Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich said the band regretted the loss of being able to use the “surprise factor” in their work as a result of the scale they’ve achieved.

He said they were working together better than ever as they prepared for a second S&M orchestral performance, and joked about having taken nearly 40 years to make the band work.

In a new interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Ulrich was asked why Metallica had chosen to return with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra rather than just play a hometown concert.

“You mean, ‘Why not take the easy way?’” he replied. “When we’re home, we’ve got to do something above and beyond. There’s a creative element to this collaboration that we really appreciate and we’re really thankful for. … So, yes, we’re not taking the easy way out of this one.”

Asked what the audience could expect from the new S&M show, he said, “I guess there’s a part of me that wants to say, ‘Wait and see’. But anybody that knows Metallica would know that we are going to mix it up. I don’t want to get into too many details. … The surprise factor isn’t one we get a chance to utilize too often any more.”

Ulrich said the reason he and his colleagues haven't taken any significant time off since 2005 was that they “feel more connected” than they ever had before. “It only took 38 years,” he observed. “Who would have thought? … We’re connecting more with the audience and with the fans and the people who are there to share the experience.”

He also pointed out how the band’s demographic had changed from “mostly 18-year-old dudes in black rock T-shirts." “I say that with nothing but love," he noted. "It’s morphed into this other thing that’s multi-generational. It’s super cool to sit up onstage and take it all in and go, “Holy ****! Who would have thought that 30 years into this, this could still be happening?’”

 

 

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