On October 25, Jaxon of the 93.3 WMMR Rocks! radio station conducted an interview with METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich backstage at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You can now listen to the chat below.
Asked what piece of advice he would give to the 1981 Lars Ulrich if he could go back in time, the drummer said: "A lot of people are retiring, and we feel very energized and rejuvenated. I mean, we wanna go [a] long [time]. We hope we can get another 20, 25 years out of [METALLICA]. I don't know what it's gonna look like, I don't know what it's gonna sound like, but that's in our heads. So we're not sitting there thinking retirement or this or that; we're sort of more the opposite. So I would say, for us, everything we do is kind of a long game. And back then, when you were 17, you only think of, like, the next five minutes. 'Where is the next beer? Whoo!' So that's kind of different mentality nowadays."
Ulrich, who will turn 55 in December, went on to say that he is delighted to see younger generations discovering METALLICA's catalog, with the band's popularity only continuing to increase. "It's crazy. It's unbelievable," he said. "There's more younger kids at our shows than I can ever remember. Half the audience is under 20. And it also feels more like it's [a] 50-50 [split] between boys and girls now, which obviously [wasn't the case] 20, 30 years ago. So it's amazing how rock and roll and harder rock and what we're doing just continues to appeal to… I don't know if it's a rite of passage, but it feels like it continues rather than regressing; it feels like it's actually spreading. And half the people that are coming to our shows are seeing METALLICA for the first time. It's pretty awesome."
Ulrich's comments echo those made by METALLICA frontman James Hetfield, who said in 2015 that retirement was not on the agenda for him and his bandmates.
"Look, musicians never retire," Hetfield said. "They just become less popular. People think you've retired, but no, I'm still writing. It's a part of me. It's what I do on this planet. That's why I've been put here, I believe. And if I stop that, part of me dies. There's no retirement. So we do what we do until physically we can't do it."
METALLICA kicked off the 2018/2019 U.S. leg of the "WorldWired" arena tour on September 2 at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin.
The band recently landed on Pollstar's Global Concert Pulse chart with concert grosses of more than $2 million per market appearance on METALLICA's last European tour.
The 2017 dates on the "WorldWired" tour, which included stadium shows across the U.S., grossed $110.3 million in North America and $152.8 million worldwide.