Earlier this week, Jeremy Baker of the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada radio station CFOX conducted an interview with METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below.
Asked if he would agree that METALLICA's new album, "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct", contains musical elements of all of the band's previous efforts, Lars said: "In the last six months, as I've criss-crossed this wonderful planet and done lots of shows and interviews and appearances, I've heard so many analogies and assessments of this record. Thankfully, pretty much all of them have been super positive and very complementary. I've heard everything — you know, 'METALLICA is back to this,' or, back to that', 'or 'doing this again' — and I think that the best thing that I could do is kind of just nod my head and agree with all that."
He continued: 'When we sit down and make a record, our primary goal is to come up with the best collection of songs possible in that moment. And sometimes when we've made records that have been a battlecry or a blueprint or a destination point that's been more obvious or more focused than at other times, on this record, there wasn't really a specific kind of thing that we were going after. We just wanted to, like I said, turn the best songs into the best record possible. I don't think that there's a right or wrong way to look at these songs."
Ulrich added: "A lot of people seem to feel that this certainly has a correlation to previous METALLICA records, and I'm not gonna talk anybody out of that whatsoever. I'm stunned and kind of overwhelmed at the amount of love and appreciation that's coming in the direction of this new record. People have really embraced this record in ways that we did not even think was possible. So I'm happy with that. And all the rest of it's gravy. Like I said, if people think that it's this or that or whatever, I'm not gonna talk anybody out of it. It seems to just connect with people in ways that are very special and I'm, like, very appreciative of that. So it's a good time to be in METALLICA right now."
Lars also talked about the stong sales performance of "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct", which hit No. 1 in a staggering 57 countries, Top 3 in 75 countries and Top 5 in 105 countries upon its release last November.
"This day and age when releasing records is such a crapshoot and you have no idea what's really gonna happen… I mean, it really is the Wild West out there, and the remnants of the once-functioning music business and all this stuff… I mean, who knows what the hell is gonna happen when you put a record out," he said. "So I'm just happy that people to, like I said, really care about this record, embrace it on a worldwide basis. This record has just really connected with people in so many different countries where we've been in the last couple of months, from Latin America to Asia — China, Mexico, Singapore or wherever — all these crazy, crazy, wonderful places we've been. Certainly in this day and age where putting records out is, like I said… you never really what's gonna happen and you never quite know what to expect. Twenty years ago, thirty years ago, there was much more of a… it would fall into an expected path: 'Here's the record. Now this is gonna happen. And that's gonna happen.' It would sort of be by the books. Nowadays, who knows what's up, down and sideways? So the fact that you can put out a record that people care about and that seems to connect and sell and sound somewhat relevant or contemporary, or whatever people say about it, is a pretty awesome thing."
The North American leg of METALLICA's "WorldWired" 2017 tour kicks off in Baltimore and will hit stadiums in 25 cities before winding down in mid-August. Support on the quartet's first North American trek since 2009 will come mainly from AVENGED SEVENFOLD and VOLBEAT, with GOJIRA taking over for the latter group for the last six shows.
The first European leg of "WorldWired" kicks off on September 4 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and stretches through November. After a break, the trek will pick up again on February 10, 2018 in Bologna, Italy, and continue through May, finishing up in Helsinki, Finland.