Producer Flemming Rasmussen Discusses Working With Metallica On Their Early Albums

30 years after the release of Metallica’s multiplatinum, Ride the Lightening (1984), Grammy award-winning producer, Flemming Rasmussen, sat down with Rock Hall to give an insight as to what it was like work with Metallica during the eighties.

Below is just a small excerpt.

Rock Hall: How did you first start working with Metallica?

Flemming Rasmussen: I think what happened was that Metallica was, they recorded Kill ‘Em All in New York on a small independent label. They were looking for a studio in Europe because the dollar was very strong there, and they found out that they could get twice the amount of studio time in Europe compared to what it costs in the states. So what they did was: they listened to a lot of albums because they wanted a studio with a good in-house engineer, and they wanted to hear what different studios sounded like. So they would listen to a lot of different albums. They picked up on the albums I’d done with Ritchie Blackmore – probably mainly Difficult to Cure with Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow – and actually they contacted me. I hadn’t heard about the band before that ever. I didn’t know they existed. And since Lars was from Denmark it was a good opportunity for him to come back and say ‘hi,’ to some of his friends and family. So that’s how that came about

Rock Hall: Do you have a favorite Metallica recording, one you’re most proud of?

Flemming Rasmussen: I would say “Sanitarium” on Master Of Puppets is probably one of them. That’s the one with the mono-stereo – and I’m a sucker for that kind of shit, you know, when you sit with headphones and you go, ‘what the hell was that?’ … There’s a lot of those, I think theres a lot of songs on all three albums that I’m really proud of. I think “Creeping Death” on the first one was probably where we really nailed the Metallica sound. That whole epic kind of thing. It’s also a very, very good song – that of course has something to do with it.We all had this feeling where what we were doing, we were going to go a long way. We were going to change music history. And I think that was the project from the beginning. Also, you know, we think about it and they had their own thing going, and they had this tremendous energy, that kind of is a trademark for the band. They don’t want to rely on MTV to play their videos, so they didn’t make any videos, because they didn’t care because that wasn’t important to them. It’s been like that with Metallica always.

Find the full interview at Rock Hall

Rasmussen later went on to produced Morbid Angel’s Covenant, Blind Guardian’s Imagination from the Other Side, The Forgotten Tales and Nightfall in Middle-Earth, and the debut of UK Thrashers Evile, Enter the Grave.