Lars Ulrich Doesn't Want Metallica to Turn Into a Nostalgia Band

The drummer talks about the group's attitude to stay fresh and release new records.

Ultimate Guitar

In a recent interview with The Pulse Of Radio, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich spoke about the group's firm attitude to release a new record and remain fresh in terms of creativity. When asked about the band's more leisure approach to recording new material, Ulrich has stated that Metallica is currently busy with other projects as well, all of which are necessary in order for the band to stay creatively alive.

"There'll be a new record and we certainly never want to turn into a nostalgia band, but at the same time, you've got to keep yourself, I guess, creatively alive and that's what we do by playing these gigs and doing all these other projects and doing movies and festivals. I mean, it's just, all that stuff's a lot of fun, but it takes a lot of time, you know."

Interestingly enough, that very same subject was recently reached during an online radio interview with Opeth frontman Mikael Akerfeldt, who has stated that "it would be impossible for Metallica to release another 'Master Of Puppets.'" Despite admitting that Metallica is now bigger than ever, the singer/guitarist couldn't help wondering why do the group's live set lists mostly consist of older classic tunes.

"Why don't they play more new stuff live? Why do they go out and do the 'Master Of Puppets' or whatever other records that they are doing? Why don't they focus on new material? Aren't they proud of the new stuff that they do or do they just wanna please the fans?"

As far as the forthcoming "Metallica Through The Never" 3D movie goes, the film was recently described as "a concert movie meets 'The Wall' meets Metallica" by one of its actors. Written and directed by Nimrod Antal ("Kontroll," "Predators"), the movie is scheduled for a premiere on August 9.

And with the date and lineup of second Orion Music officially unveiled, the band is definitely keeping themselves busy and it would seem that the frontman James Hetfield was definitely right when saying that "there is no reson for Metallica to stop."

95 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Metallica plays old stuff beacause when you go to one of their gig, you want to feel the same energy and sound that back in the 80'. I'm a big fan of Death Magnetic, but a Metallica concert without songs from the three first album in not a Metallica concert.
    I think they should start producing their own records, that would keep them busy and hopefully prevent future albums from being mixed like DM... which was atrocious
    Personally, I think Metallica's newer stuff is great. (inb4 downvotes) I'd like too see something totally different on the new record.
    Metallica's problem is this - They were writing innovative songs from the beginning through AJFA which culminated in huge success with the Black Album. Since then, they've been stuck in a rut creatively. It happens to most bands that have been around for more than 10 years and Metallica's been around for over 30. They were young and hungry when they recorded their best material but they haven't NEEDED to write good material for a long time. Long story short - Metallica are rich and older now. They've got families now and more responsibilities than they did when they were in their early 20's. It's pointless to even expect a lot from them anymore.
    I think the problem is some fans wants something as epic as the past albums, but what they dont consider is that it is difficult to reproduce the same emotions we had with master of puppets on a new album we just need to open mind and ears and see the way the new album could deliver new emotions
    Well, they need to take some damn testosterone or something. They were an energy band that wrote energetic songs. Except for Death Magnetic, I can't even slightly bang my head to anything after ...AJFA
    You can't head bang to sad but true, the struggle within, holier than thou, fuel, prince charming and even Frantic? If you can't head bang to those then I don't think you know how.
    I'm a big fan of Metallica, they are my favorite band, but even the most hardcore fanboys can see that Lulu is shit xD
    for the last time, LULU was a LOU REED album FEATURING Metallica.
    Lulu was a Lou Reed and Metallica equal collaboration, but a Lou Reed and Metallica collaborative effort. Where does it say "Lou Reed FEATURING Metallica"?
    IT'S NOT A METALLICA ALBUM YOU DUMB PATHETIC INBRED PIECE OF SH*T! Now, I want you to read that over and over until it's implemented into your brain so that it becomes all you hear whenever you try and listen to Lulu. Thank you for your time.
    but i don't listen to lulu tihi but just because it's a lou reed album, it doesn't mean that metallica can't be blamed for making any of the shitty music from that album :?
    Metallica is not really a nostalgia band because a bunch of low-talent old men collecting money off old albums and suing random people for copyright infringement does not qualify as a "band" Bring it on fanboys
    ive been a metallica fan my whole life but if their next album is anything like DM im just going to ignore them altogether. I can't expect them to go back to their thrash days but they need some more cohesive songs, DM sounded like a bunch of spare riffs thrown together (eg. the end of the line). I dont give musicians of their status credit for a 'nice try'. I think a good way of putting it might be that lars' drumming has been stagnant for years.
    diffrent doesnt have to mean, thats its not thrash though. i would realy like them to do something witch is the old school thrash, and no that doesnt mean thats its the same thing. there first 4 albums where the best imo. and all unique in there own way. Slayer has all there album thrash, all unique in there own way. i also like dm, but i would love them to bring out a heavy ****ing thrash metal album,
    metallica fans i think are the only fans to extremely admit that their new stuff is extremel;y good still, im not a fan of death magnetic or lulu or whatever, but i mean when you look at it this way, sabbath is never releasing another paranoid, megadeth is never releasing another countdown, rush is never releasing another moving pictures, but the fact they try and make great music for their fans and to keep metal alive that impresses me enough
    I personally think endgame is on par with megadeth's classic material, vocally alone he sounds a hell-of-allot better. Even 13 had a few excellent songs (sudden death and never dead are 2 of my favourite megadeth songs for example). I can't say the same for metallica though, they sound awefull in Eb and their guitar tones both live and in the studio are just flat out terrible, DM was good but some of the riffs were bland and the vocals in general were flatout bad. Though I'm very happy they're stepping back in the right direction and I hope the next album will be an improvement
    Considering they have nine albums over the last 30 years and only two of them have been released over the last FIFTEEN years, maybe they oughta fix that if they don't want to be considered nostalgic.
    Festivals are always a bit of a 'greatest hits' setlist for most established bands, which is what they've been doing lately. But they did five or six songs from Death Magnetic a night for the world magnetic tour, so I'd expect them to play plenty of new stuff on their next album cycle.
    Let's see... We have: 1) Jokes about Lars' snare on St. Anger 2) Jokes about Lars 3) Jokes about Lars' drumming talent and lack thereof 4) People still bitching about Lulu (and St. Anger for that matter) 5) People talking about how shitty their new material is Yup, this is a Metallica arti- WAIT! We're missing something... Oh, right! "Kirk uses a wah pedal! EHEHEHE!!" NOW this is a Metallica article!
    That whole list occurs even during an article about Dave Grohl the troll. It's ALWAYS a matter of time til someone brings up Lars. People get Grohl'ed in to it.
    Mikael Akerfeldt is a musician, not a fan appeaser. He never has been. He'll often joke saying "we don't do requests". So if you travel 2,000 miles to see Opeth expecting to hear Wreath or Ghost of Perdition, he wont play them to please you. He'll play the songs he's just written. (excluding the encore), Metallica however, it seems feel they keep need to keep playing the same songs. Nothing Else Matters, Sandman, Sad but True, Master, Seek, etc. Mike would be playing Sweet Amber and purify. He's not going to sit and play Forest of October when he can play Folklore, (even if EVERY ONE IN THE ROOM HATES IT) it's new. How boring must it be as a human being to stand on stage and play Enter Sandman 300 times a year for 20 years straight :|
    1.) They played TONS of DM stuff on the last tour. 6 songs when I saw them. 2.) They've been incorporating a bunch of less-played older songs, like (again from when I saw them) "Ride the Lightning", "Hit the Lights", "The Shortest Straw", "Orion", "Trapped under Ice", etc... 5.) Three sir! And I wish I could play "Enter Sandman" 300 times a year for 20 years to thousands of cheering fans.
    If you'd see fans from all over the world react how Metallica fans react to the classics, you'd understand, I guess. They have enough money to stop and retire, so there must be at least one other reason next to money to keep on playing and touring.
    I've seen it. I enjoyed it. I guess the argument is, why are you playing No Leaf Clover when you've just made a music video for Frantic, yet don't play it.
    Carl Hungus
    Opeth has not reached irrelevance yet. When they do he will either play the classics or quit altogether.
    Second Rate
    If they don't stop putting out boring albums, Opeth will reach irrelevance pretty soon. And quite frankly, I don't think the current incarnation of Mikael Akerfelt's traveling ego show could handle playing "Forest of October." They are too old, too complacent, and too up their own asses. That being said, Metallica already is a nostalgia act, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
    Mikael has changed, there is no disputing that. I think in his own head he wouldn't play Forest of October because in his head after this move to Heritage he probably feels that it is musically beneath him as he has aged. I just can't see him and Freddie doing twin guitar harmonies for 15 minutes like he used to with Peter back in the day. Then again, Mikael is a fruit loop so in 3 years he may wake up and decide that we need more Bloodbath and make a record so heavy it shatters our bones. *shrug*
    Nice analogy there.. but still, people are different... bands are different. To each, their own. Whatever makes a band happy at what they do. Metallica loves to give back to the fans by playing their classic songs but keep in mind that in their setlists, there are songs in between Sad But True and Seek and Destroy that are ever changing. Unlike in the 90's where they have the same set of songs being played over and over in a course of a tour, they now change it a bit. But given the 2 hours of the set, they are compelled to play songs that keep the crowd going. No offense meant to Mike (being one of the greatest musicians of our time in one of the best modern metal bands of our time) but if his conviction is not to play Opeth's classics, it's fine. Again, the fact remains true. To each, it's own.
    I saw Opeth last week in Melbourne, and was lucky enough to get Ghost of Perdition and Deliverance. Here's the thing though: those songs clock in at 10 and 13 minutes respectively, and plenty of Metallica's biggest songs are no less than 7 minutes. I think it's tricky to keep people happy when you can only fit fifteen songs into a set because of the sheer length of most of your tracks.
    Yeah, most of the heavy Opeth tracks are long. but instead of dragging Seek and Destroy out for nearly 20 minutes why not play your new tracks. Metallica act like they're giving you Seek at the end so you have a memory to take away forever, but like mike said, they're bigger than ever, they could stand on stage and do 3 hours of ANYTHING and you go home happy cus you've seen Metallica.
    anything's possible.. how can people be SO sure that Metallica can't make another album like Master of Puppets or the Black album..?? Metallica never let people like that drag them down in the 30+ years of rocking
    I kind of agree with Mikael only slightly. I do wish they'd play some more late 90's stuff here and there. And i don't think metallica will ever become a nostalgia band, even the fans that hate the new stuff still long for metallica to put out a masterpiece
    Maybe if they stopped playing For Whom The Bell Tolls in every set, I'd believe him.
    The fact of the matter is, they are a nostalgia band, and it would take a miracle for them to get out of that rut. No one would've paid attention to Death Magnetic if it had been their first album. Hell, the last album that it can be said that any attention would be paid to them if it had been their first was the black album... which is a good indication that they rely on their old material for longevity.
    link no1
    Considering they where one of the bands that made thrash what it is today I'm going to take a stab in the dark and say Death Magnetic would be considered a classic album if it was one of their first few yano, considering there where only a handful of thrash bands around at the time...not a whole lot that could compare to Death Magnetic back then.
    If I paid a shit load of money to see Metallica and they played say, 80% new shit I'd be pretty upset with wasting my money. Everyone's there to see their first four albums.. and somewhat their fifth.. that's metallica to me.
    I feel the same way about Metallica as I do about Slayer: They're old dinosaurs living in the past and trying to stay famous with 20-30 year old material. It's like they still want praise and attention for things that happened decades ago. Now don't get me wrong, What bands like Slayer and Metallica did for metal can never be undone and it was fantastic, and their old albums still stand the test of time. However nothing either band has done in the past decade or longer is worth talking about in comparison, yet somehow it still seems to me that their egos outweigh their true value in the metal scene today.
    I saw them at Download, live they blew everyone else away playing old and new songs. Trust me when I say they are not outweighing their value.
    Lars's definition of 'creativity': Using a snare drum every few years.
    Lar's being creative: "You know what, this blown up wine bag sounds a bit like a snare drum... Lets use it on the next album!"
    Mikael Akerfeldt: "Aren't they proud of the new stuff that they do or do they just wanna please the fans?" As if pleasing the fans is somehow a BAD thing.....
    Exactly! At what point did it become a BAD thing to please the fans? Let me guess... This is selling out, right? Oh wait... Changing your sound with the times, life experiences, and your age is selling out, right?
    Carl Hungus
    The answer is that they new stuff cannot hold a candle to the "classic" material.
    I think, I hope, what he is saying is that why doesn't Metallica try to write a new record that'll please fans? They got mighty close with Death Magnetic, but still wanting a little more.
    If the band truly believed in the new material, they would play no more than 20%old songs.But of course, nobody wants that.
    how many people read the other article where mike went into more detail? kind of puts it into more perspective
    he should have considered this before his band stopped making good albums in the late 80's.
    He's right youll rarely ever hear metallica play anything from load reload or saint anger except maybe fuel but theyre a thrash metal band they probsbly dont play those albums as much just cause the early stuff is more enjoyable to play
    Personally Metallica became a nostalgia band after "And Justice for all..." with a somewhat of a revival in "Death Magnetic" before becoming a nostalgia band again when Lulu came out.
    Once you're around for more than 10 years, becoming a nostalgia band is kinda inevitable. It doesn't mean you're not "fresh" or still putting out good material, you just start to have a lot more older fans and not to mention less hair....
    Being a semi-pro musician I'd actually be fine not hearing any "Black Album" singles at a Metallica they're on the radio all the flippin time. HOWEVER, take for example, the Foo Fighters, who have probably played "Learn to Fly" and "Big Me" hundreds of times on the tours for "Wasting Light" and have breathed new life into those songs. For some reason they sound a lil different from the recording, maybe even more aggressive...yes even "Big Me". Check the Letterman recordings.
    The game has been over for Metallica since they came off the Black Album tour. They wanted to be Soundgarden and didn't realize that they had helped create bands like Soundgarden, and I love Soundgarden, but Metallica covering Soundgarden (Load) sounds like shit.
    I think you used Soundgarden a bit too much there guy. How can a band A want to be band B when band B doesn't exist?
    Metallica is the perfect example of what happens when your favourite band gets old and boring instead of dying at 27 like they are supposed to. Their new music is just awful. Play some heavy, fast, clever shit and stop being a pub rock band. TRY HARDER!
    They will be averaging one new record a decade. 80's---4, 90's---5(?) 00's---2