Lars Ulrich Reveals Who He Thought Could Steal His Metallica Job


Lars Ulrich was recently on Talk is Jericho, and discussed his fearing he might lose his Metallica job when Dave Lombardo filled in for him. Alternative Nation transcribed his comments.

Host Chris Jericho said he’d heard the bootlegs when Ulrich couldn’t perform, “It’s not great, it’s not Metallica.”

Ulrich responded, “Thank you for saying that. I have to say that lying in a hospital room in Hamburg, Germany while Dave Lombardo was up on stage, that was not one of life’s most fun moments. It’s like, uh, OK. I was on the phone with James, ‘James, if I leave now I’ll find a plane, I’ll be there in a couple hours.’ James was like, ‘Just get some chill time, stay in bed, your need to recover and recuperate, and get whatever it is that’s going on out of your body, and I’ll see you in two days.’”

Jericho said he must have feared he would lose his gig.

Ulrich sarcastically remembered saying, “‘James man, I’m coming!’”

“It all just caught up to me. Just stop in your tracks and lay the fuck down, chill the fuck out, and we’ll get back to you in a couple days.”

He also discussed his drumming style.

“I went through a period that probably culminated in the Justice album, where I felt sort of compelled to try and show ability. When you’ve got [Slayer drummer] Dave Lombardo and [Anthrax drummer] Charlie Benante breathing down your neck, I tried to step it up a bit, and do my own thing, and do some crazy shit. I would come up with drum riffs and drum ideas, that James would write guitar riffs too, like Justice For All, but I was trying really hard to push the drums into the foreground. After a year or two of that I was like, seriously, just do your thing, chill out, support the riffs, just do what’s best for the song.

So since around the late 80’s, the only thing that’s really interested me is just doing the best thing for the song. Sitting and doing kind of the Phil Rudd 4×4, when it calls for that, is really what I love to do, to make James’ riffs swing, and make it kind of bounce. I kind of turned a corner, where I stopped being interested in doing 32 standing upside down, backwards, fucking Lombardo style. Let Lombardo be Lombardo, and I’ll just kind of do my own thing.”