James Hetfield: Lars is not the Metallica Riff Police

A picture of Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield
Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield (Image credit: Getty)

James Hetfield says he and bandmate Lars Ulrich fell out over the drummer’s interference while writing new Metallica album Hardwired…To Self-Destruct.

The frontman admits his relationship with Ulrich can be tense at times, but insists they quickly make up after any falling out.

Asked when was the last time he told Ulrich to go fuck himself, Hetfield tells Metal Hammer: “About eight months ago.

“We were in the studio and it was like, ‘Hey, I’m the guitar player, I like this guitar part, I wanna play it.’

“He’d be like, ‘This part is better,’ and I was like, ‘Since when are you the Riff Police?’ So at that point it was, ‘Okay, I’m done for now, I have to leave.’

“But a week later we were talking again.”

The full interview with Hetfield and his bandmates can be read in the current issue of Metal Hammer magazine, of which Metallica are the cover stars. It’s available now in print and via TeamRock+.

Metallica’s 10th album Hardwired…To Self-Destruct was released this month and has had huge success around the world in terms of sales and chart positions.

They have just added another date to their WorldWired tour – they’ll play an intimate show for fan club members at the Opera House club in Toronto, Canada, on November 29.

Metallica tour dates 2016-17 so far

Nov 29: Toronto Opera House, Canada
Dec 17: Oakland Fox Theater, CA
Jan 11: Seoul Gocheok Sky Dome, South Korea
Jan 18: Beijing Le Sports Centre, China
Jan 20: Hong Kong AsiaWorld-Expo, China
Jan 22: Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore
Feb 03: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Feb 05: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Feb 07: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Feb 09: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Mar 25-26: Sao Paulo Interlagos Racetrack, Brazil
Mar 31-Apr 01: Buenos Aires Hippodrome San Isidro, Argentina
Apr 01-02: Santiago Parque O’Higgins, Chile

Watch Metallica’s intimate album launch show

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.