EXCLUSIVE: Metallica's Lars Ulrich On Surviving the Big 4 and the Roots of Thrash
Last night, when you did "Am I Evil?" you managed to get two members of Slayer onstage this time.
Listen, it keeps going up and different guys show up. If we keep being persistent, we may get everybody up there at some point. I was telling [Slayer guitarist] Kerry King last night after the show, between Sofia [Bulgaria] and last night, we've had all four members of Slayer up there -- either for the jam or for the picture on the back of the [Big 4] DVD. We're batting a thousand between Sofia and Coachella.
Why is Diamond Head's "Am I Evil?" the song you choose?
I can't tell you a cosmic reason. We felt that you're not going to invite people to come onstage and start playing a Metallica song. That would seem a little selfish, so you want to find a cover song that had some resonance towards what's going on. Everybody's got different influences, different inspirations, but certainly the band Diamond Head has a lot to answer for when it comes to four bands playing out the desert in 2011 in terms of lineage. They're probably one of the biggest reasons that we exist. When Mustaine was in Metallica, he was very inspired by them. I know Diamond Head may not have the same relevance for the boys in Slayer, but you've got to find a happy medium at some point.
We've got another half-dozen shows this summer. I would like to be a little more adventurous and not rely on the same song if there are continued jams. There are other things we can do, and I know that Tom [Araya] from Slayer was talking about [Metallica's] "The Four Horsemen." Inviting the other bands to come up and play a Metallica song just doesn't seem right.
Based on what I've heard from them, I think they'd all be up for it.
You know, I'm not afraid to go anywhere. Maybe we'll play a Slayer song instead.
The first time you and Slayer shared a bill was about 30 years ago at the Woodstock club in Orange County. Do you remember anything about that night?
I remember it vaguely. The Woodstock was a club in Anaheim that held about 17 people. We played a show there I believe in '82, and we were just finding our feet at the time. I'm pretty sure [Slayer] played Deep Purple's "Highway Star" because at that point, and still to this day, I'm the biggest Deep Purple fan, and when anybody plays a Deep Purple song I take notice. Obviously, we've come a long way from back at the Woodstock. I think I still have the flyer somewhere. It's awesome that we're still at it, and that 50,000 people wanted to be part of it.
Metallica's Big 4 set-list for Saturday, April 23, 2011:
"For Whom the Bell Tolls"
"Ride the Lightning"
"Fade to Black"
"All Nightmare Long"
"Sad But True"
"Welcome Home (Sanitarium)"
"Master of Puppets"
"Nothing Else Matters"
Encore: "Am I Evil?" (with members of Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer), "Hit the Lights" and "Seek & Destroy"