Lars Ulrich On Having Regrets About Metallica’s Past
Metallica’s YouTube channel recently shared the full video of Lars Ulrich‘s So What! interview, which included the drummer speaking of having regrets about the band’s past records. In the chat, while answering a question about whether, after decades in the industry, he reached ‘a point of comfort he didn’t have before,’ Ulrich explained:
“I think that’s fair to say. In this moment, yeah, I guess I’m very content with where it’s all sitting right now, and I’m also very content with where it’s been sitting in the past, but I guess the idea of somehow… I mean regret. Regret is an interesting word because there’s so much weight in that. I think as human beings, you can’t ‘not regret’ things that you’ve done in the past. But regret does not necessarily equate [to the fact] that you wished you had changed it.”
Referring to two of Metallica’s most criticized records, he detailed:
“So, if, as an experiment, you say, ‘What do you think of the sound of ‘…And Justice for All?” Then there’s 5,000 different opinions about how the record sounds, and then you sit and go, ‘Do you regret this, or do you regret that?’ But you can’t have ‘The Black Album,’ the way ‘The Black Album’ is and came to be, without the choices that were made on the ‘…And Justice for All’ album. You can’t have ‘Death Magnetic’ and the choices that were made on that record without ‘St. Anger.’ So, it’s all tethered together in a way that makes it a useless conversation at some point. Because everything is part of a bigger picture. And I guess I am very good at accepting the journey…”
The Relation Between Past Albums And ’72 Seasons’
Ulrich touched upon this matter a few more times in the same interview. Talking in the context of another question about the recording sessions of the band’s latest album, ’72 Seasons,’ he explained the effect of each record on the next one by saying:
“The interesting thing about this record is also – and this kind of dawned upon me as I was doing interviews for ’72 Seasons’ in the spring – that every record, through no choice of your own, is always related to the previous record. If you like the previous record, that affects where you’re going with the next record. If you don’t like the previous record, that affects where you’re going with the next record. So, in terms of the lineage of the records, the next record is always tethered to the previous record in some way, shape, or form.”
The drummer specifically named ‘Hardwired’ as Metallica’s starting point in this record while giving details about its creation. He also revealed that the band made use of technology with computers and Zoom sessions throughout the recording process, which took place during the pandemic.
Mentioning his happiness with what came out of that period, Ulrich commented:
“We’ve played eight of these songs live, [and they’re] super fun to play. I think all eight songs that we played live are connecting with the audience, with the fans, maybe a few of them slightly at a deeper level than others. We’re digging what we’re doing, and as I said, the easy way to sum it up is that there are no radical red flags.”
You can watch the drummer’s full interview in the video below.