Fans worried about whether Metallica will be just as sick and vicious with new bassist Robert Trujillo as they were with Jason Newsted, and before him Cliff Burton, can relax.
According to the band, the heavy metal titans have never sounded stronger.
"The first time we played with Rob, [producer] Bob [Rock] was in the control room," drummer Lars Ulrich said. "And as I had a tendency to do when we had different guys come in, I'd sneak into the control room and go, 'Yeah? Well? How's it sound?' When Rob was playing, Bob looked at me and said, 'That's the best the band's ever sounded off the floor.' And I was like, 'OK, cool. It sounds like that out in the room, too.' "
"Rob brought a stability [to the group]," guitarist Kirk Hammett said. "Most of the other cats who came through the door were trying to keep up with the three of us, and Rob brought it to another level."
Trujillo, who officially joined the Metallica fold in February (see "Metallica Have A Bassist: Ex-Ozzy Player Robert Trujillo"), will show off his next-level chops when the band kicks off the Summer Sanitarium tour July 4 (see "Metallica/ Limp Bizkit/ Linkin Park Tour Itinerary Takes Shape"). Producer Rock handled the basslines on the band's new album, St. Anger, due June 10.
Having previously faced criticism for cutting their hair shorter and writing more accessible songs, Metallica simply didn't worry about such things while recording St. Anger. Instead, the group just let loose with what came naturally. With the album's release less than two months away, the band hasn't even thought about what the single will be.
"When we were writing these songs, they were just coming out in a certain shape and form and we just let it flow," Hammett said. "Nothing was really manipulated so that it would get more airplay. ... It's much more of an album statement than a singles statement."
"The way this record was created, the process of this record, everything just sits in a different place, a very organic place," explained Ulrich. "Usually in the past, we have been guilty of knowing [the singles] or at least narrowing it down to this song or that song. But this time around, you figure it out. It just doesn't really seem like a singles type of album. It's more of a collection of energy."
Avril Lavigne, Korn, Limp Bizkit Sum 41 will salute Metallica on "mtvICON: Metallica," airing May 6 at 9 p.m. ET/PT (see "Avril, Limp Bizkit, Korn, Sum 41 Set For 'mtvICON: Metallica'").