Decibel: Bob Rock on Metallica: “I didn’t cater to what they were. I catered to what they wanted to do.”
Producer, engineer, and musician Bob Rock (aka Robert Jens Rock) has a storied history. Whether you’ve formed your own opinions (likely) or constructed them after observing his role as producer, mentor, and friend to the likes of Metallica, Mötley Crüe, The Cult, Blue Murder, Skid Row, and more. Or, you watched in bemusement as the minutes rolled excruciatingly on in Metallica documentary, “Some Kind of Monster”. However you slice Rock’s involvement in heavy metal–equally important (every fucking second of Metallica’s self-titled and tenuous (“St. Anger”‘s snare drum sound [defended HERE])–he’s played a pivotal role. Metallica may not be stratospheric if it weren’t for Rock. Metallica may not have ushered in commercial viability to a largely maligned art. Metallica may not have entered their rock phase (Load and Reload), giving room to others, like Pantera, Alice in Chains, and System of a Down, to break sonic and commercial boundaries. Either way, Rock’s been influential.