Metallica Drummer Lars Ulrich on the Importance of Touring


Story by Anne Erickson

Metallica has figured out a way to keep their major tours manageable

Any metal band will tell you that playing live is an extremely important part of the business, and Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich echoes that belief. Speaking with Newsweek, Ulrich talks about Metallica’s heavy touring schedule and why the guys like it that way.

“Not only do we tour a lot on the back of records but we also tour even when there’s no records,” Ulrich said. “Touring is obviously an important thing for us — to get out and run away with the rock and roll circus, and increasingly now, with more of the far corners of the world opening up in terms of infrastructure and production elements. So there are more places you can play and more countries you can visit.”

Ulrich added that the Metallica crew find a way to play their own festival and shows “in a way that’s tolerable.” In essence, they don’t go for too long without seeing their loved ones.

“We do it in two-week increments so we never leave home for more than two weeks and no one goes off the deep end or loses their mind,” he explained. “You minimize the risk of the whole thing derailing into the black abyss. We managed to get a functioning, balancing dynamic.”

He added, “We never feel like we’re away from our domestic situations for too long. It’s working for us. For me, getting out there, I’d say in my day the two hours onstage is the safest place. There’s no one to bug me. I’m the captain of my own ship up there and the best thing in the world is those two hours up on stage.”

Metallica is currently on the road, playing a North America stadium tour, and armed with a new album, “Hardwired…to Self-Destruct.”

Photo credit: Herring Herring



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