Legendary Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett has confirmed that the band have been working with producer Greg Fidelman on their new album.
“We’re pretty much doing it with Greg Fidelman. He is in the mix. As far as what the final outcome will be, I don’t know. We have not brought in any [other] producer and it looks extremely [unlikely] we’d bring one in this late into the project.”
The band worked with Fidelman as an engineer on Death Magnetic, choosing him because of his previous work on Slipknot‘s Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses.
The album caused some controversy among fans, some complaining of excessive clipping on the CD mix. Mastering engineer Ted Jensen didn’t help matter when he blamed “brick-walling” when it came to mixing for making his job difficult.
Greg Fidelman also worked on the infamous Metallica and Lou Reed collaboration, Lulu.
Speaking of working with Fidelman, Hammett compared him to producers including Rick Rubin who worked on 2008’s Death Magnetic, as well as discussing the hard to define role of producer in general.
“The title ‘producer’ itself is a bit ambiguous. It differs from person to person,” he remarked. “You can call Rick Rubin a producer, but he’s not the [same] type of producer as Bob Rock, who is there for every note. At the same time, Rick Rubin gets stuff done,” he said.
“Greg Fidelman is a different type of producer in that he’s with the engineer always looking to try and move the project forward,” he went on, adding later that Fidelman was “a real pleasure to work with.”
Not that there weren’t hard day though, with Hammett admitting the producer could be “a bit of a taskmaster”. Nevertheless in the guitarist’s own words Fidelman “knows how to crack the whip without fucking pissing people off.”
Fidelman’s talent was apparently much needed when it came to managing the most difficult aspect of working with the band, their busy family schedules.
“If you ask Greg what the hardest part is about recording Metallica,” Hammet said, “he’ll say each guy’s schedule.
“Hey, for us, life has its demands. We’re trying to make an album and go on tour, trying to be a band, but we all recognize that if someone has a family situation, that takes priority over everything.
“That’s another reason why [the new album] is taking so long. That’s another obstacle for Greg Fidelman. He’s always joking about it, but it really takes a lot of, like, you know, tap dancing and juggling.
Anticipation for the follow up is nevertheless very high, with this news and Ulrich’s recent comments only stoking fan expectation ever more.
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