Pascal Derrien

7 months ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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St Anger

St Anger

2003 was a funny year for me. A professional venture I had heavily invested myself in emotionally ended up abruptly. The sudden and deep nature of the incident left me shocked and confused. The world around morphed into dizziness and maybe for the first time in my life I found myself without a sense of purpose. I had never been in a situation imposed on me as for the most part I had always been in control even when I had to navigate thru turbulent times. I was as angry at the fact of not having seen it coming than I was at being powerless in addressing the situation.

For those who know me, you already know that music and life have always been and are intrinsically intertwined components of everything I do. 2003 was no exception in that domain either. Metallica released St Anger. A cathartic and controversial album. Their previous efforts had left me cold as I thought they had drifted away from their base and most importantly they seemed to have lost their creative juice. 

Why am I talking about this and what that got to do with the first paragraph? Well hear me out. Shortly after I found myself queuing on the dole for a weekly payment it became apparent that our expenses had to be drastically reduced. We had no kids in those days but money got tight and with a looming mortgage over our head the purchase of music became obviously superfluous.

James Hetfield had had a hard time in the years leading up to St Anger. James is the lead singer and rhythm guitar of the band but is also the main culprit when it comes to pen down lyrics. Needless to say that the battle with a few demons including addictions influenced vastly his writing style. The particularity of that album is that there are no guitar soli whatsoever, That was almost a sacrilege and borderline blasphemous to their die-hard fans. It was most unusual in that genre but personally I was a bit more open minded about it.

The thing is open minded was the only thing I could allow myself to be about St Anger. I frankly could not afford to buy the LP let alone tons of other music I was interested by. For a few months I became a music monk and if it had not been for the active recycling of my old albums, CDs and various MP3s I would have lost my sanity. I ended up compensating by over eating and it was not always the good stuff. With hindsight I was probably very low even though I would have sworn the opposite to anybody who would ask me how I was. 

My interest in sport gradually faded away, my fitness levels plummeted and I was kidding myself with very minimal work  outs. While I was not obese I became noticeably overweight well at least by my standards and the state of my skin became a fair reflection of the way I lived. That would prove to have a disastrous impact a few years later, but at that time my priority was to come to terms with the stigma of being jobless in a country I was not born in.

St Anger got a lot of abuse partly because nobody expected such a shift in terms of style. It was so different to what they had ever done, some saluted the effort as a return to form of some sort while others despised the lyrics, the sound and anything about it including the art cover. It was a divisive album based on what I could gather about it and Frantic one the singles I had managed to download by the skin of my teeth was my first exposure to their new sound. I frankly did not know if l liked the tune or not but fair to say I got obsessed with it. The lyrics in particular resonated with me.

I ended up speaking to my other half about that particular album and while some interviews for jobs were lining up there was nothing concrete in sight. I was always getting agitated and my eyes would always light up anytime I mentioned that album. So I guess maybe in the spirit of giving me a break or indulge my music cravings one day my wife said we could probably afford to buy the CD if I wanted the following week.

I counted the days and I was like a kid the day we purchased it. Shortly after I studied the entire album notes while listening to the album. I really liked Frantic as I said earlier but the Unnamed Feeling and St Anger were two of the other tracks that really stood out. The tracks were raw , emotional and awkward in their own way but more importantly the entire album embodied the feeling of being alive and kicking not just surviving

I read recently that James Hetfield said that while they don’t really play any song from that album live anymore St Anger is an integrated part of their history. I don’t really listen to it anymore either but with hindsight I suppose it is fair to say that St Anger is also part of my own story.

Five weeks after the release of St Anger I got a job offer


Pascal Derrien Copyright 2021

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Comments

Javier 🐝 CR

6 months ago #27

#28
thanks Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

6 months ago #26

#27
Javier \ud83d\udc1d CR see # 27 and #26

Pascal Derrien

7 months ago #25

#25
fyi Spammer Javier \ud83d\udc1d CR

Pascal Derrien

7 months ago #24

Many thnaks Harvey Lloyd for your unique and always insightful comments. This one makes no exception the 71 hour comment brought a smile to my face :-)

Harvey Lloyd

7 months ago #23

Your first paragraph could have been written if you had looked through the window at our kitchen table on many occasions. It is that feeling that Wiley coyote gets everytime the cloud clears, finding the ground has left him. I appreciated the thought, when this happens there is that undercurrent of how we should have seen it coming. Post fall we see all the signs that we ignored or had a prospin on the factoid. We have the 72 hour rule around the house when such events happen. Minor or major. You get just 72 hours to have your head up your ___ and after that you are into surgery where rectal cranial inversion therapy happens. My two brothers are usually drooling at hour 71. I have an awesome family. Thanks for the memory lane journey. The clouds always clear and what we are standing on, exposed. Build well.

Pascal Derrien

7 months ago #22

#21
#20 ah you are very kind yeah music is portable nostalgia I quite the time capsule analogy too :-)u

Lada 🏡 Prkic

7 months ago #21

Not to mention that I liked all your pieces. :)

Lada 🏡 Prkic

7 months ago #20

I liked this piece, Pascal. Someone said that music is like a time capsule. That's what it is for me. When I hear some dear old song, the events related to that song always come back to my mind, like my first dance or a song we listened to on a small portable radio (between lectures at the university), the morning I met my husband. :) I love Metalica's love and slow songs. Many hard rock bands have great ballads.

Greg Rolfe

7 months ago #19

Jim Murray, are you referring to an actual style of music or that which gets stuck in your hair?

Pascal Derrien

7 months ago #18

#17
I fully agree on that one Jim :-)

Jim Murray

7 months ago #17

Musis works on us in many ways, all good, except for bubble gum music, of course.

Ken Boddie

7 months ago #16

#15
Ha ha, great motto, boyo/mon amie! May I now add eclectic to the enigmatic Pascal D?

Pascal Derrien

7 months ago #15

#14
indeed I remember that one I have such an eclectic taste in music that I think many would be offended by my ipod groupings expect the unexpected is my motto :-)

Ken Boddie

7 months ago #14

#2
Just noticed your comment on the Bee Gees, mate (or rather the beGees). I see you sandwiched them between Abba and the Sex Pistols. Don’t know which of these three groups/bands would be most offended at the grouping, although I know which one, in my eyes, is most offensive. 😂🤣😂 Perhaps you may remember this old post of mine? https://www.bebee.com/producer/@ken-boddie/what-does-bg-stand-for You commented on it by stating the Bee Gees to be, “the soundtrack of an era” 🤟 That’s my music! Now call me old, call me senile, call me a musical fuddy-duddy, but don’t call me late for dinner! 🤗

Ken Boddie

7 months ago #13

#9
very true, Don \ud83d\udc1d Kerr, and nobody else can help me either. 😂🤣😂

Pascal Derrien

7 months ago #12

#11
indeed and in my case its pathologic :-) thanks for dropping by Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Amazing the influence music can have on our lives.

Pascal Derrien

7 months ago #10

#9
its pathologic at this stage Don \ud83d\udc1d Kerr and thanks for dropping by :-)

don kerr

7 months ago #9

#7
Just can't help yourself can you Ken Boddie?

Pascal Derrien

7 months ago #8

#7
OH I fully get that Ken but I also like Huey Lewis or David Bowie for example :-) Heavy metal fiddle thats a concept alright :-)

Ken Boddie

7 months ago #7

Can’t say I’ve ever been into Metallica, Pascal. Way too angry for a saintly person like me. 🤣 I had a mate many years ago. though, who played the fiddle (very badly) while listening to heavy metal. His long suffering wife eventually had enough and called the police. He was arrested for domestic violins. 😂🤣😂

Pascal Derrien

7 months ago #6

#3
Cheers Debasish Majumder glad you like that one :-)

Pascal Derrien

7 months ago #5

#4
yeah Greg it could have been worse I guess this makes me a diabetic marathoner then :-)

Greg Rolfe

7 months ago #4

#2
Glad it wasn't horrible but then diabetes is not nothing. My brother has it now. Regardless, looking forward to your thoughts on the Bee Gees!

Debasish Majumder

7 months ago #3

Dear Pascal Derrien, as always i enjoy your meaning full buzz which containing a spectacular motion, triggering one to produce a meaningful voice! enjoyed and shared. thank you for the buzz.

Pascal Derrien

7 months ago #2

#1
thanks Greg a short story ban stuff is fascinating I am currently looking at the stories of ABBA and Bee Gees and the Sex Pistols. As far as health it did not trigger but accelerated my journey towards Diabetes but hey it would have caught me anyway apparently :-)

Greg Rolfe

7 months ago #1

A friend of mine and I had a similar conversation literally this week. Not about this band but the recognition of bands losing their "voice". And while I am not as tied to music as you are I have been a music addict for most of my life. I started with the classics at 5 and moved on from there. Having also lost my job for an extended period of time I get you. Hope you are over the health-related repercussions. Blessings!

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