Lars Ulrich says Metallica could “mentally” continue for another 20 years, but it’s the physicality that’s “a bit of a crapshoot”

The drummer speaks to the LA Times ahead of the band’s upcoming performance at Power Trip.

Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett performing live

Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

When you purchase through affiliate links on Guitar.com, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more

Metallica have been in the game 42 years since forming in 1981 – a respectable tenure by anyone’s standards.

During those four decades, the thrash titans have released 11 studio albums – if you’re not counting their numerous live albums and EPs – so it wouldn’t be all that surprising to hear they were thinking about hanging up their instruments and calling time.

But as Lars Ulrich says in a new interview with the LA Times, they have no plans to slow down yet, at least as long as their bodies allow them to continue.

When asked about the band’s longevity – with the interviewer referencing the fact The Rolling Stones are about to put out another album Hackney Diamonds, despite its members being in their 70s and 80s – Ulrich replies: “I think mentally we could do this for another 20 years.

“It’s more about the shoulders and the necks and the throats and the fingers and the wrists – the physicality of it – whether we can just stay healthy. That is a bit of a crapshoot.”

Lars Ulrich himself is now 59, and his bandmates, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo, are 60, 60 and 58, respectively.

Elsewhere in the interview, Ulrich touches upon Metallica’s upcoming performance at Indio, California’s Power Trip festival this weekend.

The event is also set to play host to five other rock and metal heavyweights: Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Judas Priest and Tool.

“As a fan of hard rock, I’m going to be there the whole weekend and see every band,” Ulrich says. “I’m such a believer in the rock community, and we have relationships with every single one of the other bands, both as music fans and as friends.”

He continues: “We love all five of the other bands. I saw AC/DC back in Copenhagen in 1977 for the first time; we did a whole tour with them in Europe in 1991. I fell in love with Guns N’ Roses five seconds after I heard Mr. Brownstone for the first time on KNAC before the album [Appetite For Destruction] came out. We played shows with Iron Maiden in the ’80s. We played shows with Judas Priest. We played shows with Tool all over the place.

“Obviously, AC/DC, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest were huge influences. Those three bands are a significant part of the reason that we wanted to be in a band. So to get everybody together in the same space is a bit awe-inspiring.”

Related Artists


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

© 2024 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.