James Hetfield And Lars Ulrich Admit Competing For Metallica’s Leadership

While some bands have an appointed leader, others make decisions democratically. In the case of Metallica, the singer James Hetfield and the drummer Lars Ulrich have always been the prominent names responsible for the band’s inner decisions. The two Metallica members recently spoke to the New Yorker and reflected on their leadership battle.

“He was painfully shy,” Ulrich said, referring to the first time he met James Hetfield. He then recalled how they quickly formed a close bond by saying, “We instantly bonded over the fact that we were loners and outsiders and open to a best-friend relationship. Neither of us had really found who we were yet.”

Following that, Hetfield opened up about their different approaches to music and songwriting. The frontman noted, “He looks at music as a math equation; I look at it as a flowing river.” However, Papa Het thinks they complement each other thanks to their different approach to music, which enriches Metallica’s sound and opens it to new possibilities.

“Both of us were dreamers. At our best, our relationship was completely free of competitive energy or one-up-ness,” Lars Ulrich continued before reflecting on their competition over Metallica’s leadership. The drummer added, “But then when there were other people in the room, it became ‘Who is leading?’”

So, judging by Ulrich’s statements, it can be concluded that he and Hetfield have always collaborated effectively while alone since they don’t feel the need to compete with each other. However, if there are other people around them, the leadership battle between the two Metallica members begins, as they want to know who is really in charge.