Rick Rubin to Produce New Metallica Album?

Metallica praise his work on "Death Magnetic" and say he's a strong contender to return on their new album.

Ultimate Guitar

Metallica could be set to return to producer Rick Rubin for their next album, because of his "great" work on 2008's "Death Magnetic."

Bassist Rob Trujillo was being interviewed about their short tour of South Africa last month when he described their recording schedule for the new Metallica album and their plans for picking a new producer:

"We've got to start getting our blueprints for songs together and make sure they're the best possible - and then we see what producers are available," he told Muse (via Blabbermouth). "We made a great album with Rick Rubin the last time - that's a strong possibility still. Obviously, there are no guarantees in anything in this day and age, but if there is a great producer, who has something to bring to Metallica, we will investigate it."

In the same interview, Trujillo expressed why international tours are so important to Metallica: "It is pretty special for us and that doesn't happen to every band on the planet. We're still lucky to be around and relevant in a lot of people's eyes."

He continued: "To look out in the crowd and see young kids out there, too: teenagers and kids, who were, like, 5 years old when we came out here last time, headbanging is really exciting."

Meanwhile, Metallica are preparing to release their innovative movie "Through the Never" which blends concert footage with a gripping story about a young crew member whose life is about to turn upside down. Watch the bombastic trailer here:

Would you like to see Rick Rubin return to the fold as producer? Let us know what you think in the comments.

119 comments sorted by best / new / date

    inb4 extreme compression and overly loud snare.
    I did love death magnetic though. It's just not as good as anything pre-load.
    Dr. Knox666
    Please team up with Flemming Rasmussen again! Andy Sneap would be a cool choice too.
    I'm not a huge fan of Andy Sneap's drum kit sound. They always sound the same, that kind of...overly-polished sound Then again, after the travesty that was Death Magnetic's drumming (not just the sound), maybe Sneap will tell Lars to play in time.
    cant stand rubins work
    Can't stand reign in blood?
    What didn't you like, the content or the production? The production on RIB was in my mind absolutely perfect for a thrash album.
    I think he often gets credited for great albums that should honestly be credited to the bands themselves and not to him.
    Wait until you hear the new BS album
    Most of his work this decade is BS albums.
    ZZ Top wasn't bad, neither was the SOAD albums or the stuff with Johnny Cash. Or the Chili Peppers, or Slayer in the 80's If you're gonna judge all his work be Death Magnetic you need to stop, yes the dynamic range compression is bad, but it's still a good album.
    He meant Black Sabbath.
    lol, why are people downvoting this? I agree that the new Black Sabbath album was abysmal, but I'm guessing Scarto was saying that Rubin produced that.
    The new Black Sabbath album, abysmal?.. It hasn't leaked anywhere. You probably haven't even heard it.
    Don`t worry! I got it too: Hardwood took BS for BullShit, Scarto meant Black Sabbath. You`re the smart one here.....
    Nooooo, bring back Bob Rock please!!! Said no one ever.
    Well, he wouldn't have allowed DM to be released sounding so badly
    a drummer
    This is true. The Black Album is one of the best sounding records ever IMO, everything is so audible. And Load through Garage sounded great as well, St. Anger..not so much, but still better sounding than DM. But completely agree with above: FLEMINGFLEMINGFLEMING
    The industry is more to blame for the issues with DM than Rubin, aparently he nurtures talent and gets a lot out of them guides them without making them feel like they are being pushed with the hands off approach. I hate the loudness war and Rubin releases are pretty bad for it, 'I'm with you' ,'Death Magnetic' being two memorable ones for me. I'd like it if he was able to step away from that he has enough influence to do so but record labels still believe loud mixes and masters sell better :/
    "Corey Taylor himself shared some less than glowing thoughts about the experience in an old Revolver interview, explaining: "I wouldn't know what it's like to work with Rick Rubin. I only saw him about four times. Rick Rubin is a nice man. He's done a lot of good for a lot of people. He didn't do anything for me. I'm not happy with the vocals on that record. There were a lot of takes that I thought were much better than the ones they ****in' used and I wasn't asked about a lot of shit. It sounds amazing; the songs are great. But we were being charged horrendous amounts of money. And for me, if you're going to produce something, you're ****ing there. I don't care who you are.""
    The loudness war isn't the issue at all. The issue is that DM was over-compressed. If I were Metallica, I'd can Rick Rubin.
    Worse than the compression was the horrible brick-wall limiting, which seems to have been mostly in mastering. The only version of that album I can listen to is a remastered version someone made from the guitar hero release.
    I agree with that, yeah. Brickwall limiters only should be used on bass guitars, and even that should be conservative.
    my biggest gripe was the clipping on the snare. after st. anger's criticism you'd think they'd at least do that right in the studio
    Metallica don't have to be on a record label.
    They actually do now, it's Blackened recordings or something like that, their contract with WB expired with Death Matgnetic
    Andy Sneap, he's got metal production down to a tee, just listen to production on The Formation of Damnation from Testament or Endgame from Megadeth, they sound clean but aggressive, powerful and still thrash like
    I have my doubts about Rubin's "magic". All he seems to be doing is psyching up musicians a bit and then setting them loose... and whatever happens happens. That's how Death Magnetic ended up having such a shitty sound, a shocking result for one of the most commercially succesful metal bands and one reknown for their sonic presence both on records and live;with dry guitars, awful tones, and Ulrich's drum-sound sounding even worse to me than on St. Anger if possible, not to mention his performance which was weird, in a bad way. He is quite mediocre, if not bad, live nowadays, but at least he was still good in the studio, with all the time in the world to come up with and record interesting drum-parts. In Death Magnetic he was just bad all over the record. I think that psyching your musicians up is important, but being able to say "this drum part is bollocks man, get your stuff together and do it again, properly" is important as well. Also stop drying up the sound. One thing Bob Rock did right was give Metallica a proper metal sound on records. Rubin just reversed it back to ...And Justice For All days, and then allowed it to become even worse.
    And you know what I think? You're talking shit. People only EVER ****ing mention drums when it's Lars Ulrich and Metallica, Metallica DOES NOT NEED an amazing technically skilled drummer. In fact I'm pretty sure that it would have ruined the atmosphere on plenty of their songs like For Whom The Bell Tolls and Fade To Black just to name some. Let's take Dave Lombardo someone who everybody praises for drumming and with good reason, yet if we look at his drumming on WPB it's barely better than Lars on DM, he doesn't do anything different than he's done in the past, I prefer Lars drumming on DM to Lombardo on WPB if I'm honest. Sorry but it pisses me off when people say Lars is shitty even though there's so many worse drummers out there that never have a thing said against them, it's always just Lars.
    I actually like Ulrich's drmming. He is in fact one of my favourite drummers, and Metallica my most favourite band; the reason I started playing guitar. And I prefer his drumming to most, supposedly or not, more technical metal drummers, that sound more like drum-machines than musicians. His use of techniques is impecable in my opinion, all the way up to Reload. He may not use double-bass often for example, but when he does: you fill it in your bones; Blackened is testament to that! And the only reason I don't mention St. Anger as having good drumming is because the entire approach to the album was "bare bones", so it's hard to tell for me. Everything else up to then is amazing. Damn, the drumming in Lepper Messiah always gets me psyched! Sooo, I am not bashing on Ulrich. But I am entitled to my opinion that ever since the early 00s he has gotten progressively worse, and sadly this started showing up in the studio, not only at lives. I know, I have listened to tons of performances. I love Metallica, but Ulrich's decline in drumming and Kirk's in soloing (fecking butchering the Blackened solo all the time and other assorted missfires) disappoint me, even make me sad. Am I not entitled to think so for some reason?
    I didn't say you weren't allowed to think that at any point as I said "I think" as in my opinion. I just find it retarded that I've seen people on this site defend Meg White because she "serves the song" and then the same people bash Ulrich for the same thing, and she's not half the drummer he is.
    Totally agree about the decline with Lars and Hammett. But I believe Hammett's guitar playing declined after the black album. He got stuck in the pentatonic blues box and severely overused the wah. As for mixing, the worst album by a mile is St Anger. Not only were the songs just BAD but the damn snare drum AHHH! It's total sonic torture
    I completely disagree, sorry. Listen to Cyanide; his drumming is barely in time with the band. Those bass drum hits like the double-kick part toward the end of the guitar solo, so poorly executed. As for FWTBT and FTB atmosphere, he did a fine job on those songs because he practiced back then. I would never knock the guy's drumming pre-2000s. But he is sloppy as hell now. There is a reason he is famously bashed for being a poor drummer you know. It's not that everyone has a stick up their ass, it's because it's true. As for rating Lars over Lombardo, I'm actually quite surprised. I mean no disrespect, but I just don't see it at all. You've probably seen it but if not, check out Lombardo playing Battery at Download. Flawless. Lars barely tries the double-bass stuff anymore. And as a (pretty poor) drummer myself, I can tell you it's very easy to at least do a half-convincing job on those kind of DB patterns. I saw Metallica in 2009 and Lars butchered Turn the Page. Played it way too fast and the tempo was still inconsistent. That is the most basic song you could probably learn on drums.
    I don't rate Lombardo over Lars I said on those particular records Lombardo didn't do anything to grab my attention, I'm past that stage where fast drums amaze me and when they do it's somebody like Martin Lopez who absolutely destroys Lombardo, no disrespect to him. And I saw them at Download last year and Lars was spot on with every song, IMO Lars bashes comes from nothing than them being the biggest band out of them all, other wise he wouldn't get half the complaints now.
    Without rating anyone over anyone else, Lars just doesn't seem to care as much as he used to when it comes to coming up with interesting or unique drum parts or in staying true to the aggression or the personality of classic tracks live. Yes, he's old and nobody is going to say he SHOULD play like he's 20 again, but there is no harm in saying he isn't the same in a bad way.
    compression and levels for the album isn't necessarily "producing" the album. Production is more about the overall direction and audio feel of the album than levels and stuff. That would be whoever mixed the album, and I don't see Rick Rubin mixing stuff. I see him trying to get a general vibe of band and bring out their best qualities, not mixing, leveling, or mastering, that's more about what the engineer, and the people who engineer and master the album. I thought Death Magnetic's production was great, the mixing, leveling and mastering sucked.
    I thought this was old news honestly. But without getting too technical about it, I didn't really care for Death Magnetic, but I really enjoy some of Rubin's work. I don't get the constant hate for him, besides maybe he is overrated.
    I don't get why people say they hate Rubin's work. He's produced so many album's and there are a few brilliant one's in the list as well as some crap one's admittedly. But everyone should at least like one.
    "But everyone should at least like one." Why? To make you feel better? Nobody has to like anything.
    They need to switch it up. They've said that their new record will be "basically a continuation of Death Magnetic", which to me, says that they should at least use a new producer. If you're not going to have any variety whatsoever, at least have someone new produce the record and get a fresh sound. Take a page from Megadeth, who change their producer every so often to keep things fresh. If their new record is released in 2015 and is Death Magnetic 2, it's going to be so stale and the band will fade into even deeper irrelevancy. How hard can it be to bring in a reputable thrash producer (Andy Sneap?), or to take some vocal/guitar/songwriting classes or at least have some consultants come in to help with it? I swear, the decision-making processes of this band puzzle me.
    They (Metallica) have plenty of money and they're getting older. At his point in their career they just don't NEED to make a great or even decent record. Metallica stopped being a thrash band around '91 and after the Black Album they stopped trying altogether. People (myself included) keep wanting them to write quality songs and play with passion like they did in the 80's but it's not going to happen. They're not 20 and hungry anymore... they're 50 and successful. They could literally flush a toilet, record it and slap their logo on it and it would be a financial success. I love Metallica's heyday as much as anyone else but unfortunately it's been over for a long time.
    Death Magnetic was Thrash in structure and songwriting; it's just that the way it was mastered killed any Thrash aggression.
    I dunno, you call it structure, I call it slapping a bunch of riffs together and calling it a song.
    I'm gonna go into the unknown a bit and suggest they bring in DD Verni from Overkill. I'm not sure if he has sole-produced the last couple of Overkill albums or if it was group effort, but I think they sound beyond fantastic. Whatever individuals were involved with producing The Electric Age and Ironbound, get them. They know what good thrash should sound like on a record (assuming that Metallica is still interested in making a thrash record).
    An intriguing idea. I just picked up The Electric Age and it is great sounding album
    Really...I ****ing loved the music on Death Magnetic it was a step in the right direction but the engineering on the album was shit, it just didn't feel right, not saying Rick sucks but he should stick to Slayer albums!
    The sound quality was bad (really effing loud) but the songs were solid. If they can just clean up the sound the next album should be awesome.
    you guys do know that mixing and mastering was not completely handled by rubin right? ok so now that you all know that you know about nothing with all these typical metallica thread posts, let me educate you! rubins influence on a band is to let them have their space and let them work in a relaxed and intimate work space unlike other producers who overbare the project to further sales, do their job, etc. so with that said rubin is probably the most important producer on the entire modern age of music and metallica more then deserves to work with him, also even with the bad mix death magnetic was a tits album, great guitarwork and old school song structures, back to form, that is all
    The problem is, as a producer, Rubin had some influence on the band and should have said, "Look, guys, I wouldn't release it the way it is. The mastering is terrible."
    well shits gotta come out on time. no time to redo or edit anything especially when the rough mix is sent in they probably went on tour or something and wella you get a shitty mix, it happens.
    The thing is Metallica need someone to get the best out of them, and Rubin did that on DM. It might sound like shit but it's the best material Metallica have written since The Black Album, and a few tracks off S and M. It appears they are happy to sacrifice a bit of tonal quality in exchange for lighting the fire up their assess. Flemming probably wouldn't be able to do that, and Sneap seems to work with bands who already know what they want and just lends his [fantastic] recording and mixing talents. I say if Rubin gets Tallica burning again then hurrah.
    Are all of these people hating on Rubin because of how bad Death Magnetic sounded? Surely his contribution to music has to be recognized?
    Rick Rubin gets bashed way too often. He's made amazing records with Slayer, Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mars Volta to name a few. His resume is ridiculous and he's been imitated since the 80's. I don't think he can be blamed for the problems with Death Magnetic... that would be poor, lazy songwriting from Metallica.
    Over-compression and a brickwall limiter can be blamed for Death Magnetic. Rubin had control over both of those, or at least influence. If Metallica wanted that, he should've said, "Here's an alternative, guys. I really don't think you should release it the way it is now."
    Rubin didn't mix or master death magnetic. He's not the one who does that, his job is to get musicians to work.
    No body knows Metallica like bob Rock. People hate him because James decided to turn Metallica into a heavy metal blues band after the Black album. Then They 'rebelled' and made St. Anger. and Bob Rock took the flack for all of it. Go and listen to anything Metallica that Bob Rock has mixed, and find a flaw? The man is a genius. I don't care about Rubin's involvement as a fan, but don't use that mixer again for god's sake. Use Bob Rock. The only thing he ever did wrong was do EXACTLY what he was told, to perfection I might add. The guitars on Load shit all over the sounds used on DM. Even on St. Anger the guitars don't sound like a robot is shitting them out through a broken compressor. Bring a genius back to mix the record and it will be amazing. Let Rubin's buddy do it again and it will be DM 2 and no one wants that.
    How dare any of you sully the great Rick Rubin. He's the best producer to have ever lived. Have all of you forgotten the albums he's produced in the past? Licensed To Ill, Reign In Blood, Danzig, One Hot Minute, System Of A Down, Californication, Seasons In The Abyss, just to name a few. Overrated? More like underrated. All of you can go **** yourselves. He is a God among men, and if he truly "doesn't do anything", then it's clearly working for every musician he's ever produced for. /rant
    We're not judging the man on his successful past, which isn't arguable in the slightest. We're judging him on his recent spat of failures as a -ROCK- producer. His recent rock albums have been either mediocre or just terrible in production value. He is supposed to oversee the general quality of an album, if he thought Death Magnetic was okay, than his ears are either failing, or he has lost touch with what is good in Rock. For him to work with Metallica again would be akin to having another bite of a rotten apple just because you were hungry and the apple was there. Sure, you'd have eaten, but it'd taste just as bad as the last time you bit it.
    @Denjaro: You do realize he produced Adele's '21'? That is a beautiful sounding record whether or not you metalheads like to admit it. And the Death Magnetic sound was most likely a decision taken very early on by the band too, not just Rick. They've all been quoted saying the love the way Death Magnetic sounds.. they wanted that!
    Notice I said "Rock" not Pop. I even capitalized it and surrounded it by hyphens to make it easier to see and understand that the rock genre was what I was discussing. He's an amazing producer for pop. That's not the thing that is up for debate here. The problem is that he brings pop sensibilities to a genre that is fighting back against those sensibilities. Specifically the fact that he is a huge proponent of loud recordings. He is one of the producers listed as the top offenders in the Loudness War. Many rock and metal producers are trying to move away from high compression, mostly because of how much dynamic range is important for rock and metal to be able to communicate the full sound of the band. Too much compression causes a lot to be lost when you have heavily overdriven guitars compressed into nothingness.
    They Should HIre Jack White To Get That Raw Natural Sound Metallica Had On The First Three Albums.
    I always like Ross Robinson work. I think he could help Metallica find that rawness they had and still make it sound good.
    They should hire Rob Cagianno instead. He's really proved himself as a great producer lately.
    I don't see this as a terrible idea. They produced Death Magnetic with him which was great. However, I think it would be cool if they went with somebody else. Brendan O'Brien perhaps? If they go with Rick Rubin, I hope they properly mix it this time.