Metallica’s Lars Ulrich Would Choose Phil Rudd as His Hypothetical Replacement
Lars Ulrich has been there from the beginning, handling the drums for Metallica through the highs and the lows for the band. But what if there was a scenario where Ulrich was to step down from the group? Baltimore’s 98 Rock had a chance to chat with Ulrich while playing a game of “hypotheticals” with the drummer, asking him who he would name as his successor on the drum throne.
“If I could pick it, if I could hear somebody drum behind Hetfield‘s riffs, I’d take Phil Rudd. Just having his kind of vibe, like what he would do .. And he’s been probably my main, biggest source of inspiration when we did the turnaway from the super-progressive stuff, the crazy stuff after Justice, when we got into the Black Album and the Load stuff, when it got a little more about the bounce and the riffs and the feel and the groove and all that. Phil Rudd, he’s the top of that pyramid. Hearing Phil Rudd play behind James, that’d be pretty cool.”
Rudd is best known for his playing with AC/DC, but legal issues forced him out of touring with the band during their most recent album cycle. The drummer has also been promoting a solo album.
When asked if he ever saw a situation where Metallica would exist if one of the core three of himself, James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett exited, Ulrich added that it might be a tricky proposition. “That’s one of those extra-hard questions to answer. I think a lot of it would have to be under what the circumstances were,” explained the drummer. “And what I’ve learned along the way … I always try to speak my momentary truth, and I’ve said a lot of s–t over the years, and a lot of stuff comes back to haunt me. But I’ll always say that, at that moment, whatever I was feeling, it was my truth — it wasn’t a party line or whatever. And so, if somebody leaves, it’s hard for me to imagine that we would not go, ‘You know, we’ve had a great ride for thirty-five years …’ But if somebody encourages the other three guys to continue, or there’s an injury … I mean, there’s so many arbitrary parts of that.”
He continued, “It’s hard for me to imagine, as I sit here on May-something 2017 to think that Metallica would continue, but you never know what the circumstances would be. It’s a hard question to answer, and I just want you to know that I’m happy that I don’t get asked it very much. ‘Cause, as you can see, I’m just waffling along here, really. I don’t really have an answer.”
See Where Lars Ulrich + Phil Rudd Rank Among the Top 66 Hard Rock + Metal Drummers of All-Time
10 Unforgettable Lars Ulrich Moments