“The hardest thing in the world is to write a simple song”: Lars Ulrich on why Noel Gallagher is his favourite songwriter

Noel Gallagher and Lars Ulrich in 2009
(Image credit: Mark Milan/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

Metallica’s Lars Ulrich has famously broad tastes when it comes to his record collection, a metal icon who’s also been a regular attendee at Glastonbury ever since his band headlined the festival in 2014. That year, Ulrich was pictured backstage at the time with ex-Oasis chief Noel Gallagher but his relationship with the Britpop giants goes way back to when they first emerged. The Metallica drummer was such a big fan that when the Manchester five-piece went to the US for an early tour, he went to see them at a small club and ended up being their lighting guy for the night.

The love runs deep, and Ulrich once told Classic Rock that he thinks Noel Gallagher is the greatest songwriter of all time. “The hardest thing in the world – trust me, we know this first-hand – is to write a simple song,” Ulrich stated. “And the shorter and simpler, the harder it is. Those great Oasis songs – Wonderwall, Live Forever, Supersonic – if you hear Noel do them by himself, just guitar and voice, it’s pretty incredible what those songs break down to when you’re that naked and that vulnerable.”

Despite undoubtedly being the biggest Oasis fan in his band, Ulrich left it to his bandmates Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo when Metallica performed a cover of Oasis anthem Don’t Look Back In Anger in 2017. The metal titans were playing at the Manchester Arena a few months after it had been hit by a terrorist attack. In the aftermath, the Oasis song became an anthem to soundtrack the city’s resilience and spirit. Watch the video below: 

Niall Doherty

Niall Doherty is a writer and editor whose work can be found in Classic Rock, The Guardian, Music Week, FourFourTwo, on Apple Music and more. Formerly the Deputy Editor of Q magazine, he co-runs the music Substack letter The New Cue with fellow former Q colleagues Ted Kessler and Chris Catchpole. He is also Reviews Editor at Record Collector. Over the years, he's interviewed some of the world's biggest stars, including Elton John, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Robert Plant and more. Radiohead was only for eight minutes but he still counts it.