METALLICA's LARS ULRICH: 'We've Always Charted Our Own Course'

October 3, 2023

In a new interview with Los Angeles Times, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich addressed the fact that he and his bandmates never allow fan criticism to drive their decisions, especially when it comes to musical matters. "No, it's pretty much been like that since the beginning," he said. "When we started off, the kind of music we were doing didn't fit into what was going on on the Sunset Strip in 1982. Everyone disregarded us. When the intro of 'Fade To Black' played on the 'Ride The Lightning' album [in 1984] there was a whole shit storm about how dare we have an acoustic guitar on a so-called thrash metal album. It's been like that for 40-plus years.

"We've always charted our own course," he explained. "We all lived in this world that was not accepted by the mainstream. We were all just looking for something to belong to. Being an only child, I didn't have anything to hang on to. So being in a band, being with James [Hetfield, METALLICA frontman], being part of a scene of like-minded outcasts and misfits gave me a sense of belonging and a sense of identity. My path will be forever tied to METALLICA's path. It's the only path that I've ever been on."

Ulrich also talked about his band's participation in the upcoming Power Trip festival, which will take place this weekend at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. The historic three-day event set for October 6, 7 and 8 will bring together six iconic bands that define loud and powerful music: GUNS N' ROSES and IRON MAIDEN (Friday, October 6),AC/DC and JUDAS PRIEST (Saturday, October 7) and METALLICA and TOOL (Sunday, October 8).

"We love all five of the other bands," he said. "I saw AC/DC back in Copenhagen in 1977 for the first time; we did a whole tour with them in Europe in 1991. I fell in love with GUNS N' ROSES five seconds after I heard 'Mr. Brownstone' for the first time on KNAC before the [1987 debut] album came out. We played shows with IRON MAIDEN in the '80s. We played shows with JUDAS PRIEST. We played shows with TOOL all over the place. Obviously, AC/DC, IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST were huge influences. Those three bands are a significant part of the reason that we wanted to be in a band. So to get everybody together in the same space is a bit awe-inspiring."

JUDAS PRIEST was added to the Power Trip lineup in July in the slot originally reserved for Ozzy Osbourne.

This past July, Ozzy canceled his appearance at Power Trip due to his ongoing health issues.

Power Trip will mark AC/DC's first concert since September 2016, when the band concluded a run of U.S. dates with GUNS N' ROSES' Axl Rose on vocals while frontman Brian Johnson recovered from hearing loss.

METALLICA previously performed at the Empire Polo Grounds in 2011 as part of the West Coast installment of the "Big Four" event, also featuring ANTHRAX, MEGADETH and SLAYER.

The similarly named Desert Trip festival was held in 2016 and featured performances by THE ROLLING STONES, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and THE WHO. That event was reportedly the single most lucrative music festival in American history, having grossed $160 million.

This unique night-time desert setting with unmatched concert production will amplify the experience beyond the traditional stadium or parking lot concert norm with three double-billed headlining performances. This is the most rocking lineup to ever perform in an unparalleled location for heavy music audiences looking for an unforgettable weekend escape.

Three-day General Admission tickets start at $599 plus fees, or turn the volume up with The Pit, Reserved Floor, Grandstand Seating options, and various VIP packages. More information is available on

METALLICA completed the first North American swing of "M72" world tour September 9 in Glendale, Arizona. The band will play Power Trip before "M72" resumes with its next "No Repeat Weekend" taking place November 3 and 5 at the Dome at America's Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

METALLICA's latest album, "72 Seasons", sold 146,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in its first week of release to land at position No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. It marked the band's 12th Top 10-charting album, of which eight have reached the top two.

"72 Seasons" had the biggest week for any rock or hard rock album since TOOL's "Fear Inoculum" arrived in September 2019 with 270,000 equivalent album units.

Photo credit: Tim Saccenti

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