METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich was recently interviewed by Japanese music critic and radio personality Masa Ito of TVK‘s “Rock City”. You can now watch the chat in two parts below.
Asked how METALLICA‘s new album, “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” compares to some of the band’s other recent efforts, Ulrich said: “The last record [2008’s ‘Death Magnetic’] with [producer] Rick Rubin was the first record since ‘St. Anger’ . And so ‘St. Anger’, I think, was maybe a bridge or a kind of a… almost like a… I don’t know… like a connecting record.
“We made four records — ‘Load’ , ‘Reload’ , ‘Garage Inc.’  and ‘S&M’ — four records [in] four years, and then we had some issues and all that stuff, and ‘St. Anger’ came and that was very much, I think… I look at ‘St. Anger’ as an experiment — we were getting back together, we were figuring out who we were, we were trying to suss it all out. And then Rick Rubin showed up and we sat in that room in there for many months and we talked a lot about what we were doing and who we were and where we were going and where we’ve been and all this stuff. And so I think Rick Rubin really wanted to pushed us. [He] encouraged us to get crazier and longer and… One of his favorite words that he would always say to me, he’d say, ‘Make it more ridiculous.’ And so I think ‘Death Magnetic’ ended up kind of very much… That was kind of the battle cry, the M.O. With this record, I think we felt that we wanted to make it a little shorter, a little tighter, make the songwriting less ridiculous, more concise, more lean. I was doing an interview earlier and I said the word for the first time, I said maybe a little more ‘economical.’ So I think this record is more reining it back in. Everything is a little shorter and tighter and so on.”
He continued: “On ‘Death Magnetic’, we spent months… Maybe not months, but we had a lot of meetings, a lot of talks, about stuff. This record, there was no meeting. We just showed up and we started playing — no talks, no meetings; it was just like, ‘Let’s go.’ It wasn’t until probably three quarters of the way through the record where we sort of [said], ‘What are we doing with this record? What do we want it to be?’ And that’s when we started making things a little tighter and leaner and shorter. But there were much less meetings.
“Listen, I love Rick, and I wouldn’t change anything, but I think with this record, it definitely benefitted us just to sort of start playing and kind of just go for it. So things were probably a little bit more organic and things just happened. It was more from the heart rather than from the [brain].”
“Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” debuted as expected at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 album chart on November 27, selling 291,000 copies in its first week of release. Both of the band’s previous outings, 2008’s “Death Magnetic” and 2003’s “St. Anger”, sold more copies in shortened sales weeks. “Death Magnetic” moved 490,000 copies in a three-day window, while “St. Anger” shifted 418,000 copies in a similar frame.