METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich recently spoke to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about the "challenging" nature of the band's most recent studio release, "St. Anger".
"Some people were overwhelmed by it," Ulrich said about the follow-up to 1997's "Re-load". "I can see now that for people who knew METALLICA through the simpler stuff, 'St. Anger' can be a pretty challenging record. But I'm proud of it, and proud that we stuck with it and didn't pussy out. A couple times in the past when we set out to make some aggressive stuff, we kind of watered it down. I'm glad we didn't do that.
" '... And Justice for All' is one of the cornerstones of the band's career. But next to it, 'St. Anger' sounds like 'Dark Side of the Moon'. It'll be interesting to see what people think of the record five or 10 years from now. There are people who think it's just a little ahead of its time."
Ulrich also spoke about the group's current tour with GODSMACK, which kicked off earlier this month in Arizona. METALLICA's concert trek is a follow-up to last year's "Summer Sanitarium" stadium tour with LINKIN PARK and LIMP BIZKIT.
"We just about scraped even," Ulrich said of the money-losing tour. "With stadium tours, you do them for the vibe and because they're fun and because it's summer. The idea was to get some cool bands together and go out and have a good time. It had an old-school rock-festival vibe. But unless you're like the ROLLING STONES and can charge a fortune for tickets, you don't go out on a stadium tour to put your kids through college."
According to Lars, METALLICA's current show features a rotating set list of more than 40 songs.
"We do a different show every night," Ulrich told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "In the past, sometimes we'd get stuck in the sameness of it. Every night for six months, we'd play the same show. If you wanted to put a different song in there, you had to give the lighting director three days' notice so he could program it into the computer.
"Now we put together a different set list every night. It keeps it fresher for us. We've been playing songs we've never played before. We have a little practice room where we get together for about 30 minutes to fumble our way through whatever new songs we're trying to play that night." [Read more]