Metallica’s "And Justice For All"
Producer Steve Thompson is interviewed by Rob Rush on his work with Metallica’s “And Justice For All” album":
Here is the actual interview printed in the Box Set:
“I remember getting the call to mix Metallica’s …And Justice for All album. The call came from Cliff and Peter at Q Prime to our managers, Andy Kipnes and Mark Beaven at AAM. I was so blown away to get this chance. I read an article that the reason they hired us was because of the work we did with Madonna.
That, to me, was shocking!
Metallica was my favorite band at that time. They set the bar very high for other bands of that genre; they were second to none. So my partner Michael Barbiero and I headed up to Bearsville Studios in upstate New York. We did a lot of work there at that time. It was a residential studio which worked great for us, because there were no time restrictions.
Metallica was playing the Monsters of Rock tour at the time and James and Lars would fly up to the studio during the mix sessions. The first day Lars came in with pictures of EQ for how he wanted his drums to sound. Michael worked with Lars to get the sound he was looking for. Michael and I would tag-team the mixes so we could stay fresh.
We mixed on a SSL G series console with ultimation. It was a pretty new console at that time. We also had towers of outboard gear to play with. Understand that at that time there was no Pro Tools, and everything was recorded to 48-track, 2-inch analog tope. I felt Flemming did an amazing job producing this record. During the mix we had creative differences between us and the band. But there is a big difference when you are hired as a producer compared to being hired as a mixer. When you are hired as a mixer, your job is to fulfill the artists’ vision on how they want it to sound.
These guys knew exactly what they wanted; they left no stone unturned.
It was great to have Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch come up to the sessions. I had a new car at the time with the most kick-ass sound system. I called it Studio C. I think after they heard some of the mixes in the car it made their ears bleed. We would check the sound out in the car with Lars. If the speakers were ready to blow up, Lars was happy.
I loved the tightness of the band’s performance on this record. They were meticulous in their approach. To me, these songs kicked ass and definitely stood the test of time. I thank the guys for allowing us to be a small part of the Metallica legacy!”