LARS ULRICH's Father Talks About 'Some Kind Of Monster'

February 5, 2005

Torben Ulrich, father of METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich, recently spoke to about "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster", his own fascinating career, and what it's like to be a rock 'n' roll parent. Several excerpts from the interview follow:

Amazon: Were you disappointed that [Lars] didn't pursue tennis [as a career]?

Torben: No, no. The main thing was that he do what he thought was his choice — not our choice. But, in order for him to know that more clearly, we encouraged him to leave Denmark for a year and travel to Florida, to a place called the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. He went there when he was 13 or 14. He was very interested in tennis at that time, but he was also very interested in music. After a year he still wanted to go out and listen to the concerts and I think at the Academy they were not so keen that he stayed out, so he was reprimanded there for keeping some late hours.

Amazon: In "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster", Lars played you a possible piece for their next album, "St. Anger", and you were a little dubious about it — you said something like "delete that." Did you like the final album?

Torben: Yes, I liked it.

Amazon: Do have any favorite tracks?

Torben: Ah, no. Not particularly. But I liked bits and pieces of it, the overall approach.

Amazon: In the film, they mention that METALLICA was nicknamed "ALCOHOLICA." As a parent, did that ever worry you?

Torben: Yes, in the sense that if they took that into situations where they could get hurt... Always when you're a rock & roll parent you think that some car accident could happen. When they were in high school they would go to [a practice space] that was 45 minutes or an hour away, and then come back at 10 or 11:00. So yes, in terms of, would they make it home alive. No, in terms of being concerned so much with drinking. I certainly also have done my portion of drinking, so I'm not going to be raising any fingers in that category.

Amazon: In the filmmakers' commentary, [Bruce Sinofsky and Joe Berlinger] mentioned that you said this was not a movie, this was a film. What did you mean by that?

Torben: One thing that I thought was interesting about the film was that it started out as some kind of public relations thing. Quite often on television you would see these things about the bands, these sagas showing the bands in a glorifying way. In the sense that this went some other way — that it took, on its own, another turn than what was expected of it — that was something I thought was interesting. That particular night when I heard all this new music [for the upcoming album] at maybe 4:00 in the morning, we went away from the studio in two cars. We were going in our car to where Lars was staying, and then James and Phil — they went in [the other car]. We came to a light and James rolled the window down and was grinning and saying "Goodnight," and "See you tomorrow." Then he went that way and we turned this way and nobody saw him for a long time after that. The next day he turned himself in [to rehab]. It was certainly a surprise to all the people who were there the night before. And the film in some sense also turned on that event. So what I like about that — like I like the improvisational aspects of music and life in general — [is that] the film in some sense turned unexpectedly on itself.

Read the entire interview at this location.

(Thanks: The 4 Horsemen Website)

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