MTTV Episode Sixteen – Edwin Outwater on Conducting Metallica’s S&M2

26 August 2020

MetalTalk TV Episode Sixteen features Edwin Outwater, the visionary conductor who worked with the San Francisco Symphony and Metallica in the recording of the new S&M2 project, released this Friday (28 August 2020).

Hosted by Brandon Oberkrieser, Edwin takes us through the process of the project, as well as his personal history with all forms of music. With a love of “the big four, Sabbath… I asked my father for Van Halen and Zeppelin, before jazz and classical took hold too”, Edwin was perfectly placed for this project.

“I love living in lots of musical worlds. I can jump from a classical situation to a Metallica situation and I love to be able to do that.”

We learn more about the role of a conductor in an Orchestra setting.

Edwin tells us that there are two parts to being a successful conductor. “The first part is coaching and directing. You have to run rehearsals and make artistic decisions on behalf of the group, using your ears and ability to mould the sound.”

“The second part is technical. You are up the in the middle of the performance. A good orchestra can read subtle signals from you, causing spontaneous things to happen and the performance can go in a different direction. You can make it come alive.”

Edwin was in charge of the project from the San Francisco Symphony side. He continues: “I recruited people… to find the right musicians and also to find orchestra pieces. For example Scott (Pingel, Principal Bassist) auditioned for Metallica. It was emotional for the band to hear the bass part, with regard to Cliff Burton.

“Scott had spent hours getting the electric bass setup and peddles right and learning the solo for Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth).”

Metallica were also tasked with learning a classical piece, which Edwin was involved in selecting. “The initial plan by Lars was that the orchestra should shine more (than in S&M), have something to play on its own and to really involve the players. With classical musicians learning Metallica songs, there was also one challenge for Metallica to learn a classical song, the Scythian Suite/The Iron Foundry.”

Of the performance on the day, Edwin tells us: “Everyone got on really well and you can hear in it the final product.. everyone was going for it.

“There was no click and the live excitement was there. Orchestras can adjust tempo… and we went on a rollercoaster ride and I think that came out really well in the recording.”

All this and much more is in this episode of MetalTalk TV.


MetalTalk’s coverage of Metallica’s S&M2 release continues with a LIVE event, hosted by Metallicast- THE Metallica Podcast.

Scott Pingel (Principal Bassist) and Doug Rioth (Principal Harpist) of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra will be online discussing their roles in the production and taking questions.

Streaming live at 8PM ET 28 AUG/1 AM BST 29 AUG!

More details here.

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