Lars Ulrich: 'I Don't Think I Want to Do Music Once Metallica Ends'

"Hopefully, it will last forever," the drummer adds.

Ultimate Guitar

Discussing his physical limits for performing in the world's biggest metal band, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich stated that if the group was to end, we would probably quit the music world altogether.

In a fresh interview with Kerrang! magazine, the band was asked about how long they can keep performing before it's time to call it quits.

"It's the physical aspect," guitarist Kirk Hammett replied (via Blabbermouth). "Tendonitis, tinnitus, ligament atrophy, accidents, repetitive stress injury, tennis elbow ... those things creep into the mix.

"It's like, 'F--king hell, man, I want to play guitar, but my shoulder and elbow are screaming 'No!' Your head wants to do one thing and your body wants to do another thing. That's a big obstacle that we'll have to confront in our individual way," he added.

Lars agreed with Kirk's assessment, saying, "The main thing that I truly don't feel that I can really help shape is the physical side of what we do. It's getting tougher and tougher. I don't know how long it can last in terms of the physicality of it - can we do this when we're 60 at this level? At 70?"

Even frontman James Hetfield had to concur, revealing the four-piece's weak spots. "Sometimes my throat just says, 'F--k you, James, not tonight!' Or Lars' shoulder, or Rob's leg cramps, or Kirk's knee, whatever it may be, we've all got our things and we work through it. We just pay attention to them!" he said.

Finally, Ulrich was asked if he could ever see a point where we would step away from 'Tallica. "I feel there's a time I could step away from it. I was very ready to step away from it right there in '01 and '02 when all that shit was going down with 'Some Kind of Monster,'" the sticksman replied. 

"I have thousands of other things that I can entertain myself with that would be creatively stimulating. Obviously, Metallica's my love, my priority and first thing, but I'm not afraid of what I'm going to do with my life if this all goes away. I really don't think I want to do music once Metallica ends. Hopefully, it will last forever," Lars concluded.

80 comments sorted by best / new / date

    In all fairness, Rob only has leg cramps because he doesn't play actually standing up. If I crouched every night for a couple of hours, I'd be ****ed too.
    "Once retired, I plan on opening a shop, specializing in custom snare tuning. I'll call it "Saint Lars' Angry Snares"."
    It's kind of weird thinking about it. This band has been around forever, they helped change metal history, the thought that they may not be around in 10 or so years is just weird to me, like it's not supposed to happen. They've been through so much it's like they're invincible and will be around forever, I know we all like to joke about Metallica but really the thought of them retiring seems almost alien.
    One look at Mick Jagger.. and yeah, we're okay now.
    Only, Mick doesn't play metal like Metallica does. He's not playing a million miles an hour.
    Neither is Lars. He's simplified his parts so much (even though his old stuff isn't exactly the most technical) that it should be a breeze for him these days.
    You're comparing a singer to drummer, a drummer who while he might not be up to par as his former self, still is drumming for 2 hours a night, its alot easier for singer as they don't have to do stage antics if they don't choose to, hell they could just stand at a mic and not move if they chose to.
    Yes, they could, but Mick Jagger isn't standing still for more than one second.
    So singing for two hours straight is easy? I guarantee you, singing for two hours straight would kill anyone's vocal chords.
    Musty old farts! I can see Metallica making a blues record when they're 70.
    down the road, we're driving by the desert at 60 miles an hour.. YEAHH!!! while the journey down the cactus farm life flashed back to our younger days in the country OOOOH YEAAAAH! YE-YE-YE-YE-YEEEEAH-EAHH-EAHH!!!
    Gee Halen
    The amazing thing is every time I read a Lars interview, I hear his voice in my head, and automatically replace every comma with an "ummm" or "you know".
    The cool part about Metallica (just like any musician) is that they live on as long as somebody is still playing listening to their music, still feeling the passion and emotions put into each and every one of their albums. Metallica dies when nobody feels that way anymore, and thats not happening in any of our lifetimes.
    Couldn't Rob just stop doing his stupid gorilla waltz thing? Seems like a win/win situation for everybody.
    WFC? LOL..... If James doesn't make music anymore after Metallica ends, fans would be more disappointed.
    James could easily go on as a country or blues singer. I would be perfectly alright with that.
    I really hope he doesn't do the country thing (the thought of hearing the guy who wrote Master of Puppets moaning about bars and pick up trucks makes me nauseous) but something tells me he will... or at the very least a southern rock/blues rock type of thing.
    He's got the voice for it. I think if Tallica called it quits, thats what he would do. Hes always been more of a hard rock guy than a metal guy. He would be the Darius Rucker of metal.
    It's going to be interesting seeing how well (or not well) the original crop of thrash bands that are still around function later in their careers. Sure, there are plenty of active rock musicians in their 60's, 70's and beyond but they're not playing music that is as physically demanding as thrash metal. The Stones, Aerosmith, etc. are all still plugging along but they're also not playing songs like "Creeping Death" or "Battery" every night of a long tour. Maiden, Priest and Sabbath have all aged pretty well but I guess we'll see about Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, etc.
    It hits you suddenly...DAMN, I am getting older, and worse yet, my body is letting me know! So this is what the rest of my life will be? Waiting for the next illness to mess with me? I feel old, but I wouldn't go back either
    Irwin Navarro
    As much as I am a fan of Metallica, I hope once they finished releasing their album, they go on a farewell tour and finally end Metallica on a high note. Metallica is already an established name in the music industry. They have sold out multiple arenas, went on to win multiple awards, and have been inducted into the RORHOF. Career-wise, they already reached the top of the mountain. Time for them to hang it up after the next album.
    I don't think I want to live once metallica ends
    I think you got him wrong... There are some things in live you really get attached to. I can't imagine how I would feel when Metallica ends too. I grew up with their music. I worship them like gods. Metallica changed my life and I'm happy I grew up with their music around.
    And if you die, they will think the same way... lol
    I feel that Trivium is like Metallica's continuation/sequel. I see some sort of inheritance between those two. Just my 2 cents.
    Shogun was their only remotely defining album, IMO. Now David Draiman has a hold of them and they lost the bark and bite they used to carry.
    Lars is a ****, we don't want him to make music even before Metallica ends.
    Audible Warfare
    Since when are you the voice of "us?"
    Since people started realizing how much of a sell out Lars is and how bad he is at drumming? Sloppiest drummer in mainstream music, replace him with someone else and replace Kirk and you've got a great band.
    link no1
    Stop speaking for everybody, you make us all look like morons. 1) Lars might not be the greatest drummer, he's far from it but most people agree that he does exactly what Metallica needs from a drummer. 2) Kirk isn't the greatest guitarist ever but he has still written some outstanding solos and inspired many people to pick up a guitar. 3) Replace them both? So you want James to be the only member or Metallica in Metallica? Why don't you just go elsewhere and listen to another band? If bands just replace their members constantly, they aren't that band. There are only a few bands that manage to get away with constant switches and that's because they're already essentially solo projects (Megadeth).
    Well look how much better Megadeth's new stuff is compared to Death Magnetic. Change is essential in bands like these, otherwise they become stale and uninspiring (not that Friedman's solos could possibly become stale, but Broderick has still done Megadeth justice). James is the one and only reason Metallica is even where it is at now. I give credit to Rob too, he is an outstanding bassist.