METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich was asked by 92Y for his thoughts on the latest trend of holograms of late music legends such as Michael Jackson, Tupac and Dio, to which he replied:
“The conversation in the Bay Area, generally, is primarily about – when people look into the future, it’s about artificial intelligence, and it’s about how you adapt AI into everything that we know on a daily basis.
“And so when you start looking at the possibilities of how that could play into music, obviously there’s been a few go-arounds with the holograms – there’s a few artists that are looking at sending artists on the road in hologram form.
“We were in Copenhagen a couple, three months ago, and we were doing rehearsals for the European tour.
“We had this whole new visual show thing happening. And what was going on was, we are in an arena and they’re showing some of the visuals and the dynamics and the aesthetics and all the hoopla to us, and we’re sitting up in row 33 up there, looking at the whole thing.
“And they’ve got a live show of us somewhere on the summer tour blasting out over the P.A., the full rig is up, there’s a giant P.A., giant stage and a giant light show.
“And I’m sitting up there and the whole thing is happening – 120-dB loud music, all the lights, the video screens, everything is going on… except there are no musicians on stage. And I’m sitting there going, ‘There’s gotta be a version of this somewhere in our future.'”
The drummer added:
“As loopy as that sounds, and as kind of silly as I’m exaggerating for effect – what is a concert?
“What is music? What’s a concert? To me, it’s about connecting people, and it’s about sharing an experience together. And what we try to do, when we play gigs, is to erase the wall between the audience and the band.
“It’s basically about doing away with that division between an audience and artist. And so I’m sitting there going, ‘Maybe one day.’
“If the primary objective of a concert is to bring people together and share an experience, why do you need Lars Ulrich or James Hetfield there? Or Kirk Hammett or Robert Trujillo?
“If you’ve got the music, you’ve got the equipment, you’ve got the lights, you’ve got the video, there’s gotta be some version of that in there by the time all the Elon Musks and all the Marc Benioffs and the rest of ’em have figured out where artificial intelligence plays into all this.”
Directly asked if he would like to be a hologram a hundred years from now, Lars replied:
“Listen, I don’t know about anybody else in here, but when it’s done, it’s done.
“If there was a way for it to work out… if it can be done in some way where it’s cool and it’s not just some f*cking weird cash-in or whatever, but if it there was a way to do it in a meaningful way…
“Because at the end of the day – and I am actually really serious about this — to me, the further I get into this endeavor, music and Metallica… People go, ‘What’s it like to be in Metallica?’ It’s, like, we’re all in Metallica.
“Metallica is something that exists in the ether. Lars Urich doesn’t own Metallica, James Hetfield doesn’t own Metallica, Metallica doesn’t own Metallica – it’s something that we all share. And it’s something that we all used to connect.
“I believe the basic human need is to connect to other human beings – that’s what we all strive for in any way possible.
“So if there’s a way that that could be… a hundred years from now, 50 years from now, and I’m a hologram, fine with me. It’s fine with me.”