"Mentally we could do this for another 20 years": Lars Ulrich looks ahead to the "awe-inspiring" Power Trip festival, and Metallica's future

Photo of Metallica
(Image credit: Press)

This coming weekend, October 6 - 8, Metallica will return to the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, where in 2011, they held the west coast staging of their Big Four festival, alongside fellow thrash metal pioneers Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. 

This weekend they'll be in even more esteemed company, sharing headlining duties at the Power Trip festival with five metal and hard rock titans, Guns N’ Roses and Iron Maiden (Oct. 6),  AC/DC  and Judas Priest (Oct. 7) ,and Tool, with who they'll share star billing on the weekend's closing night.

"As a fan of hard rock, I’m going to be there the whole weekend and see every band," drummer Lars Ulrich promises, in a new interview with the Los Angeles Times. "I’m such a believer in the rock community, and we have relationships with every single one of the other bands, both as music fans and as friends."

Elaborating upon those relationships, Ulrich explains, "We love all five of the other bands. I saw AC/DC back in Copenhagen in 1977 for the first time; we did a whole tour with them in Europe in 1991. I fell in love with Guns N’ Roses five seconds after I heard Mr. Brownstone for the first time on KNAC before the album [Appetite For Destruction] came out. We played shows with Iron Maiden in the ’80s. We played shows with Judas Priest. We played shows with Tool all over the place.

"Obviously, AC/DC, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest were huge influences," he adds. "Those three bands are a significant part of the reason that we wanted to be in a band. So to get everybody together in the same space is a bit awe-inspiring."

In the same interview, the drummer is asked about Metallica's own longevity, with the interviewer referencing the fact that The Rolling Stones are set to put out a new record [Hackney Diamonds] this month.

"I think mentally we could do this for another 20 years," the drummer replies. "It’s more about the shoulders and the necks and the throats and the fingers and the wrists - the physicality of it - whether we can just stay healthy. That is a bit of a crapshoot."

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.