The Only Drummer That Can Replace Lars Ulrich In Metallica

Lars Ulrich was born on his paternal side to a family of tennis players. At the age of 16, they moved to Los Angeles to have Ulrich pursue professional training. However, Lars, fortunately, had another career plan in mind that would later leave a mark in music history. He devoted himself to playing drums and left an ad in a newspaper saying he was looking for other metal musicians to play with him. It led him to meet James Hetfield, and one of the greatest metal bands on the planet, Metallica, was born.

Ulrich, along with Hetfield, has been with Metallica since its very inception. He co-wrote with Hetfield nearly all of the band’s songs. Probably no rocker would deny that Ulrich is an integral part of Metallica’s signature sound, and it would be hard for many to imagine anyone else who could play drums for Metallica instead. However, it seems that Ulrich had someone in mind who could replace him, as he revealed in an interview with 98 Rock in 2017.

What Name Did Lars Ulrich Give To Fill In His Place In Metallica?

Metallica was initially known for its aggressive tones and fast drum tempos to match. They switched to a different style in 1991 to appeal to a broader audience. Stepping out of their comfort zone yet remaining true to themselves, they tried something different in terms of both lyrical content and musical elements in their 1991 release known as ‘Metallica,’ or ‘Black Album.’ It was quite well-received, and Lars Ulrich played all these different rhythms for the band.

In an interview with 98 Rock in 2017, he was asked if there was anyone who could replace him at Metallica. Ulrich gave a quick answer by naming AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd. Recalling the changes they made to the band’s sound during the ‘Black Album’ in 1991 and ‘Load’ in 1996, he revealed that Rudd was the person who impacted him most. He added that his bounces, riffs, feel, and groove were all among his biggest inspirations. Stating that Rudd is the person at the top of the pyramid, Ulrich said it would be cool to be able to hear him along with Hetfield’s riffs.

Here are Ulrich’s words about Phil Rudd:

“If I could pick it, if I could hear somebody drum behind Hetfield’s riffs, I’d take Phil Rudd. He’s been probably my main, biggest source of inspiration when we did the turnaway from the super-progressive stuff, the crazy stuff after ‘Justice,’ when we got into the ‘Black Album’ and the ‘Load’ stuff, when it got a little more about the bounce and the riffs and the feel and the groove and all that.

Phil Rudd, he’s the top of that pyramid. Hearing Phil Rudd play behind James, that’d be pretty cool.”

Phil Rudd had left and returned to AC/DC from time to time. After long rumors about whether he would go back after his most recent departure, his final return was confirmed in 2020. At that time, AC/DC’s new album ‘Power Up‘ had been released. Currently, no touring plans for the band have been announced. As for Metallica, it doesn’t seem to have a busy schedule either. They will play in Hollywood on November 6 and in Los Angeles on December 16.