lars Ulrich in nylon guys

Thirty years of Metallica and still going strong…

by Josh Madden

Lars Ulrich in NYLON Guys

Lars Ulrich is one of, if not


, most famous drummers in the world. While some people are content with playing the role of timekeeper, posted behind the kit, Ulrich is outspoken, articulate, self-aware and often the face of his band. The story of Metallica started 30 years ago when the 17-year-old, who had recently moved to LA from Denmark, placed an ad in paper. When James Hetfield answered that classified the two became best friends and the rest is history.

Metallica is a band that changed the face of music forever and as they record their newest body of work, we expect nothing less than the very best. The band that has accomplished feats that include making 3-D feature films, staging their own festivals, and has toured constantly continues to write the future. In this month's NYLON Guys we catch up with Ulrich at Metallica HQ in an industrial corner of San Rafael, California.

Do you remember the first song you learned to play?

I guess the first song that I really tinkered with and mastered was "It's Electric"by Diamond Head. After the first time I put the needle down on that record, I probably heard it 500 times in the next couple weeks.

Was it always going to be drums?

Primarily drums. I took some guitar lessons early, but it was mostly Spanish guitar. I remember having a big argument with my teacher because he told me to put my left foot up...

You and Hetfield have been playing music for 30 years. What's kept the relationship alive?

It's was never about making it; there was never a plan. It was never artificial. It was never goal oriented.

Three decades of Metallica: Does that feel crazy?

When you form a band at 17, nobody expects to be able to talk about it at 32 years later. It's a mind*ck because there are still elements of mischief and youthful anxieties and self-doubt and a continuous desire to better ourselves, whatever that means.