Producer BOB ROCK Recalls How He Ended Up Playing Bass For METALLICA

Metallica Bob Rock Bass

In a recent interview with Gibson, producer Bob Rock looked back on playing bass for METALLICA between 2001 and 2003.

He also played bass on band’s 2003’s St. Anger album, while also playing a handful of live shows with the group.

When asked how he ended up playing bass for METALLICA, Rock responded: “When we did the Mission Impossible song ‘I Disappear’ [in 2000], Jason [Newsted, bass] didn’t show up to pre-production, so I played bass just so we can rehearse and get it.

“So, when Jason – whatever happened, that happened – they said, ‘We can’t get somebody, we haven’t even started, can you just play bass while we figure out what we’re doing?’.

“That’s how it happened, by accident,” he added. “I mean, I’m a guitar player, bass player anyway, you just play the riff, basically, for the most part. I thought it was easy, but it f*cking ain’t.”

Speaking about St. Anger, Rock said: “We had been working on the record, James [Hetfield] is starting to feel better, and you could see that they were just… ‘You guys got to play a show.’ I said, ‘I’ll learn whatever songs you want. Why don’t we just do a club show?’ And they’re going, ‘Great, let’s do it.’

“And then I had to learn all the songs. I had my little device, the slow-down thing, learning all of Cliff [Burton]’s parts… f*ck me… [Laughs] It was not easy for me.

He continud: “I wasn’t nervous at all because it didn’t matter, like, I’ve got nothing at stake. It was fun, and we had a really great time. We played this club, and James is sitting on a chair; it’s their first gig, and there’s, like, a thousand people in the club that holds like 300 people. And the stage was at the end, and it was so hot. Around the fourth song, he just turned around he said, ‘Turn down!’ I guess I was a little loud. [Laughs] I was louder than James – too loud for James Hetfield. Anyway, it was a lot of fun.”