Lars Ulrich Refused To Join James Hetfield On Apocalyptica Project, Here’s Why

James Hetfield and Rob Trujillo collaborated with Apocalyptica for their upcoming album, ‘Play Metallica Vol. 2.’ Eicca Toppinen recently revealed that Lars Ulrich was also invited to join the project but chose not to for a ‘cool reason.’ Toppinen told Chaoszine:

“One of the coolest parts related to this whole Metallica thing was when we, of course, kept the door open for Lars to be a part of this, but after he thought about it, he declined. The reason for that was cool.”

He recalled:

“He said, ‘If Rob is there, and James is there, and you have Cliff’s bass track, then me being there as well will turn it into just Metallica. It would be all about Metallica. It has to be Apocalyptica. The focus has to be on Apocalyptica. We don’t want to take it away from you.’ For me, that was the coolest moment.”

The Finnish Band Is Happy To Work With Metallica Members

Apocalyptica’s cover of Metallica’s ‘One’ came out on May 17. The band commented on working with Hetfield and Trujillo for the song on Instagram before its release:

“For us, this is truly amazing, incredible, and most importantly such an honor! So better wait for it and pre-save the single right away, because we are 100% sure it’s going to blow your mind!”

‘Plays Metallica Vol. 2’ is a follow-up to Apocalyptica’s 1996 project ‘Plays Metallica by Four Cellos.’ The record includes a tribute to Cliff Burton with a version of ‘The Call of Ktulu’ and another piece featuring Rob Trujillo.

They Have A Couple Of Collaborations With Metallica

Trujillo also made a guest appearance on the album’s lead single, ‘The Four Horsemen.’ The track saw release in February 2024. Perttu Kivilaakso spoke of the Metallica bassist’s involvement in a chat with the DJ Force X Podcast:

“We have always had a wonderful relation with Metallica — they have been enormously supportive towards us always — but still we approached them to ask that would they agree, would it be fine for them if we make such an album. And through those conversations, actually, eventually Rob even offered that he could play something for us. And that’s an enormous, amazing feature, of course, to be treated like that. And it really, really shows respect also from their side. And we are very, very thankful for it.”

‘Plays Metallica Vol. 2’ is set for release on June 7.