with, well, '...And Justice For All'... that's just the way it went

    I have to say that to my ear, tunes like Blackened, One or Dyers Eve or even Master of Puppets or Damage Inc don't really suffer from having not much bass in there... in fact if you listen to the 'and justice for jason' tunes with overdubbed bass, adding bass makes the tunes sound a bit less strange and extreme, and a bit more like standard heavy rock... not what the composers intended
  13. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I hope Bob Rock is getting mega commissions on that album. The only Metallica disc before or since that holds its weight sonically, IMHO. Plus all the crap he took dealing with those guys.

    Speaking of Lars drumming skills, I remember seeing some footage from the making of the Black Album where Bob Rock was riding Lars pretty hard about his time feel. That made me laugh.
  14. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I thought Lars was pretty good on everything up through the black album. He got better as time went on....but the last two albums have been a crap fest. First, he can't tune a snare - or wont allow some else to do it. Second - if you watch that Some Kind of Monster thing you'll see him and James get into some arguement about the drums sounding stock. It seems from that point forward that Lars is trying to play all this stuff off the beat, and with different tunings....stuff that really is out of his wheelhouse so to speak. They would sound fine if he would just pretend to be a rock drummer again.


    Dec 27, 2007
    Only good drummers care about their rythm section partner being present in the mix, just listen to Pantera, man...that is some tight playing and sounding METAL, Vinnie Paul is fantastic, and "...his sadistic majesty of bass playin" Rex Brown as one of my friends calls him, is very present in the sound of the band and...that´s only one example of a band that could kick the arse of Metallica´s "BAD BOYS" 24 hours a day.
  16. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Ronquito - agreed.
  17. Qvist


    Jul 20, 2007
    I agree somewhat, 'cause I thought that the bass enhanced version of Blackened is way cooler than the original. However, I listened to the bass enhanced version of One, and it became a bit to bassy, imo.
  18. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL

    I'll take any member of Pantera over any member of Metallica. They are better individual musicians and they are better as a unit than Metallica ever was.

    I have this discussion with a guitarist who is a friend of mine all the time. His favorite album is AJFA and he doesn't understand why I don't like it that much (I play guitar too, so the "because I'm a bass player" answer doesn't apply). I keep telling him that the lack of bass leads to a cold, sterile sounding album that I don't get with. I don't care much for the material either, though there are some good songs on AJFA. I'll take the songs from MOP, but with the production of the Black album.

    FWIW, Jason's tone on the Black album is bad@$$. My Friend of Misery and The God That Failed are great examples of metal bass tone.
  19. EddieG


    Jan 19, 2005

    I like AJFA, but I wish it had bass, instead of this sub-bass gunk that seems to be on the guitars. I've got the Guitar Hero stems, and did my own messing around with Blackened and the title track, and to my ears it just sounds better. They should definitely do a mixed version with bass, even as an iTunes only download or something.

    Jason's tone on the Black Album is great. The big clank he gets on Wherever I May Roam....for years I didn't know that was a 12 string bass.

    As for Pantera, better musicians, better unit than Metallica. No question. And Dimebag could hand Kirk Hammett a new ass any day. RIP Dime.
  20. TheHegemon


    Feb 20, 2009
    Amarillo, TX
    Yeah I agree, if you're a fan of Metallica definitely seek out the bass enhanced versions especially "Blackened" makes the song way better. They really should remix the bass to the front and at least make it downloadable on itunes or something

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