Lars Ulrich remembered the early days of Metallica, explaining to Rolling Stone on how they saw their relationship with Flemming Rasmussen – the producer of “Ride the Lightning,” “Master of Puppets” and “…And Justice for All”:
“At the time [around 1986’s ‘Master of Puppets’], we were so protective of anybody f*c*ing with what we were doing that we didn’t change much of it. If you changed it, that would be giving in. We never really sent any of it to the record company or to management.
“And I don’t mean this disrespectfully, but we didn’t really consider Flemming a producer in that sense. He was more like an engineer that was there to record and get the best sound and make it sound big.
“In our minds at the time, a producer was somebody that would f*ck with your stuff and try to make it more radio-friendly or tame it down. So it was like, ‘No producers.’
“There was a very defiant mood in the band, so if you listen to the demos to the final album versions, there’s not much in terms of different arrangements, though in the studio we embellished them.
“James especially loves tinkering with sounds in the studio and was very into some Queen stuff on the production side. But no producer was going to come in and tell us what to do.”
Lars also said about the band’s approach to production:
“At the time, we took recording very seriously – you gotta get the best sounds, you gotta get the kick drum sound from the last Def Leppard album – so our M.O. was to record some cover songs and by the time we got to our song then we would have the sounds dialed in.”