Metallica Still Just ‘Fumbling Along’ After All These Years
The thrashers will release their new album 72 Seasons next week and embark on the massive M72 World Tour at the end of the month. But even if Metallica looks like a well-oiled machine to those on the outside, Ulrich confessed the band still encounters plenty of hang-ups and headaches.
"We're fumbling along trying to figure out [how] to do things the best we can, just like everybody else," he told Metal Hammer. "We're sitting around on Zoom calls going, 'Uh, how do we do this, how do we do that?' Metallica is just as gaffer-taped and jerry-rigged and cluster-fucked as everything else.
"We do take it seriously and we do try to do the best we can," he added. "But as you get older, it doesn't feel like we're any closer to cracking the code on any of it than we were 10 years ago or 20 years ago or 30 years ago.”
Ulrich also recalled feeling adrift when COVID took away the certainty of the band's usual plans. "We've lived decades upon decades of having schedules: 'OK, we're on tour for a month, we're doing this in six months, we're going in the studio in eight months,'" he said. "When you have the uncertainty of not knowing what any of it looks like, it takes your confidence away."
The drummer confessed he feels a similar anxiety as the tour looms. "It seemed like a really good idea about a year ago," he said of the enormous, in-the-round stage show they've concocted. "Now that we're getting close, there's part of it that's like, 'Holy fuck, what do we just throw ourselves into?' I'm pretty much chained to my Peloton."
It turns out that even playing in the bestselling metal band of all time can't fully eliminate insecurities. "I have good days, as a band member, as a parent, as a life partner, a song, a friend," Ulrich said. "Then I have other days where I feel like a fucking idiot or a loser or my head is not screwed on straight, I'm an asshole or whatever."