Frantic

Album: St. Anger (2003)
Charted: 16

Songfacts®:

  • The band wrote this about mistakes they have made and all the time they wasted on stuff like drugs and alcohol. More specifically, it's about Metallica frontman James Hetfield's troubles with alcohol, a problem he'd dealt with most of his adult life, but that peaked during the making of the St. Anger. It was bad enough that Hetfield went into seven months of rehab while the album was still being recorded. He got clean and has remained so ever since.
  • In "Frantic," Hetfield is thinking back on all the time he wasted getting drunk.

    If I could have my wasted days back
    Would I use them to get back on track?
    Stop to warm at karma's burning
    Or look ahead but keep on turning


    Alcohol is a symptom of his problem, not the root. The anxiety that drove him into frantic activity and frantic drinking is the true problem. He's asking whether or not he would have addressed the real core issue even if he'd been sober, or if he would have simply found some other way to avoid the hard reality he used alcohol to hide from.
  • Much of the song is Hetfield examining the things that compelled him to drink in the first place. Here the exact meaning is a little vague, but he seems to be saying that it was fear of death that drove him frantically forward through life.

    I've worn out always being afraid
    An endless stream of fear that I've made
    Treading water full of worry
    This frantic tick tick talk of hurry


    He wants to accept the inevitability of his death and get rid of the compulsive activity that his fear drives him to.

    Do I have the strength
    To know how I'll go?
    Can I find it inside
    To deal with what I shouldn't know?


    He asks these questions while acknowledging that continuing to drink is probably going to kill him.

    My lifestyle determines my death style

    It was probably these realizations that drove him into rehab. Death is inevitable, but we have some degree of a choice in how it comes to us. There are better ways to go than from alcoholism.
  • "Frantic" is the first track on St. Anger, Metallica's eighth studio album. It was also the second single released from the album, following the title track.

    There was so much conflict in the band when they made the album that they called in performance enhancement coach Phil Towle to mentored them while they made it. He did his job: The testimonials section of Towle's site has a quote from Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich saying, "Because of Phil, we have the best relationship we've ever had." On the same page, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett is quoted, "If Lennon and McCartney had Phil, the Beatles would never have broken up."
  • The song peaked at #21 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart, making it the third-most successful of the four singles released from the album. "St. Anger" hit #2, "Some Kind of Monster" hit #18, and "The Unnamed Feeling" hit #28.
  • In the 2004 documentary Some Kind of Monster, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich makes a case for the album to be named "Frantic." In the end, St. Anger won out.

Comments: 25

  • Zero from Nowhere, NjRobert Trujillo is a great bassist, listen to him in suicidal tendencies/infectios grooves. He's more of a funk/slap bass player but he also has the fingerplucking speed for the thrashier songs like cliff did. If anyone can fill Ciff's shoes, Rob's the man for the job.

    P.S. DragonForce is obviously a talented band technically, but all their songs sound the same on a count of their all at a tempo of 10000000000000000000bpm. I'd prefer Metallica over Dragonforce anyday.
  • Jordan from Liberty City, Txok i gotta give it to dragonforce they rock but...
    they cant even hold a candle 2 good old metallica really thats just absurd to even suggest that
  • Jamie from Christchurch, New ZealandGees alotta people have this wrong. For Saint Anger Bob Rock played bass, and Robert Trujillo toured it, so he didnt have anything to do with the creative process. Trujillo did (and very noticably) work on Death Magnetic, which i feel is a return to form, with a bit of difference.

    I like this song, and though i will agree, St Anger, Load and Reload are not their best work.. the worst Metallica songs are 10 times better than most stuff out there today.

    Suicidal4Life
  • Hannah from Statesville, NcDraginforce ?
    No no no ! Ah 'Tallica is like a god of metal
    theyre the kings
    and megadeth is definately not better !
    lars kirk james and robert are all adorable
  • Alex from Findlay , OhI love this song but when I say metallica to some of my friends all they say is "Dragonforce is better" but to me Metallica is way better. i don't know whats wrong with them...
  • Nick from Cairns, AustraliaU know, i'm not saying that this cd sucks the way it is, i think its awesome, but someone should do videos of themselves doing guitar covers of all songs on st. anger but try and be more talented by adding guitar solos in each song that has that "metallica" sound to it and is worth listening to. Post it to yotube or something. :) lol. I couldn't do it, i ok at guitar but not to a point where i can write my own solos...
  • David from Los Angelos, CaRobert Trujillo didn't play base on the album. Bob Rock did.
  • Sarah from La, CaI think this is a good song. I love all types of rock ( including metal ). Also i play the song to annoy my sis.
  • Ian from Huntington, WvI know this album is a lot different than their early stuff, but I see no reason to hate this album or its 2 (sometimes considered 3) studio predecessors. Sure, it's not nearly as thrash as their first 4 albums, but that doesn't make the stuff complete crap. Kill 'Em All and ...And Justice for All will always be my favorite Metallica albums but I can still sit down and enjoy Reload or St. Anger if I want.
  • Eric from Milltown, Inlove the song and love the album. it was more raw then load and reload. needed some solo's though. can't wait till the next. they've got rick rubin producing it so it has to be good.
  • Mike from Chicago, Il- Darryl, Gastonia, NC... what a sad musical mind... metal is one of the most melodic forms of rock and roll! there are tons of metal musicians that have great melodic sounds... yngwie malmstein, nevermore, cliff burton, dimebag, van halen!!! metal music is usually either very complex or embarassingly crappy.... i choose to only listen 2 the talented bands who play with some real soul in there music!
  • Jordan from Georgetown, InRob Trujillo does a good job. How can you expect anyone to be able to live up to Cliff Burton? Give the guy a break!
  • Jess from Milford, PaDarryl, I can and HAVE done better than this. On many occasions. I'm sorry but with Robert Trujillo on Bass, the band has gone down hill.
  • Ryan from Sydney, AustraliaThis a good song, but it is nothing compared to master of puppets or one
  • Darryl from Gastonia, NcMelody: Unless you could do better I do not think it is fair to critique Metallicas music. Besides how can you expect a metal band to have melody in a song. Metallica is very rarely melodious.
  • Tim from Leuven, Belgium@ Chris : Metallica is never bad , and st anger is nothing to be ashamed of
  • Anthony from Simi Valley, Cathis song is about Lars Ulrich's(drummer) fear of death.
  • Patrick from Isanti, MnThe song 'Frantic' does give you the impression of the issues Metallica went thru. I even thought that as well; however in a article I read in Guitar magazine (June '04), some of the lyrics are from Hammett's zen like axioms. Check it out! Thanks all!
  • Tom from Trowbridge, EnglandYou have to bear in mind that Metallica were going through a rough patch whilst making this; drug problems, new bassist, etc. But James Hetfield has assured that the next album will be a lot better and more typical of Metallica. They're hoping to release either this year or next. Can't wait!
  • Chris from Melbourne, Australiai cant stant st anger it is a disgrace to metallica. considering how good ride the lightning, black album and master were, this whole album puts shame on the name 'metallica'
  • Tim from Leuven, Belgiumhope they get soon back to the 'old' style (ride the lightning.......)
  • Mariah from Miami, FlPretty clever with the "tick-tick-tock"... But, c'mon, Metallica, you can do so much better than this! Add some melody!
  • Danny from Liverpool, Englandkool song, nice to play on ma bass. pitty bout the fact thats theres no solos or nothing really to break it up like previous albums
  • Ian from New York, NyAgreed. Hope they keep writting good songs like this one!
  • Jimmy from Modesto, Caone of the best songs off their new album "St. Anger"...METALLICA ROCKS!!!
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