METALLICA’s Lars Ulrich says that he was unaware of his bandmates’ plan to fire him three decades ago, explaining that “it was just not something that was ever on my radar.”
The long-running rumor first gained traction in 2009 when ex-METALLICA guitarist Dave Mustaine revealed it to Rolling Stone, and surfaced again when ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian discussed it while doing press for his 2014 memoir, “I’m The Man: The Story Of That Guy From Anthrax”. It was confirmed last November when METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett said an interview with an Albany, New York radio station that the band at one point considered getting rid of Ulrich back in 1986.
Now Lars admits that had no idea of the clandestine plan to oust him from the band he had co-founded with frontman James Hetfield in 1981. “It’s certainly not something that I was ever aware of,” he tells Metal Forces. “But I can tell you that there’s been other times as we’ve cruised along where there’s been some friction with this band member or that band member, and where things were a little awkward with this particular guy, or whatever.
“When you have a collective entity like METALLICA, that’s been together for 35 years, there are different times on that journey where the idea of what to do next in a particular sticky dynamic has brought upon different options of different potential resolutions,” he continues. “There were times when Kirk was kinda floating out there, and there were a couple of times when Hetfield was kinda floating out there, and there were different times when I was kinda floating out there, so it was very possible. I’m sure Scott Ian knows something that I don’t, and I’m fine with that. It was just not something that was ever on my radar.“