Tag: Lars Ulrich

  • Drummers Remember Ronnie James Dio

    Metal legend Ronnie James Dio succumbed to stomach cancer on Sunday, and well-deserved tributes and remembrances have been pouring in over the e-wires ever since.

    Lars Ulrich posted an open letter to RJD on Metallica’s website:

    Dear Ronnie,

    I just got off stage in Zagreb. I was met with the news that you’ve passed on. I’m kind of in shock, but I wanted you to know that you were one of the main reasons I made it onto that stage to begin with. When I first saw you in Elf, opening for Deep Purple in 1975, I was completely blown away by the power in your voice, your presence on stage, your confidence, and the ease with which you seemed to connect to 6000 Danish people and one starry-eyed 11 year old, most of whom were not familiar with Elf’s music. The following year, I was so psyched when I heard the results of you joining forces with my favorite guitar player. You guys sounded so right for each other and I instantly became Rainbow’s #1 fan in Denmark. In the fall of 1976, when you played your first show in Copenhagen, I was literally in the front row and the couple of times we made eye contact you made me feel like the most important person in the world. The news that you guys were staying in town on your day off somehow embedded itself in my brain and I made the pilgrimage to the Plaza Hotel to see if I could somehow grab a picture, an autograph, a moment, anything. A few hours later you came out and were so kind and caring… pictures, autographs and a couple minutes of casual banter. I was on top of the world, inspired and ready for anything. Rainbow came to Copenhagen a couple more times over the next few years and each time you guys blew my mind, and for a good three years were my absolute favorite band on this planet. Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to run into you a half dozen times or so and each time you were as kind, caring and gracious as you were in 1976 outside the hotel. When we finally got a chance to play together in Austria in 2007, even though I may not have let on, I was literally transformed back to that little snot nosed kid who you met and inspired 31 years earlier and it was such a fucking honor and a dream come true to share a stage with you and the rest of the legends in Heaven and Hell. A couple of weeks ago when I heard that you were not going to be able to make it to the Sonisphere shows that we would be sharing this June, I wanted to call you and let you know that I was thinking of you and wish you well, but I kind of pussied out, thinking the last thing you needed in your recovery was feeling obligated to take a phone call from a Danish drummer/fan boy. I wish I’d made that call. We will miss you immensely on the dates, and we will be thinking of you with great admiration and affection during that run. It seemed so right to have you out on tour with the so-called “Big Four” since you obviously were one of the main reasons that the four bands even exist. Your ears will definitely be burning during those two weeks because all of us will be talking, reminiscing and sharing stories about how knowing you has made our lives that much better.

    Ronnie, your voice impacted and empowered me, your music inspired and influenced me, and your kindness touched and moved me. Thank you.

    Much love,


    Megadeth drummer Shawn Drover also posted this tribute:

    I am at an absolute loss right now upon hearing that Ronnie has passed away. I had the pleasure of touring both Canada and America in 2007 when Megadeth toured with “Heaven and Hell” (Black Sabbath in my eyes) and I swear to you he is 1 of the nicest human beings I have ever met, period. Many a night on that tour, Glen and myself would have amazing conversation’s with Ronnie about his career, etc. fully knowing he had probably told these stories 10,000 times to people and yet he answered every question I had with a big smile. I can recall so many times making eye contact with Glen sharing the exact same thought – “Dude, I can’t believe we are hanging with RONNIE JAMES DIO!!!!!” If you are lucky enough in your lifetime to actually meet 1 of your idols (let alone tour with them) and they turn out to be even nicer than you could have envisioned, that is something you would truly treasure. Lucky for me, I will cherish those memories forever.

    Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante said:

    The first time I heard Ronnie James Dio, I thought he was a larger person, because the voice was so huge!….It was Rainbow and I was a fan of his from then on. ‘Man on the Silver Mountain,’ ‘Heaven and Hell,’ ‘Rainbow in the Dark.’ The songs are endless. The sound of his voice with those bands was always so perfect….It was his God-given instrument. He was true metal and the creator of the metal hand sign. He was divine.

    And Mike Portnoy added from his Twitter account:

    Looks like Dime, Randy, Cliff and Bonzo just scored the ultimate singer….this is one of the saddest days in metal ever…. : (

    Mike also posted this great pic of him and Ronnie.

  • Lars Ulrich Asked for New Tama Color

    We’ve already posted several pics of Lars Ulrich’s signature kit, and now we got the goods on how its color came about.

    [Press Release]

    Metallic drummer Lars Ulrich wanted a new color in his life. More specifically he wanted a new orange finish for his set for the Death Magnetic tour.” And not just any orange,”said Terry Bissette of Tama.” Lars Ulrich was very specific that he wasn’t looking for something we already had, such as our Marigold Sparkle or anything like that. Our people in LA and Japan worked with Lars for a while before we came up with just the right shade to match what he was looking for.” That finish went on to grace Lars’s kit for the tour. Fortunately, for Tama and Metallica drumming fans, Lars Ulrich was willing to share.

    For 2009, that special orange finish, now named “LU Magnetic Orange” for both the tour and drummer, is now an available finish for Tama’s Starclassic maple series. Drummer’s can re-create Lars’s tour kit, or choose from any of the staggering number of diameters and depths available in the Starclassic maple series.

  • Lars Ulrich Signature Drum Kit

    It always happens this way. Before every NAMM show, I plan and plot and map out my strategy for hitting every drum booth in a methodical and efficient manner. But as soon as the doors are thrown open and I get that smell of new gear in both nostrils, I immediately run to whatever big and shiny drum kit I see first. This time, it was Tama that grabbed me by the balls with a Lars Ulrich signature set. Here are some teaser pics before we get the full gallery on Flickr up.

    [Update: Our complete Tama gallery is now available here. It includes thirteen photos of the Lars Ulrich signature set.]

  • Kip Winger Doesn’t Think Lars Is Very Talented

    Remember Winger, that much derided eyeliner band from the ’80s who scored big with “Seventeen” and had the awesome Rod Morgenstein on drums? Well, Kip Winger, the band’s ballet-dancing front man, recently gave an interview to Metal Sludge in which he spoke quite candidly to a dude dressed in a banana suit. When asked the last time he threw darts at a photo of Lars Ulrich (a reference to Lars chucking pointy projectiles at a photo of Kip in a scene from A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica), the Kipster said:

    I’ve never done that. I really never had anything against the guy. In fact, when I first heard Metallica’s Black Album, I thought it was a really cool record… and then they just started taking shots at me, for whatever reason. But it’s okay, Lars is not really that talented. He’s got a lot of fucking money, though, so I’m sure he’s happy. I actually felt sorry for him when I saw that Some Kind of Monster documentary. He was sitting there next to his dad, just seething with unmoved emotion over things that were still unresolved. It was really kind of sad to watch. But I do like Metallica, they’re a good band.

    Old dude fight! Old dude fight!

    [via Metal Sucks]

  • Lars Ulrich Talks Mullets and Orgies

    You know, we’re really up on this whole new media, Web journalism thing, but somehow we missed this fabulous Lars Ulrich interview that was published a whole 18 days ago. It consists entirely of fan questions, good ones like “Your girlfriend, Connie Nielsen, is smokin’ hot. Is she with you more for your money or your fame?” and “You once joked that Metallica’s video collection should’ve been called 15 Years of Bad Haircuts. Who has rocked the all-time worst do?” Our favorite, though, has got to be this one:

    When you toured with Guns N’ Roses in 1992, what was the most batshit insane thing you saw Axl Rose do?

    Axl’s a friend, and I don’t want to compromise that. But as for “fun” crazy: He wrote his [half] brother, Stuart, a $25,000 check every day to throw these lavish theme parties. It was like, we’re in Indianapolis, so there were Formula One cars everywhere, with all the girls dressed up in pit-crew uniforms. It was decadence at the highest level I’d ever seen, a Caligula kind of outlandishness. There were orgies, sure. Was I involved? Yes. Well, I was in the same room—we’ll leave it at that.

  • Lars Ulrich Vidcast

    Headbanger’s Ball turns 20 years old, and we get the present: a 14-minute vid interview with his Larsness. He chats a little bit about the Ball, how the video for “One” introduced the MTV generation to Metallica, and (of course) the pretty positive critical reception to the band’s latest album. Money quote: “I’m psyched that people give a shit.”

    [Update 2022: Balls. As in nut sack. The vid no longer exists on MTV’s site.]

  • Buy Lars Ulrich’s Basquiat…

    …if your bank account has bunches and bunches of zeros to spare. The Metallica drummer will be auctioning a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, “Untitled (Boxer)”, at Christie’s on November 12. The record for a Basquiat work is currently $14 million, but auctioneers are anticipating that “Boxer” will go for a whole lot more. Not that it’s all about the money, of course. Ulrich said:

    As a collector I view myself as a caretaker of works of art, rather than simply an owner. I have been fortunate enough to have shared 10 great years with this truly iconic painting by Basquiat, and it is time to put it back into circulation, and let someone else enjoy it as much as I have over the last decade.

    So very kind.

  • Does the Sound Quality of Metallica’s New Album Suck?

    A whole lot of fans think so (nearly 13,000 so far have petitioned to have Death Magnetic remastered…and you know how goddamn lazy people are about activism), but Lars predictably disagreed yesterday on Blender‘s blog:

    Listen, there’s nothing up with the audio quality. It’s 2008, and that’s how we make records. [Producer] Rick Rubin’s whole thing is to try and get it to sound lively, to get it to sound loud, to get it to sound exciting, to get it to jump out of the speakers. Of course, I’ve heard that there are a few people complaining. But I’ve been listening to it the last couple of days in my car, and it sounds fuckin’ smokin’.

    Somebody told me about people complaining that the Guitar Hero version of Death Magnetic sounds better. Listen, what are you going to do? A lot of people say [the CD] sounds great, and a few people say it doesn’t, and that’s OK.

    You gotta remember, when we put out …And Justice for All, people were going, ‘What happened to these guys, this record? There’s no bass on it. It sounds like it was recorded in a fuckin’ garage on an eight-track.’ And now …And Justice for All is sort of the seminal Metallica record that supposedly influenced a whole generation of death-metal bands.

    The difference between back then and now is the Internet. The Internet gives everybody a voice, and the Internet has a tendency to give the complainers a louder voice. Listen, I can’t keep up with this shit. Part of being in Metallica is that there’s always somebody who’s got a problem with something that you’re doing: ‘James Hetfield had something for breakfast that I don’t like.’ That’s part of the ride.

    I will say that the overwhelming response to this new record has exceeded even our expectations as far as how positive it is. So I’m not gonna sit here and get caught up in whether [the sound] ‘clips’ or it doesn’t ‘clip.’ I don’t know what kind of stereos these people listen on. Me and James [Hetfield] made a deal that we would hang back a little and not get in the way of whatever Rick’s vision was. That’s not to put it on him – it’s our record, I’ll take the hit, but we wanted to roll with Rick’s vision of how Metallica would sound.

  • Lars Ulrich Doesn’t Do Cocaine…

    At least not anymore. He also doesn’t hate Dave Mustaine, though that’s probably just because MegaDave tends to be so freakin’ ridiculous:

    I keep coming back to the statistics, which are interesting: he’s never played on a Metallica record, he was in the band for 10 months, 25 years ago! That’s an amazing statistic when you think about it, and still Metallica is such a prominent part of his existence. That’s just mind-blowing, because he has made some of the best heavy metal records of all time. It blows my mind.

  • Lars Ulrich Talks About Covering Iron Maiden

    If you’re anything like Web-worshiping us, you probably let your U.K. magazine subscriptions expire long ago. Who needs the overseas shipping charges, not to mention all that extra paper?

    Well, dear thumpers, that was a big, stupid-ass mistake because the upcoming issue of Kerrang! will include a CD of Iron Maiden cover tunes performed by Metallica, Machine Head, Trivium, Avenged Sevenfold, Dream Theater, and lots of shreddin’ others. How cool is that? According to Lars Ulrich, about 10% cooler than you first thought:

    Iron Maiden are 10 percent cooler than every other band….From their relationship with their fans, to their album covers to their stages, to their live presentation, to their photos—whatever they did was always cooler than what everyone else did! I have always had an incredible amount of respect and admiration for them and obviously getting a chance to be part of this CD feels like that has come a full circle. We played “Remember Tomorrow” as it was basically the blueprint for songs like “Fade To Black” and “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)”, and some of the more epic ballady type of songs that Metallica had done later. We had so much fun jamming with this! We put a bit of an intro on it, to give it a bit of a Metallica stamp, and we are super pleased with how it has turned out.

  • Lars Ulrich Interview With Rolling Stone

    Of course this would happen. We spend a few days unplugged in Seattle, and the whole friggin’ ‘Net explodes with great drumming news. Case in point: Rolling Stone‘s recently posted interview with Lars Ulrich. In it, the Metallica drummer talks about the future of brick-and-mortar record stores, why music video games are fucking awesome, and how the band may one day release and distribute music through the Web. Ulrich says:

    We want to be as free a players as possible. We’ve been observing Radiohead and Trent Reznor and in twenty-seven years or however long it takes for the next record, we’ll be looking forward to everything in terms of possibilities with the Internet.

    Really? Did Lars just hint at a name-your-price option for downloading a Metallica album?…Did the rulers of the recording industry just take a collective crap in their bohemian-chic designer pants?

  • Lars Ulrich Don’t Lie

    New Metallica is on the way, and Ulrich has spoken a little bit about it to Revolver. Apparently (and somewhat miraculously), producer Rick Rubin has the guys returning to the kick-ass sound, energy, and drumming (!) of albums like Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets.

    So does that mean we’re going to feel metal up our collective ass? Here’s what Lars had to say:

    I hate to be that specific, because six months from now people are gonna go, “What the f***? Lars lied to us!” But it feels that way to me.