Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kirk Hammett Has No Ears

Look, I know Kirk Hammett is one step above a glorified axe-slinger, filling in the templates provided by Hetfield and Ulrich, but I'm still pretty surprised he's this oblivious - or is pretending to be this oblivious - about the sound quality problems that plague Death Magnetic:
"Well, it's like this: There are people who just expect perfection from us. And I totally get that. And when it falls short of their standards of perfection, they're going to complain. And I totally get that, too. I do hear a bit of clipping here and there. It was more a Rick Rubin [producer] sort of decision rather than the band decision, because he thought it made it sound a little bit more lively and dynamic, and we kinda gave him the benefit of the doubt on that. And you know, to me, when I crank the album when I'm driving, it's not an issue for me. But then again — my ears are kinda fried, too, bro."
Two thoughts: first, I continue to love Death Magnetic - I won't change what I said two months ago about the album one bit - but unless they're stone deaf, how could anyone miss that rampant clipping? I realized the other day the reason why I feel like Death Magnetic is so long - besides the near CD-busting length - is that I can't make it through the album in one sitting...and that's because my ears get tired from all of the digital distortion. Maybe what Hammett's trying to say with his "my ears are kinda fried" comment is that his ears have actually stopped working and he now hears sound through vibrations in the floor and that's why he doesn't hear much clipping.

Second, I call shenanigans on his attempt to throw Rick Rubin under the bus, because I've heard the Guitar Hero mix. You know, the mix that wasn't made to emulate a brick wall? The one where you can hear all of that extra "production stuff" Rubin threw in, like dynamics and effects on James' voice, that was all crushed out of the version that ended up on the CD. And that wasn't Rubin's was the guys who did the mix.

So yeah: Kirk Hammett seems like a bit of an ear-less meathead. But you probably knew that already.

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