Artist News

Kirk Hammett admits mid-1980s tensions with Lars Ulrich

By | Published on Tuesday 17 November 2015


When you think of Metallica, you think of Lars Ulrich. I mean, don’t you? Yes, you do. It’s impossible to imagine the band without him and his clunky drumming. And yet, back in the mid-1980s, tensions with his bandmates could have seen him sacked. And then who would have done all those interviews defending their Glastonbury booking?

Claims that Ulrich once came close to being sacked by the group have been made in the past by Megadeth frontman (and former Metallica guitarist) Dave Mustaine, and also by Anthrax’s Scott Ian in his autobiography.

And now, in a recent interview with US radio station PYX 106, reported by Blabbermouth, one of Ulrich’s actual current bandmates, guitarist Kirk Hammett, has admitted that there were tensions back in the 80s. Even if he then immediately tried to play down said tensions.

He said: “I think at one point or another, we were pissed off at Lars, around maybe 1985 or something. We were unhappy and we might have grumbled something to someone. And then that person might have picked up on it and made it something a lot bigger than it actually was”.

“To be completely honest, [Lars] has a lot of drive, and that’s a part of the reason why I love the man”, he added. “His drive and his motivation is just so intense, you know”.

I’m reading that as, “He is my friend, but he is fucking annoying”. And given that the members of Metallica seemingly have gripes with each other most of the time, remembering a specific period of tension in 1985 probably means it was quite bad.

In other news, the band will probably release a new album next year, but Hammett “can’t really put any sort of markers on how far we are along” with making it. “As it stands right now, we’re trudging away at it”, he said, which makes it sound like a really fun record.