Published Nov 20, 2020Along with producer Bob Rock, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has been up to some St. Anger revisionism this year, and he's now found a fellow album defender in Phoebe Bridgers.
The two got together in conversation as part of Rolling Stone's "Musicians on Musicians" series, discussing their own music and that of Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails.
Bridgers called St. Anger "a great record," sharing that "it might have been the first Metallica album I heard," recalling how an early exposure to the thrash vets came from a PlayStation game in elementary school.
"That record had a very, very different makeup," Ulrich reflected. "For those couple years, everything was about being open with each other, about the spirit of no rules. I'm happy we did it."
Bridgers added, "I think of Metallica as being a pop band. A lot of metal is just metal to be metal — but Metallica write real songs."
The pair also shared their love of Motörhead, with Bridgers sharing how a reference to the hard-rocking trio ended up in her Stranger in the Alps song "Smoke Signals."
"I was on a road trip with my drummer, and we were listening to the radio," she explained. "They were talking about how Lemmy passed away [in 2015], and I was like, 'Lemmy was alive?' I was like, 'Oh, my fucking God. It's crazy that he was alive this whole time.' So he died twice to me. I just sometimes always assume those people who are famous for living hard aren't around anymore, and it was just a weird mindfuck. We spent the whole road trip screaming along and making playlists."
Along with Metallica and Motörhead, Bridgers noted how, "weirdly late for me, I got super into Nine Inch Nails." "You can't deny Trent and his talent," Ulrich stated. "It's insane."
Bridgers explained, "It's one of those musical influences that I feel like isn't very obvious in my music, but hopefully with this next record, it will be. I kind of visited it with Punisher, but not that hard. I also have an apathetic voice, and I feel self-conscious that when I scream I sound like musical theater. I don't have a metal-style 'Aaaah' scream — I just have a [sweetly] 'Yeaah' when I sing loud."
You can read the pair's complete conversation here.
Bridgers' NIN-influenced new album could arrive through her new record label. Recently, she reworked Punisher tracks for EP Copycat Killer and covered the Goo Goo Dolls.