Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich turns 60

There was a moment in Lars Ulrich's life when he had to choose between sports and music, between tennis and heavy metal. His decision to pursue a career as a rock star paid off. As the founder of American heavy metal band Metallica, the drummer, who turned 60 on St. Stephen's Day, has celebrated successes he would never have dreamed of as a teenager.

“My body may look like 60 years of wear and tear, but my mind is fiercely opposed to it,” he recently told Rolling Stone. “I still feel like an 18-year-old who hasn't even checked all of this out.”

From an underground band in the early 1980s, Metallica established themselves as one of the sweaty leading heavy metal bands thanks to heavy hits like “Seek & Destroy”, “Battery” and “Enter Sandman” and Ulrich's intensity. and the world's most powerful drumming groups. Just this year, Ulrich and co. They played a global stadium tour with two concerts in each city, where the set list varied from evening to evening. On June 1, 2024, Metallica will perform at the Magna Racino in Eppreichdorf (Baden district).

However, Lars Ulrich's childhood began quietly. Born in the quiet Danish town of Gentoft on December 26, 1963, he grew up in an environment influenced by his father's cultural interests. Torben Ulrich, who died recently at the age of 96, was a professional tennis player and a huge music fan, as his son announced on social media on Thursday. “When I was growing up, my dad played a lot of jazz — Coltrane, Miles, Dexter Gordon, Arnett Coleman,” Ulrich Jr. told Classic Rock magazine, “and a little rock — Hendrix, the Stones, the Doors.”

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Perhaps the decisive impetus for his career was a performance by the hard rock band Deep Purple, to which his father took the then nine-year-old Lars with him, which had a lasting effect on him. According to reports, he also had the talent to follow in the sporting footsteps of his father, who was a professional tennis player from the 1940s to the 70s. But young Lars' musical passion prevailed.

His grandparents gave him his first drum set. As a teenager, Ulrich moved with his family to California. In his new home, he was particularly interested in music from Europe and bought British records from an import mail order company. Ulrich was so impressed by the so-called new wave of British heavy metal with representatives such as Iron Maiden, Saxon and Diamond Head that he flew to Great Britain to see some of these groups live.

According to Diamond Head, the song “It's Electric” made him want to form his own band. “After I heard the song for the first time, I think I played it 9,000 times in the months that followed,” Ulrich said in a “GQ” interview. “If ever there was a song that would get me into a band, it was this one. I was still very busy with tennis at the time, but it quickly went down the drain.”

With singer and rhythm guitarist James Hedfield, whom Ulrich met through a newspaper ad, he eventually formed the band Metallica in Los Angeles, initially featuring bassist Ron McGovney and later Megadeth founder and frontman Dave Mustaine as guitarist. As the American rock scene was dominated by glam or hair metal bands such as Mötley Crüe, Poison and Ratt, Metallica played their first concert on March 14, 1982 at the Radio City Club in Anaheim, California.

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“We felt like total outsiders,” Ulrich said in a live interview on stage at the New York cultural center “92Y.” “But Metallica started out as a cover band. If we cover these songs by unknown bands from England that nobody's heard of, people might think they're original.” Only later did he write his own songs with Hedfield. According to Ulrich, “Hit the Lights” was first.

They initially described their style as power metal, but today it is called thrash metal. Metallica, whose current lineup is completed by guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo, is one of the pioneers of the genre. His song “Whiplash” from his 1983 debut album “Kill 'Em All” is also considered the origin of the term. The lyrics say: “You're whippin' around, actin' like a maniac, whip!”

The breakthrough came with the 1986 LP “Master of Puppets,” an absolute classic of the genre. Two years later, “…Justice for All” was released and brought Metallica their first Grammy nomination. In 1990 they won their first coveted music award for the song “One”. Released in 1991, the so-called “Black Album” was “Metallica” and their biggest commercial success. The band later changed their style and released ballads for the first time with “The Unforgiven” and “Nothing Else Matters”.

“72 Seasons”, Metallica's eleventh and final studio album, was released in April and impressed fans and critics alike. According to Lars Ulrich, if your health cooperates, more albums and tours will follow. He gave up cocaine use about 20 years ago and drinks alcohol only occasionally. “Who would have thought that Metallica would still exist, that we would survive all this, that people would still be interested in us?” the drummer told Rolling Stone. “That's really cool.”

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(Service – metallica.com)

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