Producer Bob Rock recently spoke to Metal Hammer and stated that he encouraged James Hetfield to realize his potential as a skilled songwriter while working with Metallica.

Besides Metallica, Bob Rock also worked with other notable bands like Mötley Crüe, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Our Lady Peace, and many others throughout his long tenure in the music world. Rock started to work with Metallica in their self-titled album, also known as ‘The Black Album,’ released in 1991. It marked the beginning of his long-time journey with the band.

Bob Rock subsequently produced Metallica’s 1996 album, ‘Load,‘ 1997 album, ‘ReLoad,‘ and 2003 album, ‘St. Anger.‘ Rock also played all bass guitar parts in the last album he produced with the band. He played a few live performances with Metallica until Robert Trujillo joined the band as the new bassist. During a recent interview, Bob Rock reflected on the making process of ‘The Black Album.’

The producer revealed that he encouraged James Hetfield to reflect his genuine feelings on the lyrics. Bob Rock tried to persuade Hetfield that he was just good as a songwriter as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and John Lennon were. Thus, Rock comforted the singer to bring out what was already inside him and use his feeling as a motivation for writing lyrics.

Bob Rock’s statements on encouraging James Hetfield:

“Not as such. When we did ‘The Black Album,’ James and I talked a lot about lyricists, and I told him that his lyrics are up there with anyone… Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Leonard Cohen, whoever. I just encouraged him to embrace that, to just continue to be better.

Bob Rock was right about trusting Hetfield’s songwriting skills since ‘The Black Album’ was a massive success. The album was highly praised for its great songwriting. Rock certainly made an extraordinary contribution to the band and helped Hetfield learn the dynamics of songwriting.