James Hetfield is my hero says Lars Ulrich

lars ulrich and james hetfield
Underappreciated: Ulrich and Hetfield (Image credit: Getty)

Lars Ulrich has described Metallica bandmate James Hetfield as “underappreciated.”

And he says that, although he’s considered writing his life story, he has a very good reason not to do it.

The thrash icons are gearing up for the release of their album Hardwired… To Self Destruct on November 18.

Ulrich tells Rolling Stone that his heroes are “people who challenge the status quo. In no particular order, my dad, Steve Jobs, James Hetfield. People who encourage you to be selfless.”

Asked why he includes Hetfield in his list, he says: “He is just the coolest musician. He’s put up with my shit for 35 years so there’s got to be appreciation in there for that.

“Sometimes I think he may be underappreciated in terms of just how vast his talent is.”

Ulrich says he’s not one for making rules in life but continues: “I have always had this thing about follow-through. If you say it, do it – if you say it, mean it. I don’t know if that’s a rule, or just something that’s part of my DNA, even to the point of bugging people around me.”

And although he’s thought about writing a book, the drummer reflects: “When I read certain books by people, especially people I know, there’s times where I’m like, ‘That’s not exactly what happened,’ or, ‘That’s a PG-version of what happened.’

“There’s a part of me, the Danish part, where if you’re going to do something like that, you gotta write the truth. You may implicate people around you who may not necessarily want certain elements of stuff out there.

“If I was writing my own thing, I don’t feel like I’d want to dumb it down. But if I did something in 1988 and we went on this crazy adventure together, I shouldn’t be taking for granted that that person would want that story told.”

He continues: “It’s about respecting other people’s right to privacy. I would always be concerned that I was saying something about somebody else that they may not want to share. That’s a principle I got from my dad.”

The band are the cover stars of the latest edition of Metal Hammer, on sale November 8 (today).

Metallica Hardwired… To Self Destruct tracklist

Disc 1

  1. Hardwired
  2. Atlas, Rise!
  3. Now That We’re Dead
  4. Moth Into Flame
  5. Dream No More
  6. Halo On Fire

Disc 2

  1. Confusion
  2. ManUNkind
  3. Here Comes Revenge
  4. Am I Savage?
  5. Murder One
  6. Spit Out the Bone

Metallica tour dates 2016-17 so far

Nov 18: London House Of Vans, UK
Jan 11: Seoul Gocheok Sky Dome, South Korea
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

The Metallica 1980s Quiz: how well do you know their early years?

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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.