Bob Rock Says Jimmy Page and Jack White are St. Anger Fans

Dina Regine, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons Scott Penner from Ottawa, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Published on:

Metallica have been through a lot of ups and downs over the course of their storied career. After a turbulent run in the later half of the ‘90s with the divisive Load and Reload albums, it seemed like the band’s relationship was careening towards a brick wall. They hired a therapist. Jason Newsted left. James Hetfield went to rehab. Everything was fucked. It was out of this period of emotional upheaval that St. Anger was born, creating a point of contentious bickering among fans that will last until the end of time.

Producer Bob Rock appeared on a recent episode of the Talk Is Jericho podcast to yet again defend his work on the controversial album, saying that both legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and iconic White Stripes frontman Jack White have complimented him on the album.

As Rock tells it, White’s praise came during a screening of  It Might Get Loud, a documentary co-starring Page. “I happened to be in Toronto [at the premiere of the film and Jack] came up to me from across the room, and he says, ‘By the way, I love St. Anger. It’s an amazing album.’ And [then] he left.

“Jimmy Page — not to drop names, but he’s kind of a friend — he was at the Sunset Marquis [in Los Angeles]. He was sitting, eating breakfast on the other side of the pool. And somebody walked by and said, ‘I’m here seeing Bob Rock.’ Jimmy said, ‘Oh, Bob’s here?’ He came over and talked to me, which blew my mind, coming from Winnipeg — that Jimmy Page even knows my name, you know? And he said, ‘By the way, I love St. Anger. It’s a great album.’

According to the producer, this praise from two guitar juggernauts makes up for the derision of other fans.

Rock said: “So I’m okay. Those two guys bought the record. With those two [liking it], I’m fine, right?”

In an episode of the podcast back in 2015, Rock addressed the fact that St. Anger wasn’t embraced by many fans.

“It’s a very odd record, but it is… It’s the truth. It’s the raw truth about them at that time,” he said.

Rock also spoke about the snare drum debate, explaining: “People comment about the sound, but when we went in, I said to them, ‘I can’t set up the drums exactly the same way. I can’t do that.’ It’s like, why does metal music have to have this certain sound before it’s metal? So I kicked the can a bit in that way.

“We could talk about this for a long time, but, really, the sound of the drums on that, I got the first set that [Lars Ulrich] ever used when they rehearsed in the house in Oakland, when they first got together. I set it up and Lars stared at it, right? For, like, months. And then one day he sat down and played, and it was ringing and it was raw, and he said, ‘This is it.'”

Rock also discussed the absence of solos on St. Anger, telling the podcast, “Lars said, ‘No guitar solos.’ And [James Hetfield] and I are going, ‘But … that’s what [Kirk Hammett] does.’ So every song, Kirk comes in and plays a solo, and if it doesn’t make the song better, we’re not using it — and we went through the whole album like that.”


James Hetfield Defends St. Anger: 'It's Honest'