Metallica’s ‘The Black Album’ inspired by ‘Wicked Game’ singer Chris Isaak, claims producer

Bob Rock says James Hetfield wanted to sing like pop star on LP

Metallica frontman James Hetfield was inspired by ‘Wicked Game’ singer Chris Isaak’ on the band’s ‘The Black Album’, its producer has revealed.

Bob Rock worked with the heavy metal titans on the 1993 LP and, according to Classic Rock, Hetfield asked him for advice on how to sing like Isaak so he could record the tracks ‘Nothing Else Matters’ and ‘The Unforgiven’ from the LP.

“He said, ‘Bob, I’ve never really sung before – I’ve just kind of yelled,'” recalled Rock. “He played me a Chris Isaak record and said, ‘On ‘Nothing Else Matters’ and ‘The Unforgiven’, I want to sing. How do you sing like this?'”


“I said, ‘What you hear in Chris Isaak’s voice is the nuances when he sings. He isn’t doubled, he’s actually performing. You perform.’ We set it up so he had a great sound and then he sang. Every day he got better and he got comfortable with it. He became a great singer.”

Guitarist Kirk Hammett recently revealed that Metallica are only a quarter of the way into making their new album. Hammett said that the band, who are currently in the early stages of what will be the follow-up to 2008’s ‘Death Magnetic’, have “a lot of good songs” and hundreds of riffs available but are still yet to begin recording in earnest.

Metallica released their latest single ‘Lords Of Summer’ Last year and are one of the headline acts for the Reading and Leeds festival alongside The Libertines and Mumford and Sons. It will be their first time at the festival since topping the bill in 2008.

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