Basic Background Info
Early on, it appeared that Lars Ulrich was going to become a Danish tennis phenomenon like his father. However, a 1973 Deep Purple concert in Copenhagen opened Lars Ulrich's eyes to the wide world of heavy rock & roll. Lars Ulrich abandoned tennis and devoted his eardrums to British heavy metal icons like Iron Maiden, Saxon, Diamond Head, Motorhead, and Def Leppard. Before long, he was laying down his own massive beats behind a drum kit.
When Lars Ulrich was a teenager, his family relocated to California, and Lars Ulrich immediately took advantage of the music community. Not much time passed before Lars Ulrich found James Hetfield. Their similar interests in real heavy metal, as opposed to the glam metal of the 80s, bound them together. With this partnership, Metallica was born.
Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield saw many potential band mates come and go before they established their lineup with Cliff Burton and Dave Mustaine. Metallica moved to San Francisco and earned fans the old-fashioned way—endlessly performing and pushing their demo tape. Their hard work paid off, and New York label Megaforce signed Metallica to a record contract. When they moved to New York, Kirk Hammett replaced Mustaine on guitar.
Metallica released three albums in three years and earned a reputation as pioneers of heavy metal with the promise of more for years to come. Just after they released a masterpiece in Master of Puppets in 1986, the band hit a roadblock when Burton unexpectedly died in a tour bus crash somewhere in Sweden on an overnight drive. However, the band decided to carry on his legacy with their music and invited Jason Newstead to fill the void.
Metallica lived up to their promise with successful albums throughout the late 1980s and 1990s. 1988’s …And Justice For All solidified Metallica’s status as the poster-boys of American heavy metal music. They sold out huge arena tours and brought heavy metal to mainstream attention. Load and Reload ventured into the area of alternative rock, both in terms of the band’s image and their sound.
In addition to his work leading Metallica, Lars created his own record label through Elektra called Music Company. In 2000, Lars Ulrich became a vocal opponent of the file sharing program Napster. Metallica sued the company for copyright infringement, and Lars testified before the Senate Committee investigating internet file sharing. Although Lars said he was proud of the stance he and the band took, he seemed to regret the negative attention.
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