Enlarge Photo credit: Ralph Arvesen via Wikimedia Commons

This is How Lars Ulrich Deals with Being Called a “Sh*tty Drummer”


Lars Ulrich has taken more than his fair share of criticism for his drumming over the years. Whether you think that criticism is called for or not, you’ve got to admire the guy’s consistent ebullience and de facto role as Metallica’s main spokesperson: it just doesn’t seem to bother him!

In a recent chat with Metallica fan zine So What? — the same piece in which he opened up about James Hetfield’s return to rehab last year — Ulrich described how he deals with all of the hate that’s thrown Metallica’s way… or, more to the point, how he doesn’t:

“Unlike years ago, I basically don’t read any of the interviews that the other guys do. 20 or 30 years ago, we would all sit and fucking read every page of ‘Kerrang’ and every page of ‘Circus Magazine,’ see what so-and-so’s saying and what the other band members were saying, what James was saying about this and that. Now there’s just none of that. I also don’t really read what people say about Metallica.

“I’ll say that occasionally, once every six months or something like that, it’s kind of fun to go through the trolling section just because of the ridiculousness of all of it, but it’s not something that I do regularly anymore.

“20 years ago, it would’ve been, ‘Oh, my God, somebody said something bad,’ or, ‘That person said a nasty comment in the comments section,’ or whatever. Now, none of that really means anything to me.”

The interviewer then interjected that it pisses them off when they see someone “blathering on about Napster for the hundredth time – and getting it very wrong,” to which Ulrich responded:

“But I’m so over – I’m literally immune to it. We just did a bunch of interviews, and sometimes, if I am being interviewed by a journalist who is also a fan, they’ll say, ‘When people say Lars Ulrich is a shitty drummer, I defend you.’

“Which is cool, but I’ve got to tell you, 20 years later, 30 years later, it just doesn’t register anymore. I am so comfortable with who I am, I’m so comfortable with who Metallica is, I’m so comfortable with our place in all of it.

“I’ve got an incredible wife, three great kids, my dad and Molly, incredible friends, and lots of cool acquaintances. It’s all good. I’ve got nothing left to prove, so it just doesn’t register anymore.”

As someone who is the target of plenty of hate online, I can relate: I rarely read the MetalSucks comments anymore. What’s the point? Sorry to all our lovely commenters if that bums you out!

So What? is locked behind a fan club paywall at Metallica’s website, but you can read more excerpts from the interview at Ultimate Guitar if you like.

Metallica have stayed busy during the lockdown in a number of ways. In May, they released a semi-acoustic, reimagined version of “Blackened.” Then, in August, they hosted a pre-recorded drive-in concert at hundreds of outdoor movie theaters and just released a recording of last year’s S&M2 concert. A re-worked version of “Nothing Else Matters” is scheduled to appear in Disney’s upcoming Jungle Cruise movie starring The Rock and Emily Blunt, and the band just hosted a livestream performance for their All Within My Hands charity foundation.

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