Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich talks his band’s live offensiveness, saying it turns him into a “rock gnome” when he goes on stage

That’s the way he describes the live transformation fuelled by the thrash icons’ aggression – which is something they’ve come to terms with over the years.

The band are continuing to promote the release of 10th album Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, due on November 18.

Ulrich tells BBC6 Music: “The old cliche is ‘turn it up to 11.’ I guess we turn it up to 12 or 13. But as I get a little older I realise there’s a slight element of getting into character.

“You’re up on stage, you’re in the moment, you’re with your bandmates. You turn into a little rock gnome or something!

“I’m not quite like that at 7.15 in the morning, when I’m trying to get kid number three to finish his fruit bowl.”

Frontman James Hetfield says: “I’ve come to terms with aggression being a part of me. I’m able to identify it and use it. Sharpen it at times, use it in the right places.”

At other times, he continues, “you just shut the box on it for a while and try to be normal.”

Despite aggression and anger featuring as strong themes on Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, Hetfield reports that Metallica try not to be too specific.


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