Portnoy is a fan of Ulrich's style

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Mike Portnoy says Lars Ulrich’s stage presence more than makes up for any perceived lack of technical expertise.

The former Dream Theater and current Winery Dogs drummer is widely regarded as one of the best in the business, while Metallica’s sticksman has taken flak in the past for his level of skill behind the kit.

But Portnoy insists he’d rather watch Ulrich entertaining the crowd instead of a technical wizard any day of the week.

He tells Sticks For Stones: “I don’t judge drummers based on their technical ability – I judge them based on the overall package and what they bring to the music they’re part of.

“What Lars brings to the music of Metallica is absolutely invaluable. So I could care less if his meter might be slightly up and down, or if his fills are slightly sloppy. I don’t care about that. There’s way more to being a good drummer than precision and technique.”

He continues: ”I have a tremendous amount of respect for Lars, even though he takes a beating in the drum community. He’s been a tremendous asset to Metallica, not only as a writer, but as a businessman, his abilities to market things, his ability to arrange music and his performance on stage He’s a very animated player on stage.”

The Winery Dogs play four UK dates early next year in support of second album Hot Streak, while Metallica have started recording the follow-up to 2008’s Death Magnetic.