Metallica: 'We're Completely Financially Independent, We Don't Have to Suck Up to Anybody'

Lars Ulrich muses on band's continued success in new interview.

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In a new interview with the London Metro, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich has shed some light on the band’s success, stating that the band's continued popularity comes from their independence. "Metallica exist in our own bubble. We're not part of a genre, we're not part of a wave, we're not part of a moment. We're completely financially independent. We own all our own records. We own all our own masters. We financed this film by ourselves. We don’t have to suck up to anybody or deal with the man. We just live in our own little world. We're our own entity, completely autonomous. And that's a very unusual situation to be in.

"It's a place we don't take for granted and we’re very aware of the luxury of being in that position. And with that comes a desire to want to always be the best and give back as much as possible without selling out. But we've put way too much money into this film (the band's upcoming concert documentary "Through the Never") in the past couple of years. If I told you how much, I'd probably have to kill myself." Ulrich also mused on the prospect of retirement, noting that he inspired to keep playing by the Rolling Stones drummer Charile Watts. I saw the Stones last Sunday and Charlie Watts is 72, and it inspired me to keep going. The hardest thing is the physicality of it. The two hardest working people in the Metallica organisation are the two who massage us every night after each show. That is a gig you would not wish on anybody. We'll see how long they can keep stitching us together but so far, so good."

72 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The perfect place for any band to be in, really.
    indeed it is the perfect place for them to be, but it's a shame that they aren't really kicking that much ass in the last couple of years
    Have you seen their live shows recently? Their stage show has had so much effort put in to make it bigger and better.
    I saw them this year...I'd personally say they're kicking as much ass as they did on the tours they did in 1991-1993. James' voice is as good as it's ever been live, Lars is practicing again and it shows too. Only thing I miss is Jason's backing vocals or Cliffs solos.
    It's not just the stage show, their playing has seemingly been on the rise the past 2-3 years too. I will say one thing though. When I saw them at the Orion fest in Detroit, my only problem was the GIGANTIC screen behind them, which kinda took something away from watching them play.
    Indeed they should be making more records. Live they are great though.
    Not more records, better records. I'd rather hear them make an astounding record, even if I had to wait until 2018.
    Meh, Lars and Hammett should retire and perhaps the world could get a glimpse of how good 'Tallica could've been
    Tallica would suck without Hammett and Lars.
    Granted, Lars isn't that great of a drummer, and Kirk isn't that great a guitarist. But if they left, Metallica wouldn't sound like Metallica. Cliff and Jason were perfect for Metallica, but since Rob has joined you can definitely note the change. I'm not saying he's a bad bassist, it's just like his playing style isn't right for the band.
    They're financially independent ever since they sued Napster which is why they now like Spotify.
    No one to push them in a direction they don't want to go and I like that.
    How'd you like to be the one to rub down a sweaty ass Lars after a show haha
    ¨And with that comes a desire to want to always be the best and give back as much as possible without selling out¨ lol Lars...that ship has sailed a long time ago
    I miss Metallica. They we're taken from us far too early. R.I.P. Metallica, 1983-1988
    Dido...I think the only good thing since was the Merciful Fate medley cover.
    I agree, that cover medley was pretty cool. The Metallica imposters have made a few good rock songs, I'll admit.
    They sucked up to mainstream crap with St Anger.....They may have loads of money, but they haven't been heavy or relevant for 20 years.
    Darth Crow
    St. Anger is hardly mainstream...
    I'm confused about the "relevant for 20 years" statement. help me out here... does that mean that say The Beatles or Zeppelin or Cream aren't relevant to music? or not relevant to the "scene" ? honest question here.
    They can sell millions of tickets and albums so I don't think they need to be relevant.....
    Its hard to stay in the frame of mind to make heavy music when you are getting f'king massages after every show. Go back to the days of loading up the gear, hauling it to the trailer, drinking all night, then passing out on the vomit covered floor of a rented van. THAT is metal!
    People all have to grow up eventually. In my opinion I don't think it's very metal to have a wife and children and act like a 22 year old.
    Then get liver disease, arthritis, high blood pressure and be found by your family and friends dead in pool of piss and puke the next morning when you're due to play to 100k people who are excited to see their favourite band? Sounds like a pretty retarded thing to do if you ask me. Glad they don't follow your childish advice.
    That doesn't make you metal, that makes you a cancer to society and an overall ass if you're 50 years old and acting like you still have 60 years left.
    It's about being hungry. Any band with a big album loses a lot of their essence, this is nothing new.
    Sounds like a great way to burn out or die by age 40. Contrary to popular belief, not many bands who are successful in the long term actually do this, at least not for any sustained period of time.
    They more douchey Metallica gets the less I like them...I was a hardcore fan through the 80s and 90s but now its like they keep defending the shit they do.
    Well, then there would be no excuses not to put album you want the way you want , but not echoes of your past glory with modern dumb sound.
    It's really difficult to please anybody nowadays. If Metallica choose to go in a different direction one half of the populous will complain because they're selling out. If Metallica choose to play to the style or influence of their roots then people will complain just as you have above.
    Going different direction doesn't mean selling out. I don't think that if metallica writes avant-garde album anybody would call it sell-out
    If Metallica buy food at a restaurant someone will call it selling out.
    Maybe someone will , so what? DM was album for fans (basically a sell-out) , it has good songs , but some parts sound really forced and ridiculous , so it's kinda sell-out AND self repeating. I think Load/Reload is their thing , cause even on DM there are plenty of bluesy riffs disguised as thrash.
    You're "fans" still hate you.
    Yes, the "fans" hate them but the actual fans still enjoy their music, love their live shows and don't bitch about selling out because in the words of Maynard Keenan: "All you know about me is what I've sold you, dumb ****. I sold out long before you ever even heard my name."
    the live show is great except for the times I tune out cuz they're playing from Load st anger or a couple of magnetic songs that suck....n then half way through lars gets tired n starts blowing....even more.
    It's funny; they haven't played songs from Load or St. Anger in a long time (that I know of). And Death Magnetic kicked ass.
    Yeah I don't think a song from St Anger has been played since '06 or '07. When I last saw them earlier this year, everything was Kill, Lightning, Puppets, Justice and Black. They played one song off of Death Magnetic. Didn't even touch Load, Reload or St Anger.
    They played Carpe Diem Baby recently among other things. Either way, the songs from Load and Reload are good even if they're not balls to the wall metal.
    really....unforgiven 8 is a classic?.....only 3-4 songs r great...their tone sucks lars sounds old not to mention that album is over 6 years old...they focus more on movies which highlight songs from the 80s n therapy....Metallica did enough to be legendary before '88 n thats fine....but don't kid urself...untill they continually make great music....enough has been said n done to consider them sellouts
    What's wrong with load and reload? Listen to: Bleeding Me, The Outlaw Torn, Where the Wild Things Are and Until It Sleeps. I consider these all Metallica classics and wish they would play them live more often.
    Vicryl 2.0
    when was the last time your went to their show? 2005?
    big four the desert two years ago....slayer ruled thats not the point....Metallica died in 88 after that a mediocre Rock band emerged....n u know it don't pretend they're still metal
    Metakkica died in 88? Hmm, I saw them in the Mercer Arena in Seattle in 89. They were incredible. They were better than they were 2 years before that. I remember James asking the crowd, "What's the matter, are you wimping out on us?" I was impressed at how awesome their endurance was for playing music. Man they play some long sets!
    metal is overrated anyways.. i'd rather a band explore new dimensions then put of the same shit man. dont get me wrong i love metal, but metal fans are too close minded.. "Aww man i gotta mosh at concerts and show how tough i think i am"
    I really wanted to add "so what?!" to the very last quote in this article.
    I love metallica, each one of their albums are ****ing amazing i don't care what anybody says. Any band capable of writing songs like "Ride The Lightning", "One", "Welcome Home" all the way to "Bleeding Me", and "Hero of The Day" and to "The Day That Never Comes", "Cyanide" deserves every little drop of respect
    how is this news, has anybody not figured this out already they way they bitched about napster and everything else and 3 world tours on the black album, not to mention about the bitching on some kind of a monster and the way they quickly came out with magnetic outtakes because they wasnt going to get enough from lulu