metallicawithcliff400 Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett has confirmed the long-standing rumour that Metallica considered firing Lars Ulrich in the 1980s.

But the guitarist says that he, frontman James Hetfield and bassist Cliff Burton never came close to actually dismissing the drummer.

The story has circulated for years, with Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine and Anthrax’s Scott Ian both having discussed it in the past.

Now Hammett tells PYX106, “That was just an old thing, you know. At one point or another we were pissed off at Lars, around maybe 1985 or something. We were unhappy, and we might have grumbled something to someone. That person might have picked up on it and made something a lot bigger than it actually was.”

He added, “Lars has a lot of drive and that’s a part of the reason why I love the man. His drive and motivation is just so intense.”

Ian, who first discussed the Ulrich rumour in 2009, said last year, “They had made a plan that they were going to make a change. They were like, ‘When we finish this tour we’re going to find a new drummer.’” But he added: “I think the tour would have finished and cooler heads would have prevailed. I don’t think the change would have taken place.”

Metallica are currently working on their 10th album, although no completion date has been confirmed.

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5 Responses

  1. Lars contributed a lot to the band, its music, and its success. It’s the best decision makers that make a band successful, not necessarily the best musicians. It’s debatable whether the band would have achieved its stardom without Lars, but I think the guys made the right call keeping him in the band.

    I also think Mustaine had a lot to do with Metallica’s initial success that, unfortunately, isn’t well publicized. He wrote a lot of the riffs and solos used on Kill Em All and Ride the Lightning, and even Kirk copied his solos for the albums’ recordings! Plus, I think Mustaine fueled the attitude that contributed to all the great riffage on the first couple albums…Now, I just wish Metallica could get some of that attitude back that helped fuel those early albums.

  2. This little punker dweeb told us that rumour in 1988 and we metalheads thought he was full of BS.
    Sorry kid, though you’re probably still a dweeb.

  3. That rumor has been around for a long time. Everyone knows Lars is not a great drummer but he was the one with the drive an ambition to get the band going. But, he’s also an annoying little s**t sometimes, like someone’s bratty little brother. I grew up with one of those and I can say from experience that all you can do to keep from killing him, is just ignore him when he’s being a pain. It gets easier as time goes on as I’m sure it has for the rest of Metallica too. Lars was a decent drummer at one time. But, when Metallica changed their style to a more simple approach in the 90’s, Lars got lazy. And it doesn’t help that he doesn’t practice anymore, which he’s admitted.

    1. On the Puppets tour, we waited til the rent-a-cops went home and then we just walked into their dressing room and hung out with the band. Ah, the good old days.

      It was about nine weeks after they lost Cliff. One of us was a drummer, so we went in there thinking we would chat with Lars. In fact, we talked mostly with Kirk, some with James, and a little with Jason.

      Lars? Forget it. He mumbled in Danish to no one in particular the whole time.

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