Estranged Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has paid tribute to Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, calling him an “exceptional” performer.
And the veteran sticksman, whose relationship with Sabbath disintegrated during their reunion discussions in 2012, believes he and Ulrich have experienced similar issues throughout their careers.
Ward says on his regular Rock 50 web radio show: “Lars is spiritually sound – I really like that. A lot of the paths that Lars has passed through, I’ve travelled myself.
“I ended up with able to take whatever my abilities are, and utilise that in whatever music we did. So it’s like, ‘This is what I’ve got.’ I can remember going through a period, probably 26 years ago, where I stopped competing. I had to find out what I could do and make good use of it. It sounds like Lars has reached that settling ground as well. And I think he does such a good job of it.”
He says drum students would do well to study Ulrich’s approach to the instrument. “His creations have brought the sound of Metallica to the very edge of the metal spearhead. There are so many things in all those songs that are departure points – other drummers can look at it and go, ‘Well, this didn’t exist before.’
“If you’re learning drums, listen to Lars, man. He’s got some really good stuff that you can learn from.”
Metallica are currently working on the follow-up to 2008’s Death Magnetic, while Sabbath are planning to record their final album next year.