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Metallica’s James Hetfield Would Not Erase ‘Piece of History’ Redoing ‘…And Justice for All’ Bass

Raymond Ahner, Loudwire
Raymond Ahner, Loudwire

It’s been one of the great mysteries in metal over the years. Where’s the bass on Metallica‘s … And Justice for All album? And while it’s something that’s been brought up numerous times, Metallica frontman James Hetfield is not really in favor of re-recording or remixing the effort to give Jason Newsted‘s bass parts that extra oomph.

Speaking with the Red Bulletin, Hetfield was asked if there were moments in the band’s career that made him wonder what the hell they were thinking? Hetfield responded, “There are things I would like to change on some of the records, but it gives them so much character that you can’t change them. I find it a little frustrating when bands re-record classic albums with pretty much the same songs and have it replace the original. It erases that piece of history.”

He continues, “These records are a product of a certain time in life; they’re snapshots of history and they’re part of our story. OK, so …And Justice for All could use a little more low end and St. Anger could use a little less tin snare drum, but those things are what make those records part of our history.”

Hetfield says that both he and Lars Ulrich have had a strong sense of artistic control over their work, adding, “We’ve always been control freaks. As artists, we’ve always felt the need to have at least some control over how our art is presented. Whether you’re an artist or a sculptor, you’re going to have a strong opinion on how your art is hung or where it’s placed — that’s part of the artistic vision.”

Metallica expressed their artistic control over their recent Hardwired … To Self-Destruct album, creating videos for every song on the disc. The album shot to No. 1 in the U.S. and many countries worldwide and the group is currently riding an uptick in their career. You can catch the band on tour at these locations.

See Where Metallica’s …And Justice for All Placed in the Top 80 Hard Rock + Metal Albums of the ’80s

Jason Newsted Reflects on Metallica’s …And Justice for All Album

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