Greg Prato for Songfacts spoke with Metallica producer Flemming Rasmussen. Highlights from the discussion appear below.

Greg Prato (Songfacts): Looking back at the recording sessions for Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, and …And Justice for All, which songs were the trickiest to record?

Flemming Rasmussen: I would say some of the first songs on Ride. For Whom the Bell Tolls was the first song we ever did to a click track – that was kind of tricky. That was also Lars [Ulrich] learning how to play to a click.

No song really stands out as being the hardest to record – they all had their bits. And it’s always the parts that you think would be easy that take forever, and vice versa. Like, the fast double-bass machine gun part in One, that was one take. He just flew straight through that.

Songfacts: How would you compare working with the band during the Cliff era to the Jason era, in the studio?

Rasmussen: It’s a pretty big difference, because the Cliff albums [that Flemming worked on] were recorded in Denmark, and the Justice album we did in LA. So, it was like two different worlds.

I think Jason is a fabulous bass player, and I think the bass he plays on …And Justice for All was really up there… but nobody’s ever heard it. [Laughs] Jason was a really good, tight, focused bass player.

Cliff fits in his own category. He was like a musician’s musician, and he played by ear. You could have something he played that you went, Eh, and then the next time, it would be absolutely fantastic. So, with Cliff, it was waiting for him to get inspired and deliver. Everybody knew he could – especially everybody in the band – because we’d heard it so many times. Jason was more of a really solid, steady bass player that you knew you would give a really good performance.

Songfacts: What are your thoughts about the Justice album not having audible bass on it?

Rasmussen: I was as surprised as everybody else when I heard the mix. I had to decline doing the Justice album because I was booked elsewhere, and got into it after like, a month and a half [Metallica began recording the album with producer Mike Clink, and then eventually switched over to Flemming]. They had already gotten somebody else [Steve Thompson] to mix it. I had no hand in the mix, whatsoever. I know the guy who mixed it hated it because they turned the bass down so much. But that was all Lars and James [Hetfield].

Songfacts: What do you recall about the recording of the bell sound at the beginning of For Whom the Bell Tolls?

Rasmussen: That was an effect sound. When we were recording, we just stuck it in there. We had it on a piece of tape, we played the song, and we would go, “Now!”, and punch it in.

For Whom the Bell Tolls is played to a click, and we edited in the bell effect so it would fit and be in tempo. I copied it and cut it in where it was supposed to come. So, once we got that tape started at the right spot, it simply played itself, and then dumped it into 24-track. [Slackers. AC/DC went to a foundry and had a huge bell made just so they could ring it on Hell’s Bells.]

Songfacts: An interesting thought: How different would The Black Album have been if you produced it instead of Bob Rock?

Rasmussen: The Black Album is absolutely fantastic. They actually hired me to be stand-by, because of what happened with …And Justice for All. They started Justice with somebody else, and had to call me in. So, they wanted to make sure if it didn’t work out with Bob Rock, I would fly over there the next day. I actually took a month off – on Metallica’s tab.

Read more at Songfacts.


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Greg Prato of the Long Island Pulse spoke with Tesla guitarist Frank Hannon. Excerpts from the interview appear below.

Long Island Pulse: The band has recorded an album with Phil Collen [of Def Leppard] as producer. When will it be released?

Frank Hannon: The last thing I heard is that it is going to be coming out in September. We’ve known Phil for years and we’ve always had a great relationship with [him] since the Hysteria tour back in 1987. We’ve had a 30-year friendship with the guys. When we were on tour with Def Leppard last year, Phil was really excited about having Tesla out there and was always coming into the dressing room and really exuded a lot of energy. The guy is in massive shape and he’s a great motivator. He’s like a coach. He was just motivating us to try recording on the road and writing songs together…All I can really say about the album is it was definitely a shot of adrenaline…and he inspired us to really try some new things.

Long Island Pulse: Tesla has most of the original members still in the lineup. What are your thoughts on bands from the era that tour with few original members?

Frank Hannon: Well, I’ve seen some recent articles and interviews with guys who put down bands that are missing a lot of their original members and I don’t want to be that guy…For an older band, it’s very difficult to keep original members together. I’m very grateful that Tesla has got four out of the five original guys, including the original singer [Jeff Keith], which is the key. Some bands have been very lucky to go out with different singers and still do it like Journey or AC/DC.

Long Island Pulse: The Styx-Joan Jett-Tesla bill is an unexpected combination.

Frank Hannon: To be honest, at first, I didn’t think people would think that would be a good bill, but everyone has been very excited about it, especially with Joan Jett. I am a huge Joan Jett fan…but I don’t know if she is a fan of Tesla or not. [Laughs] But we’re huge fans of hers, so like it or not, we’re going to be watching her show every night. I have nothing but admiration and respect for Joan Jett. Her songs are timeless. That’s what it’s all about. You were asking me about bands without their original members—to me, it’s about the music and the songs…When a band can go out with only one or two original guys, it’s the songs and the music that matter.

Read more at the Long Island Pulse.


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Iconic guitarist George Lynch was a guest on Eddie’s SiriusXM show on June 14th. An excerpt from the interview appears below via

When asked whether the rumors are true that he was asked to join the current touring lineup of Ratt — presumably alongside singer Stephen Pearcy and bassist Juan Croucier for their upcoming shows without Warren DeMartini —Lynch responded, “Mmm-hmm. We just couldn’t come to an agreement on it. They haven’t called me back. I’ve been staring at the phone. My wife’s like, ‘Honey, want to go to bed or eat something?’ I’m like, ‘I’m waiting for the Ratt phone to ring.’ I’m good with it.”

Ratt recently announced plans to move forward with Pearcy and Croucier and as as-yet-unrevealed lineup of other musicians. They also revealed some tour dates, which can be viewed, below.

Tour dates:

Jul. 7 – Mulvane, KS – Kanas Star Casino
Jul. 13 – Costa Mesa, CA – Pacific Amp @OC Fair
Jul. 21 – Detroit, MI – Chene Park Amp

Sep. 7 – Hinckley, MN – Grand Casino
Sep. 29 – Las Vegas, NV – Fremont

Oct. 5 – St. Charles, IL – Arcada Theatre
Oct. 6 – Manistee, MI – Little River Casino
Oct. 12 – El Paso, TX – Speaking Rock
Oct. 13 – Dallas, TX – Bomb Factory
Oct. 14 – Corpus Christi, TX – Concrete St
Oct. 17 – Little Rock, AR – Arkansas State Fair
Oct. 25 – Worley, ID – Courdalene Casino

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Drummer Jason Bonham (Bonham, The Circle, Black Country Communion, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening) was recently interviewed by Tigman of the Albany, New York-based radio station Q103. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by

Discussing being a member of multiple active bands:

Jason: “I’m one of these guys now where I never like to say no, so when people ask me to come and play with them, I try my utmost. I never in my wildest dreams imagined working on the Superman soundtrack with Hans Zimmer. I’m very, very fortunate. Sammy’s a great person to be around, and Mikey, and I get to play some great Van Halen catalog stuff with them, some great Montrose stuff. And then to do [Led Zeppelin Evening], things couldn’t be better for me right now. Well, they could in one [way], but that ain’t going to happen. [Laughs]”

On playing with Led Zeppelin at their reunion show in London:

Jason: “I’ve had a few chances to play with them, and I always say I was disappointed in different versions when we did it. I always felt I hadn’t worked enough at it; it didn’t sound right. The planets aligned for that event, and for me, not only the event, for me it was the six weeks prior, being around them for that time. That was the greatest moments of my life, just being one of the guys with them. Hanging out with them, just talking about music. One of the highlights just for me — there was nobody else in the room — I said, ‘Why don’t you guys do an acoustic bit in the O2 show?’ They said, ‘No, no.’ I said, ‘I’d love to hear you guys do Tangerine or Going To California. They went and grabbed the acoustics, sat on the couch and did Tangerine and Going To California. It was surreal.”

Would he ever consider revisiting Bonham material or making original music?:

Jason: “I have my other bands that I play in which [perform] original stuff — Black Country Communion. The Circle, we’re just finishing now a new album that’s going to be coming out in the future of originals. I’m really looking forward to that. I’m still very much in touch with Ian Hatton, the guitarist from Bonham, and [bassist] John Smithson, and we always said, ‘Before we get too old’ [and] ‘Before we get any older’… sadly, it would never be the same without [late Bonham vocalist] Daniel [MacMaster], but yeah, I’d love to do one more album with the boys and to do some original stuff.”

Speaking about whether there will be another Black Country Communion album:

Jason: “Yes, I believe there’s talk of that as well. We did IV, so yeah — we’re going to be on to the ones where we have to call them names now. It’s scheduled roughly for January, but we’ll see.”

On Michigan rockers Greta Van Fleet, who often draw comparisons to Led Zeppelin:

Jason: “I got an alert, because it had all this Led Zeppelin thing about it. I’d have been annoyed if I’d been Robert [Plant]. I’d have been annoyed if they said that he sounded like Robert. Robert did not sound like that. Robert was amazing, and still is, but when he was in his young days, his voice was miles [better], just in a different league. Just because he sings high and he does his hand-on-the-hip thing, I just worry the hype that the band are getting, it will ruin them. I wish them all the very best. People should just love them for what they are, and not try and keep comparing them to Zeppelin, because it will kill them in the end. It will sometimes hurt them. Trust me — I know that, because for me, it takes a hell of a lot when you play drums and your dad’s John Bonham, the comparisons sometimes can be the hardest things to get past. I wish them all the very best, but I thought [they sounded] more [like] Black Crowes than Zeppelin myself.”

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening will support Foreigner on a 30-date summer tour that kicks off in Bangor, Maine on June 15th.

Watch the entire interview, below.

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Getting closer now to the launch of my brand new TV series Trunk Fest on 7/1 on AXS TV. I am so pumped for you guys to see this new show. It is not in any way a substitute for That Metal Show. It is less a music interview show, more  a travel music festival show. The debut episode 9:30P ET on 7/1 is from Sturgis. There will be 8 episodes total every Sunday night. Two more to shoot including this weekend at Mountain Jam in NY. This has been such a fun experience and I appreciate everyone watching and helping to spread the word for me about it. Also I have heard from many about getting AXS or wondering if it’s on their service. I obviously have no control over this and do not know about online outlets for AXS. But some cable systems do offer it, you may need to buy up to another tier of service. DirecTV, Dish, Fios and many more all do offer it. Can’t wait for the premiere 7/1!

New podcast tomorrow with Robin Zander and Dennis DeYoung. Free and Itunes.

I am doing my show from a private event in Austin tomorrow. Listen daily 2-4P ET on SiriusXM 106 Volume, replay 9-11P ET to talk rock!

Next appearance 7/1 hosting Poison and Cheap Trick in Hollywood FL at Hard Rock!

Looking forward to hosting the Hair Nation tour. Thanks to Chip Z Nuff for joining me Monday on air. FYI as of now the stops I will be at are LA, Annaheim, Vegas, NJ, Philly, Dallas and Houston only.

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On August 3rd, King Diamond will release LP re-issues of the classic albums In Concert 1987: Abigail, The Graveyard, and The Spider’s Lullabye via Metal Blade Records. Available as 180g picture discs, these exclusive editions can be purchased now at

King says, “You can spiral yourself into darkness with these classic King Diamond albums, or you can exhibit them on your wall like I will. Either way, enjoy.”

See below for the albums’ track-listings, and stay tuned for more King Diamond news coming soon!

In Concert 1987: Abigail track-listing

Side A:

1. Funeral
2. Arrival
3. Come to the Sabbath
4. The Family Ghost
5. The 7th Day of July 1777
6. The Portrait

Side B:

7. Guitar Solo by Andy
8. The Possession
9. Abigail
10. Drum Solo
11. The Candle
12. No Presents for Christmas

The Spider’s Lullabye track-listing

Side A:

1. From the Other Side
2. Killer
3. The Poltergeist
4. Dreams
5. Moonlight

Side B:

6. Six Feet Under
7. The Spider’s Lullabye
8. Eastmann’s Cure
9. Room 17
10. To the Morgue

The Graveyard track-listing:

Side A:
1. The Graveyard
2. Black Hill Sanitarium
3. Waiting
4. Heads on the Wall

Side B:

5. Whispers
6. I’m Not a Stranger
7. Digging Graves
8. Meet Me at Midnight

Side C:

9. Sleep Tight Little Baby
10. Daddy
11. Trick or Treat
Side D
12. Up from the Grave
13. I Am
14. Lucy Forever

King Diamond online:

Official Website

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