Lars Ulrich Picks His Own Theoretical Replacement in Metallica
It’s very, very, very, very, very, very, very unlikely that there will ever be a version of Metallica which does not include Lars Ulrich (especially if the rumor that he owns the band’s name is true). Which has not stopped a lot of fans from fantasizing about an Ulrich-less Metallica for years. Although some people believe he’s a great drummer, most do not. When Ulrich fell ill before a festival performance in 2004 and had to be temporarily replaced by Dave Lombardo and Joey Jordison, many rejoiced, knowing it was probably the closest thing to an Ulrich-free ‘Tallica we’d ever get.
I mention Ulrich’s reputation/fans’ fantasies because during a recent interview with Baltimore’s 98 Rock, Ulrich was asked to select his own theoretical successor in Metallica, should the need for one ever arise. Ulrich’s choice?
“If I could pick it, if I could hear somebody drum behind [James] Hetfield’s riffs, I’d take Phil Rudd [AC/DC]. Just having his kind of vibe, like what he would do… And he’s been probably my main, biggest source of inspiration when we did the turnaway from the super-progressive stuff, the crazy stuff after ‘Justice,’ when we got into the ‘Black’ album and the ‘Load’ stuff, when it got a little more about the bounce and the riffs and the feel and the groove and all that. Phil Rudd, he’s the top of that pyramid. Hearing Phil Rudd play behind James, that’d be pretty cool.”
Rudd is actually a bit of an odd choice: he’s nine years older than Ulrich and lost his job with AC/DC as the result of a barrage of legal problems beginning in 2014. Which is to say, he could probably never actually replace Ulrich.
But this is all obviously theoretical, and I guess in Ulrich’s theoretical universe, age and house arrest aren’t barriers to being a professional touring musician.
So now that Ulrich has weighed in, let’s have some fun and select our own choices for his hypothetical replacement. My pick? I’ll give you two guesses, but you’re only gonna need one…
Still the best drummer in modern metal, without a doubt!
Share your own selections in the comments section below.