James Hetfield Lars Ulrich

METALLICA frontman James Hetfield offers a differing perspective to some fans. In his view, drummer Lars Ulrich is playing at a high level, potentially even exceeding his earlier work.

On their podcast, “The Metallica Report,” James offered his thoughts on longtime friend and bandmate Lars: “I’d say this tour in general, the last two years, we’ve been building up to it. Absolutely. Absolutely playing great.

“I hope he’s having fun and [isn’t] worried about his playing, because he would let his emotions just take him,” James continued. “Now he’s a little more concerned about the click track and playing along with it, being solid. But yeah, I think as a group, we are all playing really, really great. Really tight.

“And it doesn’t scare me, but I don’t mind f**king things up. It’s fun. There’s still mistakes — or not mistakes, but there’s still unique moments that happen, and it’s good. We don’t want to be that frickin’ polished machine up there at all. So no matter how practiced, no matter how good we think we’re doing, there’s still stuff that happens.”

Lars Ulrich mentioned in METALLICA‘s “So What!” fan-club magazine three years ago that he no longer cares about the criticism of his drumming skills.

“Unlike years ago, I basically don’t read any of the interviews that the other guys [in METALLICA] do,” Lars said at the time. 20 or 30 years ago, we would all sit and f**king read every page of Kerrang! and every page of Circus magazine, see what so-and-so’s saying and what the other band members were saying, what James was saying about this and that. Now there’s just none of that. I also don’t really read what people say about METALLICA.

“I’ll say that occasionally, once every six months or something like that, it’s kind of fun to go through the trolling section just because of the ridiculousness of all of it, but it’s not something that I do regularly anymore. 20 years ago, it would’ve been, ‘Oh, my God, somebody said something bad,’ or, ‘That person said a nasty comment in the comments section,’ or whatever. Now, none of that really means anything to me.”