LARS ULRICH Was 'Flipping' Out After Seeing SEPULTURA's ELOY CASAGRANDE Play
December 22, 2021
In a recent interview with RadioactiveMike Z, host of the 96.7 KCAL-FM radio program "Wired In The Empire", SEPULTURA frontman Derrick Green spoke about crossing paths with the members of METALLICA over the years. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We did a tour of South America with them, which was phenomenal. And I think they were going through a lot of stuff at that time with a lot of issues and stuff, so we didn't really get to chat with them that much. But then we did some other shows with them in Brazil and I think they were in a healthier place, and it was fantastic. They were hanging out. James [Hetfield, METALLICA guitarist/vocalist] would come by the dressing room or Kirk [Hammett, METALLICA guitarist] — all those guys — Robert [Trujillo, METALLICA bassist]… They were just always so friendly and great. And we got to play with them a few other times, like at Rock In Rio in Portugal. And that's when we had our, I guess you can say new drummer at the time, Eloy Casagrande, who's with us now, and Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer] was just flipping on him, watching him play. [He was saying], 'Man, this kid is incredible.' That was an amazing time hanging out with them. They invited us for dinner after the show. And it's been growing. Since then, every time seeing them, it's better and better. They're great to tour with, [they have a] great crew. The professionalism is formidable. It's this incredible machine that works together. And I love it. Those guys are amazing. I love to see them do well."
Casagrande joined SEPULTURA in 2011 as the replacement for Jean Dolabella.
Last year, Ulrich said that he is no longer bothered by people's criticism of his drumming abilities. Speaking to METALLICA's So What! fan-club magazine, the Danish-born musician said: "I've got to tell you, 20 years later, 30 years later, it just doesn't register anymore. I am so comfortable with who I am, I'm so comfortable with who METALLICA is, I'm so comfortable with our place in all of it. I've got an incredible wife, three great kids, my dad and [his partner] Molly, incredible friends, and lots of cool acquaintances. It's all good. I've got nothing left to prove, so it just doesn't register anymore."
Back in 2016, Ulrich, who has gotten a lot of flak over the years from people who accused him of being a poor drummer, told the "Talk Is Jericho" podcast that he went through a period in the mid-1980s "that probably culminated in the '…[And] Justice [For All]' album where I felt sort of compelled to try to show ability."
According to Lars, part of the reason for him feeling insecure about his abilities was the increased competition from some of his peers.
"Listen, when you've got Dave Lombardo and Charlie Benante breathing down your back, it was, like, 'Okay, I've gotta…' I tried to step it up a little bit and tried to do my own thing and do all this crazy shit," he said. "I was trying really hard to push the drums kind of into the foreground. And then, after like a year or two of that, I was, like, 'Okay. Seriously? Just do your thing. Chill out. Support the riffs. Do what's best for the song.' So since around I guess the late '80s — so I guess it's been, like, 25 years now — the only thing that's really interested me is just doing the best thing for the song."
Asked in a 2008 interview with U.K.'s Rhythm magazine if he was troubled by the fact that he's gotten a lot of flak over the years from people who accused him of being a poor drummer, Lars said: "It used to, back in the day — and I spent a lot of time overcompensating for that on the early records. But then you wake up one day and you're like, whatever. It hasn't bothered me for [many] years. I'm no Joey Jordison, I'm no Mike Portnoy, and I have nothing but love and respect and admiration for all those guys. When I hear some of the young dudes, they blow my mind with what they can do with their feet and stuff — but it's not something that makes me go, 'I need to feel better about myself so I'm gonna learn how to do what they do with my feet.' I'm not a particularly accomplished drummer but I am very, very, very good at understanding the role of the drums next to James Hetfield's rhythm guitar. I guarantee you I'm the best guy in the world for that, and that's enough for me!"
Ulrich stated about his playing ability in a 2012 interview with DRUM! magazine: "I usually feel like I've regressed. [Laughs] I'm like, 'Why can't I do that anymore?'" He continued: "I can't say that I necessarily sit down to practice, like, 'I'm going to play and practice so I can get better.' What happens is that I just sit down and kind of play to just more stay in shape."
Ulrich added: "You know, METALLICA was up to two or three months off [in 2011], and I would sit down, I have an iPod next to my drums so I can play along to all kind of crazy stuff, and try to see if I can land in the same zip code of some of that stuff occasionally. But I can't say that I sit down to necessarily practice to sort of get better. For most of my stuff, it's about listening and about interpreting stuff that I'm listening to. So all the kind of sitting down and, you know, 'Now I'm going to do thirty-second-note paradiddles standing on my head — you know what I mean? I don't do that kind of stuff so much. For me it's more about the regimen of staying in shape, running every day, eating healthy, you know, being on top of that side of it."