Lars Ulrich Considers 'Load' and 'Reload' 'Creatively On Par' With Every Other Metallica Record

"I'm very proud of those records," the drummer says.

Ultimate Guitar
Although "Load" and "Reload" are not something most fans see as the finest of Metallica's studio work, drummer Lars Ulrich would seemingly disagree, as he sees them as the group's most underappreciated releases. The drummer did admit that the image change the four-piece went through was an understandable shocker for fans at the time, but firmly concluded that the entire era was "creatively on par with everything else" the band has ever done. "I think 'Load' and 'Reload' are great records," Ulrich said during a recent Revolver magazine interview. "They are creatively on par with every other record we've made. Obviously, theyre bluesier records, and at that time, we were listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and AC/DC, and we had a different kind of foundation than records before or after. And I understand that there are people who couldn't quite figure out what was going on with the haircuts and the rest of it, and that's fine. "But musically, if you strip all that other stuff away, if you just listen to the 27 songs - 'Load' and 'Reload' were intended as one double-record - it's a great collection of songs that is on par with everything else that we've done creatively. But, I mean, who needs another person to sit there and argue about, you know, f--king 'Carpe Diem Baby?' They are different records, but that was the intention. [laughs] It's not like we sat there and thought we were remaking '... And Justice for All.' [laughs] We are obviously aware of that. But I think personally theres great songs on both of those records and Im very proud of those records." As far as the new Metallica record goes, the drummer didn't give too much new info, saying once again that the band is still in the early writing phase and that "there's no rush" to it. "We're in the early stages of writing, and all I can say is there are some good things lurking. It's fun. Between doing the film and the Orion Festival, we've been taking a few days here and there to shift through riffs and get all that shit done. We've got to put them into song shape and get our asses in the studio. I hope we can do that by the end of the year, maybe early next year. "2014 is a bit optimistic for the album to come out, so '15 is more realistic. But listen, there's no rush. It's gonna take what it takes." In related news, Devin Townsend reached the topic of Metallica in one of his recent interviews, saying he is confident they "have got more money than God." When asked to comment on Kirk Hammett's statement saying that the band has to tour due to financial reasons, Townsend replied: "I'm sure Metallica have got more money than God, but they have got a group of people who rely on them. They've become like a family over the years," 41-year-old tells the Irish Times. "There are lots of people who are heavily invested in the project. In order to keep the boat floating to allow them to do what they do with these people, they've got to make sure that everybody makes a living."

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    Load is a killer album. Reload isn't as good front to back, but it has some good songs. If you accept that it isn't thrash metal, and is more hard rock than anything, than you can find the true musical values in these album. If you can't see how Load is a great album than go **** yourself.
    I totally agree too! Load and Reload do have some very nice songs. They are not as heavy or trash as the other ones, but as Lars stated, that wasn't the intension.
    I think they're great. Yes, they're not thrash but they're still really good! I bet if Alice in Chains released them they'd be called masterpieces.
    To be honest, that is the problem, people always expect from them to be the best. I bet if Korn had released St. Anger instead of Metallica, it would be an album of the year.
    I think that the more interesting thing is what Devin said. Never looked at it that way. The road crew is heavily dependent of tours and if band doesn't tour they don't have regular job, and they can't really find one very quick. Never thought of Metallica as an employer... Now I do.
    Read the same thing about the Grateful Dead over the years too - they had to be constantly on the road in order to support the band "family" they were basically supporting.
    To me, those albums are like having a feel of being worn out... the stresses brought by the band's seemingly endless touring and success. They are the best albums to listen to when you are driving home from work (which I do) just to unwind and think about the day that just passed. In that feeling of weariness, you will best appreciate Load and Reload.
    Honestly I agree. The hate those albums get is ridiculous. Just a bunch of closed-minded elitist metalheads who can't get it through their thick skulls that a band might not want to play in the exact same style their entire careers. Those albums are easily Metallica at their hookiest & most accessible but I wouldn't say that's a bad thing. There's still a lot of substance to be found. It's just that they furthered their knack for catchy melodies. And while there certainly is a grunge element in a few songs, to me it sounds more like one great artist influencing another than just bandwagonning off the latest musical trend.
    There's nothing close minded about not liking an album. There is something close minded about refusing to listen to an album, about talking crap on the album without even hearing a single song, etc. But there's nothing close minded about hearing an album by band you love, and realizing "hey, this sucks!" Also, I'd advise using the word "elitist" more selectively. By talking crap on people who don't like load/reload, you're being an elitist by implying that people are better off liking an album that they don't like, than they are saying bad things about an album that they don't like.
    I have no problem with bands changing styles, but Metallica are far worse at the style on Load and Reload. The albums are also chock full of filler. There's stuff I like on both (Until It Sleeps, King Nothing, Hero Of The Day, The Unforgiven II, The Memory Remains) but mostly it's not great.
    My Last Words
    I don't really like Load or ReLoad. Does that make me a close-minded metal elitist? I think not.
    I agree, Lars. Now, why don't you prove it by actually playing some of that stuff live more often? And I don't mean just Fuel and The Memory Remains.
    The Load albums were fantastic. Not my favorite Metallica albums, but definitely contain some of my favorite Metallica songs. They're wonderful albums when you go into them without the expectation of thrash. Outlaw Torn, Fixxxer, Carpe Diem Baby, Unforgiven II, The House Jack Built, Mama Said, Where the Wild Things Are, Bleeding Me. So many good songs between those two records.
    I agree . . songs like "Ain't my Bitch" and "2 x 4" have to be some of my favorite songs
    Agreed, it's not thrash but, this May me news to some people, but not everything has to be a thrash album nor is everything good a thrash album
    I haven't listened to Load, but ReLoad is a great album. I love Metallica's 90s music.
    you haven't?? well, i'm telling you, it's worth the try, and more bluesy than ReLoad.
    I hate Lars Ulrich, I'm not even that big a fan of Metallica, but this man seems to find his entire back catalog to be credible and artistically viable, no matter what anyone says, and that's something I can definitely respect.
    I mean to upvote you and accidentally pressed downvote. I love the fact that he backs up everything he does and is proud of it because its his. Not everyone can be like that, and it takes a degree of strength for sure
    I'm pretty sick and tired of seeing people bash Metallica's later stuff. Obviously I prefer their earlier albums, but I respect a band's right to consider different directions, not to mention it was a different time. Thrash was 80's and this was the mid-nineties, after having reached the big time with the Black album they would have no doubt been under pressure to provide the newly accumulated masses with something fresh.
    Face R1pper
    Yeah and I'm also tired of people pretending that Metallica was the only thrash band to do this in the 90s. Load is pretty good compared to what many other American thrash bands were doing at the time.
    link no1
    I'm pretty sick and tired of people complaining about Metallica's non thrash albums whilst making it seem like the other bands of the big four didn't also have some questionable albums (Hip-hop Anthrax, Nu-metal Slayer) I think overall, people are just sick of the unnecessary hate against Metallica.
    I have a rule about music - new sound? New band. Metallica should have stopped calling themselves "Metallica" because they weren't even Metal anymore. Experiment all you want, but don't put the name that once meant "best of Thrash" onto sub-par hard rock. Lulu figured this out, but they really should have called everything past Black Album something else.
    Face R1pper
    That is ridiculous. With that logic Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Blue Oyster Cult, Aerosmith, and many other top tier bands would have their works split into three or more different names. If band names were meant to be synonymous with a style of music, people wouldn't bother them and would name themselves something like "California Thrash Metal Band #8".
    Ive always loved those records and i still dont understand the hate, same goes for Megadeths Risk. Where the Wild Things Are, Fixxxer (Sabbath anyone?), Bleeding me and Outlaw Torn are easily some of my favourite Metallica songs overall as they have always been.
    I personally like Load, but I'm not surprised that Lars thinks it's as good as any other Metallica record. Lars thinks that everything Metallica does is their best work.
    I really like Load and really dislike Reload.I cringe everytime i hear The memory remains.Its a pity they dont play any of the stuff from load live anymore.
    I had no idea that people thought they were shit albums until a couple of years ago. I really enjoyed them, and still listen to them. Obviously there's a lot of filler, but there are some great rock songs there.
    The shining spot out of those two albums, for me, is Bleeding Me. That's a damn good song.
    I love those albums...I wish they would play more stuff from load Ronnie, that's an awesome bluesy riff fuelled song...(gets ready for the downvotes)
    I love how Metallica gets all the hate of the world for Load/Reload and Megadeth gets very little for stuff like Risk and Cryptic Writings, when Load and Reload are far superior and more consistent albums. Trust and She-Wolf aside, there isn't a single above average song on CW/Risk IMHO.
    How about Vortex, Disentegrators,Mastermind, Prince of Darkness and Time: The End? Just a couple of the obvious thrashers not counting all the good stuff such as Seven, Wanderlust, Ill Get Even and Almost Honest.
    Second Rate
    Cryptic writings is better than the Loads. Risk, on the other hand, is dreadful. Megadeth did catch a lot of shit for that album. Why do Megadeth not get the same level of hate for Risk that Metallica gets for Load/Reload? The answer is simple: The World Needs a Hero, The System Has Failed, United Abominations, Endgame, and Thirteen. Megadeth have released 5 good albums in the time since Risk. In the time since the Loads, Metallica have released one steaming pile of shit and one good album. A few more on par with Death Magnetic and Metallica will experience the same thing. Given their rate of output though, I don't see it happening.