James Hetfield Reveals Lars Ulrich Privilege In Metallica

via PowerfulJRE / Youtube

In a recent chat on ‘The Metallica Report’ podcast after their Power Trip festival performance, Metallica’s James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo delved into their rehearsal process, shedding light on drummer Lars Ulrich’s evolving approach to practicing.

Hetfield shared an intriguing fact about Ulrich’s rehearsal habits:

“Lars never rehearsed ever until — I don’t know — I’d say maybe four or five years ago, he started really getting into rehearsing. And now he’ll — I mean, he’ll rehearse four days for a two-hour set, which is what he needs to do, which is awesome.”

Regarding Metallica’s preparation for the Power Trip festival, Hetfield revealed a unique arrangement:

“There was gonna be rehearsals down at HQ [Metallica’s headquarters in San Rafael, California] for a couple of days beforehand. And I said, ‘I’m not gonna show up, guys. I would love it if we could find a rehearsal place here [closer to the Power Trip festival] ’cause I’d love to see all these other bands.’ And Robert got on board, and then we found a place over here in the polo grounds [at the Empire Polo Club] to rehearse. And I’m grateful that Lars was up for it.”

He also expressed his enthusiasm about the festival experience, highlighting Metallica’s unique position:

“It’s so frickin’ cool to have your own compound at a festival for all the days of the festival… We show up, go rehearse, and then go out there and watch Iron Maiden. I mean, how cool is that?”


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Reflecting on the bands they watched at the festival

Hetfield found inspiration in the enduring passion of older musicians:

“I know age is bullshit… But every single one of those bands has been a part of our childhood and our upbringing in our Metallica adventure. So it’s really cool to be a part of this.”

He also reminisced about the camaraderie of their early days:

“We used to hang out a bunch together in the early days, like at all the festivals we would go to and hang out. Yeah, we would play early on and then get to watch all the other bands after. We would hang out. It kind of felt like that again. Obviously, it was a different day, but we’re all here hanging out, and it’s really fun. It’s really fun to see.”

Metallica’s closing performance at the festival showcased a range of their iconic tracks, taking the audience on a journey from their earliest to latest records. Additionally, Hammett and Trujillo introduced a new song titled ‘Funk In The Desert,’ specifically created for the festival, adding a fresh note to Metallica’s celebrated repertoire.