October 8, 2021

In a recent interview with "I Ask No One With Kevin Re LoVullo", Billy Idol's longtime guitarist Steve Stevens offered his opinion on METALLICA, both in terms of the band's musicianship and its influence on the heavy metal genre as a whole. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I think they're the next generation's BLACK SABBATH, as far as what they contributed and their impact and their uniqueness and willingness to do what was not the norm. And that's always the way you get the greats, as people go, 'Yeah, we're not gonna do it the way it's been done before.' And James's [Hetfield] riffs…

"Sometimes people say, 'Well, Lars [Ulrich] is not the most technical drummer.' But the thing is great drummers write great parts. There's two ways to go — you can concentrate on the technical ability and keep a straight beat, or whatever, but then there's a guy like Lars who really, obviously, is a co-writer. But he's really listening to what James is doing, and he's translating those guitar parts to the drums and orchestrating them. And I think that's what makes a great drummer, because some of those drum parts, they're really inventive. I happen to think he's a great drummer — for that reason. And he's also a band leader that brought that band to incredible heights."

Steve added: "So, man, I've got nothing but respect for those guys — every one of them. And I knew [bassist] Robert Trujillo, I had jammed with before, and he's a monster. When he joined the band, it was, like, 'Okay, they got the right guy.'"

Ulrich spoke about his unique way of playing drums in a 2018 interview with Polar Music Prize. He stated at the time: "To me, it's always about the song and the band first. And the drums, or the guitars, or whatever else is going on, is just part of the big picture. So what you always have to do is you have to check your ego at the door and do what's best for the song, for the music, for the overall sound.

"What's always the most interesting to me about drumming is how do you fit the drums into what else is going on?" he continued. "How does it work [with] accents and special hits and kind of things that make it more rhythmic or more dynamic or just add a kind of a physicality to it?

"I've never been very interested in ability. 'Oh, wow! This guy is so great!' Yeah, he's so great, but it doesn't mean that he can make it swing, or it doesn't mean that he can make it work within a group or a collective.

"As much as I grew up on people like Ian Paice from DEEP PURPLE, who obviously has a lot of ability, I also love people like Phil Rudd [AC/DC] and Charlie Watts [THE ROLLING STONES], who [have] certainly ability, but, I think, to a lot of purists, maybe not so much, because they're not as technical," Lars added. "But they have a different kind of ability that, to me, is as valuable and as precious and as important in that they make it swing, they make it move, it gives it that physicality that it needs.

"I've always just looked at drums as more of a group instrument. I've never been very interested in playing drums by myself — you know, sitting down in a basement, practicing drum solos for hours at a time, that's not my thing. So being in a band, writing songs, making records, being part of a gang, being part of a band, that's always fascinated me."

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 about 15 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."

Find more on Metallica
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).