Metallica’s Lars Ulrich Reacts to Drumming Criticism: I’ve Got Nothing Left to Prove
Metallica’s Lars Ulrich has nothing left to prove as a drummer. While speaking to Metallica’s So What! fan club magazine, Ulrich discussed how he’s evolved when it comes to handling criticism about his playing.
Despite his decades of work forming and growing the biggest metal band of all time, Lars Ulrich has faced mountains of criticism for his drumming technique, turning over fan names during his fight against Napster, his treatment of bandmates in the Some Kind of Monster documentary and more.
"Unlike years ago, I basically don't read any of the interviews that the other guys [in Metallica] do,” Ulrich tells the zine. “20 or 30 years ago, we would all sit and fucking read every page of Kerrang! and every page of Circus magazine, see what so-and-so's saying and what the other band members were saying, what James [Hetfield] was saying about this and that. Now there's just none of that. I also don't really read what people say about Metallica.”
“20 years ago, it would've been, 'Oh, my God, somebody said something bad,' or, 'That person said a nasty comment in the comments section,' or whatever. Now, none of that really means anything to me … It's all good. I've got nothing left to prove, so it just doesn't register anymore."
Ulrich adds, “I’m literally immune to it. We just did a bunch of interviews, and sometimes, if I am being interviewed by a journalist who is also a fan, they'll say, 'When people say Lars Ulrich is a shitty drummer, I defend you.' Which is cool, but I've got to tell you, 20 years later, 30 years later, it just doesn't register anymore.” [via Blabbermouth]
Earlier this year, Metallica producer Flemming Rasmussen looked back on recording Ride the Lightning with the band. "I thought he was absolutely useless," Rasmussen said about Ulrich to Metal Hammer. "The very first thing I asked when he started playing was, 'Does everything start on an upbeat?' And he went, 'What's an upbeat?'"
"We started telling him about beats," Rasmussen continued. "That they have to be an equal length of time between that hit, that hit and that hit, and you have to be able to count to four before you come in again. Then he could play a really good fill that nobody else had thought of doing at that time."