Jason Newsted lambasts "idiots" who criticise Lars Ulrich's drumming: "they have no idea what they're talking about"

Jason Newsted with Lars Ulrich
(Image credit: Getty)

Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted has lambasted "idiots" who spend time criticising Lars Ulrich as a drummer. Speaking to the Let There Be Talk podcast this week (episode #696, May 8), Newsted is asked what he thinks of the idea that Ulrich is an "average" drummer.

"Anybody that says that is a fucking idiot," Newsted responds. "They have no idea what they're talking about. The depth of this guy, his foresight, his comprehension of what the hell was going on when he was 21, 22, 23. Seriously?

"So if he can't play the same fill as Dave Lombardo or whoever the fuck you pick for today, so what? Look at the scoreboard, motherfucker. Do not talk shit about that guy. He's way ahead of you in most things, I promise you that — I promise you. If we wouldn't have had him and his ability to anticipate, to predict, to know geography, to understand what country and what city and what did what at what time and all this stuff, no way Metallica would be what they were. No way! So you need to get ahold of yourselves because there's way more to it than just being able to hit a snare drum.

"So if anybody wants to talk about, 'Oh, yeah, I got this. I could do that.' Could you?" he asks. "Could you, really? I don't think so, man."

Watch the rest of the interview below. 

Last month, Lars Ulrich revealed to Metal Hammer that he does pay attention to what people have to say about Metallica online, having snooped on fans' responses to last year's comeback single, Lux Æterna.

“If you decide to go down into the comment sections, at least for me, you have to prepare yourself for not taking any of it overly personally,” Lars said. “You have to kind of remove yourself from it. But I’d like to challenge anybody in a band to say they don’t look at comments.”

“I mean, I’m not sitting up until four o’clock in the morning scrolling through every one,” he added. “But when you haven’t put any music out in five or six years and you dump something like Lux Æterna on an unsuspecting world, you’re going to want to see what the feedback is.”

Latest Metallica album 72 Seasons is out now. They kicked off their 2023 world tour with two blockbuster shows in Amsterdam in April.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.