In a brand new interview with Noisey, Lars Ulrich was asked if he still finds playing in METALLICA inspiring. He responded: "Ten years ago or 30 years ago, it was different. Like, 'Oh my god, GUNS N' ROSES. Oh my God, who are these NIRVANA guys! OASIS!' You were hearing about it, and you wanted to meet them. Nowadays, there aren't any bands that have had that impact on me. The last time where I was like, 'Holy fuck! This really inspires me,' was this band called THE SWORD, from Austin, Texas. Stoner rock, kind of a modern BLACK SABBATH. Super cool. They showed up seven or eight years ago, and I just had to bring these guys on tour. There is a Norwegian band called KVELERTAK. These bands are few and far between nowadays. This is not a black-and-white statement. I know more about film than I do about music because I follow it more. That doesn't mean if something awesome came and slapped me in the face. then I wouldn't embrace it; it just shows up less and less."
Ulrich said in a 2015 interview that he believed that streaming services were the future of the music industry — although he also admitted that they would more effective for established acts than new ones. Speaking with the BBC, Ulrich said: "I believe streaming is good for music. People sit there and go, 'I'm not getting paid very much' — but streaming is a choice on all fronts."
He added: "Streaming probably does benefit artists with higher profiles. A lot of playlists that are being made available for people seem to feature higher-profile artists… There's less and less and less and less money being put into younger artists. And there's a danger of younger artists coming close to extinction."
But Ulrich also argued that streaming or any other music delivery service won't accomplish anything if the music itself isn't up to par, explaining: "I connect less because there's less great new music to connect with. A lot of the stuff is just regurgitated — this year's flavor. It's not leading-edge like THE BEATLES, Miles Davis or Jimi Hendrix."
METALLICA has shows booked in China, Singapore, Denmark, Mexico and South America over the next three months, but has yet to unveil its full 2017 tour plans, including its first North American tour in eight years.
The band's sole North American date so far is May 21 at the Rock On The Range festival in Columbus, Ohio.
METALLICA's latest album, "Hardwired... To Self-Destruct", came out in November. The effort consists of two discs, containing a dozen songs and nearly 80 minutes of music.