LARS ULRICH On METALLICA's Enduring Popularity: 'It's Crazy, The Dedication And The Support From The Fans Over The Years'
August 4, 2023
In a brand new interview with Jim Kerr of New York's Q104.3 radio station, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich spoke about the band's longevity and multigenerational appeal. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It's pretty surreal, honestly. 42 years in, it's pretty crazy. And it's still, and I've said this a thousand times, and people that follow us probably roll their eyes every time the following comes out of my mouth, but it still feels like we're just getting started and it still feels like we are just trying to figure it all out and we keep threatening, at least to people around us, that we may actually turn professional at some point soon. But it's crazy, the dedication and the support from the fans over the years. And, obviously, it's not all the same fans. There's a whole revolving door, and especially in the wake of, say, a phenomena like 'Stranger Things' last summer [Editor's note: Lars is referring to one of the most viral moments of 'Stranger Things' season four, the scene where Eddie Munson, played by Joseph Quinn, played a guitar solo of METALLICA's 'Master Of Puppets' during the finale of the hit Netflix show], there's a whole new, young generation that are showing up at all the shows, and I'm getting recognized by 10-year-olds on the street. And so it's pretty crazy that 42 years into this ride that that's still happening and it's pretty crazy the shows we have here this weekend at MetLife are the biggest shows we've ever played in the greater New York, Jersey, tri-state area. So the fact that that keeps sort of continue to grow and certainly post-COVID, that there's this kind of excitement, admiration, appreciation for live music and that everybody's out celebrating life and togetherness and so on is a crazy thing."
Ulrich continued: "For a lot of years, in our twenties and thirties, we were full of piss and vinegar, as they say, and probably never slowed down long enough to take any of it in, as one doesn't when one just keeps cruising at that speed, but now in our advanced ages here, even though we still feel, we still feel [very young], it's amazing that there's still this love for heavy music and for what we do. The difference now, compared to, say, 20, 30 years ago, is that we slow down long enough to take it in and appreciate the love, appreciate the generosity of the fans and the interaction and how fortunate we all are sharing music and to be able to still feel that we're out here, and like I said before, we still connect with fans at the level that we're connecting and we still have a level of sort of music and a level of, I guess, intensity and can go up and feel that we're delivering the goods to the level that we still can share that and feel good about what we're doing."
Last month, METALLICAput out a casting call for "superfans" of the band to possibly appear in an upcoming documentary.
The filmmakers are looking for "big personalities, unique characters and unexpected stories from METALLICA fans who consider METALLICA to be their favorite band, real 'Fifth Member' types. All stories and walks of life are welcome and encouraged to reach out."
The documentary is reportedly being produced by METALLICA and Mercury Studios, powered by Universal Music Group.
Earlier this year, Ulrich credited the use of "Master Of Puppets" in "Stranger Things" with creating a whole new generation of METALLICA fans.
As a result of the song's appearance in the show, "Master Of Puppets" — the title track of METALLICA's 1986 album — went on to top of the iTunes Rock Chart and crack the Spotify Top 50.
Ulrich told Japan's TVK: "I'm just so happy that hard music and hard rock still has a place. To see so many young people connecting with music again. . . I can see it my kids; I can see it, in the last nine months, the 'Stranger Things' phenomenon of so many young kids discovering 'Master Of Puppets' and that being a gateway to maybe more METALLICA music or to more heavy music or heavy rock music."
Lars went on to say that the possibility for METALLICA's music to reach a new audience seems endless.
"I see that there's still so much, all over the world, a coming of age when kids are 12, 13, 14 years old, to get into music and for us to be part of that discovery is an incredible thing," he explained.
In 2016, Ulrich told Vice that he and his bandmates don't make a concerted effort to bring in new fans or win over naysayers whenever they release a new album. "I mean, we are all aware kind of aware of the fact of how wide the net is cast," he said. "And like I said, most things that I see in the world is in grays, so it's pretty easy with this stuff. So 40-year-olds, 50-year-olds, 30-year-olds, 20-year-olds, teens, it's fine. We don't go out of our way to do one thing more than the other. I think that there still there seems to be a rite of passage for 13 and 14-year-old boys and in lots of places around the world. There are still a lot of young kids. When I occasionally check our social media, I can tell that a lot of them are younger, which is cool. So I think we got a pretty good balance. There are certain places like in Scandinavia, they're really young and there is like 14-year-old girls down in the front row. Sometimes parents bring their kids, or kids bring their parents. It's fun."
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