Lars Ulrich recently took some time to reflect on Metallica's place in mainstream culture in a new video conducted the day of his band's November 18th performance at London's House of Vans. Even from the beginning, he says, the pioneering thrash group lived on the fringes.
"We've always connected to the edgy bits of culture," he says. "Obviously we've always felt kind of like outsiders. We've always felt like we never really belonged to anything."
Then he looks back on where he fit into that, and how forming the band affected his life. "I'm an only child, I've always felt like a bit of a loner and I've always charted my own course," the drummer explains. "Even when I was 13, I never felt like I was part of a mainstream type of thing. That's what happened when I met these guys and we formed the band. Harder rock music made me feel like I was belonging to something bigger than myself. Obviously we've always loved to be a little bit independent, autonomous, and maybe even occasionally slightly contrary, so we've always hovered out here with the rest of the misfits and it's been a cool place to hang."
Elsewhere in the interview, which took place two hours before the band's Hardwired ... to Self-Destruct release show – a gig that capped a year of special events celebrating Vans' 50th anniversary – Ulrich discusses the band's relationship with London and his skateboarding ability. "I can get on a skateboard and off it, especially when nobody's watching," he says with a laugh.
Listen to Metallica's Lars Ulrich discuss the band's controversial battle with Napster.