Lars Ulrich says Metallica never set out to please the fans when working on new material, insisting it would be impossible to make everyone happy.
The drummer says that, instead, the band continue to challenge themselves without limits.
He tells Billboard: “Increasingly in our career, absolutes don’t play a role. The minute we have a conversation about ‘what does the fan want?’ we stop ourselves, because it’s a lost cause. If you put 20 Metallica fans around this table, they’re going to tell you 20 different things.
“We really turn the conversation inward: ‘What are we comfortable with? Is this something we feel we can get behind?’ It’s not about selling out, but whether it’s selling our souls. As you lay in bed every night, you ask yourself, ‘Do I feel good about the choices I made?’”
The group earned a 2015 Guinness World Record after becoming the first band to play all seven continents in one year during their 2013 world tour, including a stop in Antarctica.
Ulrich says: “One thing Metallica love to do, we love to go to unexplored places. We were in China last year for the first time. Got a chance to go to Malaysia last year for the first time. There are still frontiers that maybe five, 10 years ago there was no infrastructure to support the type of thing we do.”
As for next frontier, Ulrich adds: “There aren’t any left. At least on this planet. We’d have to do space.”