APPARENTLY, LARS ULRICH HASN’T EVEN HEARD “THE VIEW”
Lars Ulrich has a history of saying really dumb shit to promote his latest really dumb endeavor, but his most recent brain fart may actually be his stinkiest one yet.
See, back in 2003, before there even was a MetalSucks (unless you believe the kid I met at New York Comic Con this weekend who very excitedly told me he’s been an avid reader since 2002), there was a rumor going around that Lars Ulrich was going to do some of the scoring for Kill Bill, Quentin Tarantino’s then-heavily-anticipated martial arts opus. Of course, that never actually came to pass, and now Ulrich has explained why in a guest column for The Daily Beast. The issue, it seems, started when he sat down to read the script (which is available here if you’re interested):
“The Script. All 180 pages. Man, was it thick and dense. I threw myself headfirst into the shenanigans. Then something slowly started happening. Story, language, twists, turns, kung fu banter, and jargon—as I got further and further into it, I became more and more puzzled.
“Page by page, I realized that most of this was written in a language that was outside of my realm of understanding. I had never encountered a narrative like this, set in, to me, a very foreign culture of martial arts and Asian myths. I just couldn’t wrap my thick Danish head around it. I championed his movies, loved him as a person, but at the end of the 180 pages, I sat there somewhat bewildered and felt very uncool for not getting it. I wasn’t capable of appreciating its brilliance. Then I started overthinking it. ‘Do it, do it,’ my gut screamed, but my head was confused. Cautious. I experienced a rare inability to pull the trigger.”
That Ulrich didn’t “get” the Kill Bill script is actually all that surprising; this is the dude who thought that “I Disappear” was a good idea, after all, so we already knew that he doesn’t exactly have his finger on the pulse of creatively interesting works anymore. It’s like hearing that Sean Connery turned down The Matrix but took the job in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: clearly, somewhere along the way, dude just lost touch. Of course, Connery promptly accepted that he was getting old and unhip and retired before he could do any more damage to his legacy, whereas Ulrich decided the best course of action was just to ignore Tarantino altogether:
“Over the next few weeks the whole thing fizzled out as I continued not trusting my instincts. In the end, I never got back to him.”
The revelation that Ulrich isn’t even savvy enough to not burn a bridge with a simple courtesy call is rather startling; you’d think that, by this point, any multi-millionaire businessperson would at least know a thing or two about the art of politely declining. But the fact that Ulrich was so goddamn rude as to never even e-mail the Oscar-winning filmmaker and say “Hey, thanks for the offer, I’m flattered, but I don’t think this is gonna work out, sorry,” isn’t the real kicker. No, the real cock slap to the face comes when Ulrich writes the following line (emphasis mine):
“[This was] Probably the single biggest mistake I’ve made in the creative department.”
And while I agree that turning down the opportunity to work with a visionary like Tarantino is an idiot move, I’m not convinced that passing on Kill Bill was a bigger creative misstep than writing and recording St. Anger, or, say, a recent song about James Hetfield being a table. In fact, given how brilliantly the Kill Bill films turned out, I’d say that Ulrich actually did Tarantino — and the world at large — a massive favor. If he’d accepted the gig, we’d probably be sitting here discussing a new guest column in which QT admits that “Hiring Lars Ulrich to score Kill Bill was probably the single biggest mistake I’ve made in the creative department.” At least in this version of history, Ulrich hasn’t hurt anyone but himself… and, oh yeah, the fans.