Bob Rock recalls the first time he asked Metallica to tune down: "James Hetfield looked like he wanted to kill me"

(Image credit: Steve Murphy/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

Bob Rock sat down with Gibson TV for the company’s Icon series, and among other topics the producer went in depth on his work with Metallica over the years, in particular on their landmark 1991 self-titled album.

Regarding how he introduced the band to the concept of using D-standard tuning on their electric guitars and bass during that time, he said, "On my notepad I'd write the key and the tempo, the chart and the arrangement. And maybe six songs in, I noticed that every song was in E.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.