Lars Ulrich: I didn't know Metallica had planned to fire me

Metallica in 1986
Off radar: Ulrich and Metallica at the end of 1986 (Image credit: Getty)

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich says he hadn’t known that his bandmates considered firing him in 1986 until recently.

The story, which had circulated for years, was given new credence when Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian said in 2014: “They were, like, ‘When we finish this tour, we’re going to find a new drummer.’

Last year Ulrich’s bandmate Kirk Hammett confirmed it, saying: “We were unhappy, and we might have grumbled something to someone.”

Now Ulrich tells Metal Forces: “It’s certainly not something that I was ever aware of.

“When you have a collective entity like Metallica that’s been together for 35 years, there are times on that journey where the idea of what to do next has brought different options.

“There were times when Kirk was kind of floating out there, and there were a couple of times Hetfield was floating out there, and there were times when I was floating out there.

“So it was very possible. I’m sure Scott Ian knows something that I don’t – and I’m fine with that. It was just not something that was ever on my radar.”

But he adds that he hasn’t spoken to Hammett about his comments. “I really don’t read interviews,” he says. “The whole thing of, 20 years ago, following what Mustaine is saying this week, and what Bruce Dickinson is thinking about this… I don’t follow one paragraph of it any more.

“Obviously it’s hard to exist in 2016 without some of this stuff showing up on your radar – but I don’t read it and I don’t follow it.”

Metallica’s long-awaited 10th album is due for release later this year. Ulrich recently described it as “more diverse” than 2008’s Death Magnetic.

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.