Metallica Drummer Lars Ulrich Discusses the Band’s Enduring Success

Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Ken Settle

Metallica has been rocking it for more than 35 years, which is a huge accomplishment in the world of music and metal. Chatting in a recent interview with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff (transcribed by Blabbermouth) in conjunction with this year’s Dreamforce, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich explained that he thinks the band’s secret for enduring success is getting along at a personal level and “from a creative point of view, you have to be willing to always look ahead rather than look behind.”

“You have to turn over every rock, every stone and open your eyes, open your ears, be inspired, let those influences and all that great culture — whether it’s music, whether it’s art, whether it’s film; whatever it is — just take you, and you have to be open to letting the process take you where it’s gonna go,” he added.

For the past 35 years, Lars says Metallica has “tried to never look back when we were making records, always try to challenge ourselves and see what else was out there that could inspire us to let the music take us some place differently.”

A second reason for the band’s longstanding success, Lars says, is that the guys simply know who to work together. “When you’re in a group, when you’re in a collective, you really have to know how to work with other people,” he said.

“You have to learn empathy, you have to learn… when somebody else is steering, when you’re gonna take a backseat and when you… that balance point about it’s really important that this idea solidifies itself to somebody else in the band,” he added. “Even though I may not personally agree with it a hundred percent, in terms of the balancing points of an internal dynamic that works in a group setting, you have to just know how to work with other people.”

In other news, Metallica recently picked up a pair of Grammy nominations. The band’s track “Atlas, Rise!” is nominated in the Best Rock Song category, and their latest studio album, “Hardwired … to Self-Destruct,” is up for Best Rock Album.

Publication date: December 5, 2017

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