The snare tone on St. Anger is the Metallica meme that will never die. During a recent gig, James Hetfield lightheartedly joked about Lars Ulrich's use of the much maligned Ludwig snare, saying, "Please, no more torture."
In between songs at one of Metallica's 2023 concerts, Hetfield looked back at Ulrich to see if the drummer was ready for another track. "Snare drum good?" Hetfield asked, to which Ulrich answered with the St. Anger snare tone. "Oh god, St. Anger again," Hetfield joked. After some boos from the crowd, Hetfield finished his St. Anger roast with, "Please, no more torture."
In a 2020 interview with Eddie Trunk, Ulrich defended the choice of snare tone. "I stand behind it a hundred percent, because at that moment, that was the truth," Ulrich explained. "We were working on a riff. Hetfield was playing a riff in the control room. And I ran up. I was like, 'I need to put a beat behind that.'
"I ran into the tracking room and sat down and played a couple of beats over this riff to not lose the energy of the moment, and I forgot to turn the snare on. And then we were listening back to it, and I was like, 'Wow! That sound kind of fits that riff, and it sounds weirdly odd and kind of cool.' And then I just kind of left the snare off for the rest of the sessions, more or less."
Watch Hetfield joke about the St. Anger snare tone in the fan-shot video above.