The Pulse of Radio reports: METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich says in a new interview with heavy rock web site The Quietus that the band's controversial 2003 album, "St. Anger", "had to happen" in order for the group to make its upcoming CD, "Death Magnetic". When asked what he thinks of the album and its primitive production now, Ulrich replied, "I'm so beyond 'good'and 'bad'...I know a lot of people don't think it's a good album, I appreciate that and I respect it. I know a lot of people find it very difficult. What I am 100 percent sure of, is that if it wasn't for 'St. Anger', 'Death Magnetic' wouldn't sound the way it does. 'St. Anger' had to happen: if you can't find anything musically to appreciate, which I respect, at least respect 'St. Anger''s existence."
Ulrich told The Pulse of Radio that the band was surprised by the hostile reaction to "St. Anger" by many fans. "It threw us a little bit sure, 'cause the whole thing was to just keep it as raw as possible," he said. "And I'd like to think that we accomplished that (laughs), to the point of obviously a little too raw for some people, and that's okay. I mean, it is what it is. I have not regret one about it. I'm proud of it, proud that we had the balls to see it through, but the new record is nothing like that."
Ulrich also told The Quietus that "if it wasn't for us completely reinventing the (songwriting) process" on "St. Anger", "there would be no 'Death Magnetic'. (Frontman) James Hetfield would be in Nashville playing country music, I'd be off producing films and (guitarist) Kirk Hammett would be on tour with (guitar player) Joe Satriani."
"Death Magnetic" arrives worldwide on September 12.
Some fans have complained online about the sound quality of the CD's first single, "The Day That Never Comes", which surfaced last week at iTunes, the band's own web site and other outlets.
In the same interview, Ulrich says that he quit using cocaine after being inspired by OASIS guitarist Noel Gallagher. Ulrich recounted, "A couple of years ago I was like, 'You know? Enough of this. I don't need it'...I was very impressed with Noel Gallagher. As you know, I'm an OASIS fanatic, and Noel was like, 'You know what? No more cocaine!' (Gallagher quit in 1998) and I thought, 'If he can do it, everybody else can do it.'"
Ulrich said that his cocaine use was "always more of a social thing," adding, "We were never like rolling around and spending days in bathroom stalls."