During an appearance on the 19th episode of "The Metallica Report", the recently launched podcast offering weekly insider updates on all things METALLICA, Lars Ulrich spoke about some of the music that he has been listening to lately. The 60-year-old drummer said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I've been on two things, which is LYNYRD SKYNYRD, the heavier LYNYRD SKYNYRD songs, most of them deep cuts, one called 'On The Hunt', one called 'Cry For The Bad Man', one called 'Workin' For MCA', which may not be the deepest of cuts, 'Saturday Night Special' and a song called 'Searching'. Those five songs — incredible, deeper, heavier… People that mostly know SKYNYRD from, say, 'Free Bird', 'Sweet Home Alabama', this is sort of like the heavier, less mainstream side to them. Great, great mid-'70s, hard rock songs. Incredible drumming, singing, soloing, and those songs definitely have stood the test of time."
He continued: "The other rabbit hole I've gone down a little bit, which actually on Peloton last night, that was WARRIOR SOUL, which still have made just some incredible records. WARRIOR SOUL is underappreciated. So mostly — I mean, the record that I go back to, but a lot of their early stuff is all great, but there's an intensity and a vibe around 'The Space Age Playboys' album that came out, I think, around — what? — '94, give or take a year, and songs like 'Rocket Engines', 'Let's Get Wasted', 'The Pretty Faces', 'Rotten Soul', 'Fightin' The War', 'The Drug' — all these songs are incredible. There's a sound and a vibe on that record that still perseveres close to 30 years later, and there's an energy in that record and right in that zone between hard rock, heavy metal, but a lot of punk attitude and a lot of kind of not giving a shit and the two-finger salute and really kind of rebellious contrarian energy that that record in particular sounds as fresh today as it did a couple, three decades ago when it came out. I started going down the rabbit hole of YouTube live videos and found a clip from London where they were playing in a big club theater where they were playing…. The last one I was looking at was 'Let's Get Wasted', which is such a great track. The sync was a little off, but the music and the energy was definitely much appreciated."
Ulrich previously discussed his love of WARRIOR SOUL in a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone about his 15 favorite metal and hard rock albums, including "The Space Age Playboys". Lars said: "WARRIOR SOUL started off on Geffen Records and had the same management as us. We played a bunch of shows with them. They were dropped by Geffen, and this record came out independently in ’94.
"If you put on 'Rocket Engines', it fucking starts frenetic — it's heavy, it's punky, it's energetic. Kory Clarke, the lead singer, spits out word after word, attitude after attitude, memorable lyric line after lyric line, and it never lets up for a fucking hour or however long the record is. It just does not stop.
"On the early records, he got a little political. He's talking about Native Americans, he's talking about Charlie Manson, and he's talking about the oppressed. But on this record, it almost got punky. It was this weird fusion between punky and a little early New York glam rock, almost like [NEW YORK] DOLLS, STOOGES type of thing. If you've not heard this record, I would encourage you to find this record and check it out as soon as possible."
In a 2020 interview with Vulture, Lars said that he doesn't listen to a lot of METALLICA music. "Part of it is because I'm sort of overly analytical [about the details]," he explained. "It's basically almost impossible for me to listen to a METALLICA song without going, 'Okay, how are the sonics? How's the mix? How does the guitar sound? The vocals are too loud; the bass is too boomy.' It becomes this exercise in analytics. When you hear your favorite band — like if I listened to RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE or something, I just fucking let myself go. But when METALLICA comes on, it's, like, 'Huh?'"
METALLICA's "M72" world tour kicked off in late April in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The first leg in Europe included 10 shows across five cities, followed by a month-long hiatus for the band throughout July. The second phase of the "M72" tour saw METALLICA playing in North America, beginning with the August 4 concert in East Rutherford, New Jersey and ending on November 12 in Detroit, Michigan. After performing in Saudi Arabia for the first time ever in December, the band is currently taking a five-month break before returning to Europe for the third "M72" leg in early 2024.
METALLICA is touring in support of its latest album, "72 Seasons", which came out in April.