Lars Ulrich has warned that he and his Metallica bandmates may be getting too old to play the song ‘Master of Puppets’.
The metal band first formed in 1981, and are gearing up to release their tenth studio album, ‘Hardwired… to Self-Destruct’, on November 18. ‘Master of Puppets’ was the title track from their 1986 third album.
Speaking to Billboard, the Metallica drummer discussed the challenges that the band – frontman James Hetfield and guitarist Kirk Hammett are 53, while Ulrich and bassist Robert Trujillo are 52 – will face in the live arena as they continue to age.
“Whether we’ll be able to play ‘Master of Puppets’ in our 70s, I just don’t know,” Ulrich said. “With Metallica, there’s a physicality and a weight that has to be part of it. You can play it less heavy, slower — or you can realise that the music deserves that physical approach, and if the physical delivery isn’t there, then maybe it’s better not to do it.
“You’re trying to prevent something from going off the rails. We’re lowering the percentages of [body parts] breaking mid-show.”
Ulrich went on to reference The Rolling Stones as an example of a band playing live into their 70s, citing drummer Charlie Watts – aged 75 – as his inspiration to keep playing to an older age.
“The only O.G. drummer… the only road map is Charlie Watts,” Ulrich said. “I can see [playing live] in my 70s, mentally, but I just don’t know about the physicality. That remains the great question mark.”
Metallica performed their new single, ‘Atlas, Rise!’, for the first time earlier this week in Bogota, Colombia.